Paradise Bird of
The Candy Apple Red Falcon GT you see on these pages is undoubtedly the unsung hero of Ford’s storied Series Production race history. It reached the pinnacle of endurance racing in its day and, thanks to its three careful owners, is now an important piece of our motor racing history, beautifully restored and preserved for the future.
In the hands of Jim Bertram and Bill Gates it won the 1969 Rothmans 12 Hour Classic at a stinking hot Surfers Paradise International Raceway on January 5 that year.
The full story of the two Rothmans 12 Hours run to Series Production rules was told in detail in issue #41. This fascinating account highlights that entrepreneur and circuit owner Keith Williams promoted these events as being both bigger and more demanding than Bathurst’s 500-mile October affair. Bold claim, but hardly pre-event hype when you consider the Gold Coast event ran for five hours longer, for the most part in the merciless mid-summer Queensland heat that provided an extreme test of mechanical and
The XT Falcon GT model’s greatest achievement in racing was winning Surfers Paradise’s short-lived 12 Hour Series Production endurance race in early 1969. Incredibly, the actual winning car from this long-overlooked achievement survives today and we’ve tracked it down.