Ford to keep fi­nal trio

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

It’s time to write three dates into the Aus­tralian his­tory books in gi­ant cap­i­tal let­ters, much like an over­sized head­stone on the grave of the lo­cal car in­dus­try. They are: 28.06.1960 29.07.2016 7.10.2016 The first one is the day when the orig­i­nal Ford Fal­con rolled off the end of the Ford Aus­tralia as­sem­bly line at Broad­mead­ows in Mel­bourne to na­tional ac­claim.

The sec­ond is the date the fi­nal Fal­con ute – a plain white XR6 au­to­matic – was com­pleted on the very same pro­duc­tion line. This was 82 years after the com­pany cre­ated its first car-based util­ity back in 1934. The fi­nal ute, the 467,690th pro­duced, won’t carry live­stock, tools or trail­bikes as it’s des­tined to be a mu­seum piece.

The fi­nal one is the sign-off date for the very last Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory, sig­nalling the shut­down of Ford Aus­tralia’s pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties at Broad­mead­ows and Gee­long.

There will be thou­sands of mourn­ers on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 7, an ironic choice for the end of the Fal­con as it’s also qual­i­fy­ing day for the 2016 run­ning of The Great Race, the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.

The dates are both a cel­e­bra­tion and a memo­rial for a pe­riod in Aus­tralian his­tory that can never be re­peated.

The end for the Ford Fal­con is also the start of the count­down for the Holden Com­modore, which will also pass into his­tory – to­gether with the Aus­tralian-made Toy­ota Camry – in the fi­nal months of 2017.

With three weeks still to run to F-Day, as this edi­tion of Aus­tralian Mus­cle Car reaches read­ers, there is still some un­cer­tainty to the fi­nal shape of the end of days for the Fal­con.

One thing that is cer­tain is the fate of the last ex­am­ples of three key mod­els.

“We will keep the fi­nal Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory, just as we have kept the last Fal­con ute,” says the spokesman for Ford Aus­tralia, Wes Sher­wood.

“The last ute is a white XR6, the most pop­u­lar choice to­wards the end of pro­duc­tion, and we have sim­i­lar think­ing for the Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory. The ute is very much about Aus­tralia, and about Ford of Aus­tralia, be­cause it also has the most Aus­tralian en­gine. But we haven’t mapped out the fi­nal de­tails for the last cars.”

Ford knows the sig­nif­i­cance of the last cars and is treat­ing them with the re­spect they have earned.

“We are keep­ing the cars. We’re not sell­ing them. And then, cer­tainly, we are plan­ning to share them soon after.

“We see, down the road, hav­ing them in museums and things and we’ll want to share them as much as pos­si­ble and have op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to farewell the ve­hi­cles.”

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