Wheels (Australia) - - Ford Falcons Influentia­l People -

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.

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