JOHN, MY suspicion would be that the car was a specially-made model (probably a one-off) just for car shows which, back in the day, were a pretty big deal. Ford has a rich tradition of making wow-factor cars to send around the country to all the shows and, if I’m right, then this one was probably sold (maybe through a dealership) once its carousel days were over.
I reckon that’s more likely than it being a serious proposal to help shift the last few hundred XC Falcon Hardtop bodies. I mean, it’s one thing to have a Playboy themed car on a show stand, but it’s another altogether for a fine, family company like Ford to have 400 of the buggers lined up in dealerships.
The illustration you’ve provided shows that Herb Grasse was a major player in things, but something like this also has Peter Arcadipane’s fingerprints all over it for mine. Don’t forget that Arcadipane was heavily involved with Ford’s show cars, designing and building the Concorde van concept for the 1977 Melbourne Motor Show, the front end styling of which went on to become the face of the last of the Interceptors in the original Mad Max film. Last I heard, Arcadipane, after a stint with Mercedes-Benz where he worked on the original SLK, was working for Kia out of its European design studio.
BELOW The idea for a 70s motorshow special takes shape.