Ford to keep final trio
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.”