Australian Muscle Car
Falcon GT Nationals
This year it was South Australia’s turn to host the Falcon GT Nationals – and over the 2019 Easter weekend the Crow Eaters turned on an impressive show featuring more than 250 Fords spanning the entire history of the Falcon GT.
We stroll down the blue carpet at the 2019 Falcon GT Nationals in South Australia and capture all the colour and the glamour from the GT scene’s weekend of weekends.
The Falcon GT Nationals is one event which should be pencilled in the diary of every blue-blooded Ford fan. It’s held on a bi-annual basis, and shared between the capital cities of the five mainland states (and hosted by the respective Falcon GT club of that state, in this year’s case, the Falcon GT Club of South Australia).
The two-year capital city rotation means the Falcon GT Nationals comes but once every 10 years to a city near you. So any South Australian Ford fan who missed this year’s Falcon GT Nationals will be waiting a long time before the event returns to the City of Churches.
For 2019 the South Australians put on an undercover concourse Show ‘n’ Shine at Adelaide’s Wayville Showgrounds on the Saturday (where the judging took place), followed by a trip to the Southern Vales wine district and the chance to have a blast up the Willunga Hill Climb.
Special guest of honour Fred Gibson was chauffeured around the hillclimb course aboard Kevin May’s Kym Aunger/John Walker ’71 Bathurst GT-HO Phase III replica before the
serious competition got under way.
Later that night Fred and wife Christine Gibson regaled the crowd at the post-event presentation dinner at Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse with some of his experiences driving for the factory Ford team. The Gibsons even told of driving for the dreaded opposition Holden camp, and the time they almost created history in what would have been a husband-and-wife touring car enduro winning partnership, had their Torana not broken down.
There was a plentiful array of Falcon XR GTs of the type Gibson shared to victory at Bathurst with Harry Firth in 1967, but the big celebration this year was the 50th anniversary of the original Falcon XW GT-HO. The event boasted no less than 25 GT-HOs – 12 each of Phase II and III models, and three original ’69 XW model Phase Is.
Among them were a pair of Phase IIIs which the crew from Ford GT Performance, headed by David Frake and Leo Khouri, had driven literally around the country to arrive in Main: The Willunga Hill Climb was a blast. Indoor: Falcon GTs of all colours, shapes – and even sizes! – at the 2019 Falcon GT Nationals in Adelaide.
Adelaide for the Nationals – 40 days and a total of nearly 17,000km! In addition to the trip being the adventure of a lifetime, the blokes from Ford GT Performance were raising money for the charities Men’s Mental Health, Kids with Cancer and Police Legacy. And their round-Oz odyssey wasn’t even done after everyone had packed up on the Sunday night – they still had to drive back to Melbourne, as well as taking a detour across Bass Straight to do a proper job of completing the journey with a quick tour of Tassie!
The 2019 Falcon GT Nationals itself was raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation of South Australia, so in addition to being able to savour the sight and sound of a large selection of the country’s very best Falcon GTs, it was also all in a good cause.
The next Falcon GT Nationals is set for Brisbane in 2021.