TALENTED ENGINEER WITH VISION FOR THE SPACE AROUND FALCON
DAVID Ford (no relation), who started at Ford Australia in 1964 as a product planner, was on assignment in Europe when, in 1968, he was told to get over to Dearborn to work with the designers on the XA Falcon.
That was the real start for Ford, who rose to become chief engineer and was directly involved with generations of Falcons (plus Fairlane and LTD) until he left Ford Australia in 1990 to spend the next eight years in senior product roles in Dearborn.
It was Ford who convinced Bill Bourke, who wanted an upmarket model above the Fairlane, that rather than do a local ‘Thunderbird’ based on the Falcon Hardtop, they should stretch the Fairlane to create the LTD. In the end Bourke agreed, but insisted they do both.
In the late ’70s, knowing Ford desperately needed to reduce the Falcon’s fuel consumption, David Ford decided they need an alloy head which promised a 10 percent improvement. Ford went to Japan searching for a supplier and finally reached an agreement with Honda to supply the new head for the 1980 XD Falcon. The policy of constant improvement also saw him responsible for the XE’S Watts-link rear suspension.