FATHER OF THE BA, WHO ALSO REALLY MANAGED TO STAMP OUT HIS TERRITORY
AS ENGINEERING father of the BA Falcon, Trevor Worthington, now Vice President of product development for Ford’s Asia-pacific operations, deserves credit for the Falcon surviving into its sixth decade.
The Benalla-born (Vic) engineer understood that, after the disappointment of the AU, the Falcon demanded a major lift in refinement and appeal to lift sales to a sustainable level. The traditional Australian front-engine/rear-drive formula remained, but BA combined that with greater sophistication and a more-worldly attitude. Driven in large part by Worthington, Ford’s local engine engineers developed a new dohc, 24-valve cylinder head for the 4.0-litre straight six that amazingly still traced its origins back to the original Falcon’s 2.3-litre ohv engine.
From the time he joined Ford Australia in 1985, Worthington worked in product development – meaning Falcon, Falcon, Falcon – and product strategy, before leading product development for six years during the era when Ford crafted the Territory, using the BA as its baseline, and the FG Falcon reskin. Ford never had the money to do a clean-sheet car in Australia, yet today’s Falcon, overseen by Worthington from his new base in China, is a tribute to the company’s cleverness and diligence in doing so much with so little in terms of improved safety, performance, handling and comfort.