The JGS road car

Australian Muscle Car - - Goss Special -

Seems hard to be­lieve to­day but back in the mid‘70s Ford al­most couldn’t give brand new Falcon Hard­tops away. Due to a va­ri­ety of fac­tors (the oil cri­sis, high theft and crash rates lead­ing to high in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums) big coupes were out of style, and even per­ceived as ‘cars for old men’.

Ford’s mar­ket­ing chiefs Max Grans­den and Keith Horner knew they had to come up with some­thing special to lure younger buy­ers to show­rooms, and that some­thing special was John Goss.

Goss was a house­hold name, a star rac­ing driver with a youth­ful, even am­boy­ant im­age – and he had just won Bathurst at the wheel of the very same type of Falcon coupe Ford was hav­ing so much trou­ble sell­ing.

The John Goss Special was care­fully po­si­tioned as a ‘youth­ful’ hard­top that was not a GT, and was cheaper than a GT by a sub­stan­tial $2000. Fur­ther dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing it from the GT, it was avail­able only with the 302 Cleve­land V8, and badged as a Falcon 500 to re­duce in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums. Mak­ing it even more at­trac­tive was a price tag $200 cheaper than that of the 302 Falcon 500 four-door.

Add in young Ford stylist John Or­lando Birt’s unique two-tone colour scheme of Po­lar White with ei­ther Emer­ald Green or Apollo Blue ‘top side’, with orange pin­strip­ing, white 12-slot wheels and John Goss Special brand­ing, and sud­denly Falcon Hard­tops were in vogue and walk­ing out of Ford show­rooms. So suc­cess­ful was the JGS con­cept that Ford or­dered a sec­ond pro­duc­tion run later in the year.

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