The Ford Falcon is a full-sized car that was manufactured by Ford Australia from 1960 to 2016. From the XA series of 1972 onward, each Falcon and range of derivates have been designed, developed, and built in Australia, following the phasing out of the American-influenced Falcon of 1960 to 1971, which had been re-engineered locally as the XK to XY series for the harsher Australian conditions. The luxury-oriented Ford Fairmont model joined the range from 1965. Luxury long-wheelbase derivative versions called the Ford Fairlane and LTD arrived in 1967 and 1973, respectively (with production ending in 2007).
The Ford Falcon and its derivates have been Australian-made best-sellers, with over 3,000,000 sales in seven generations to 2003, almost exclusively in Australia and New Zealand, but also South Africa. Along with its closest Australian-made rival, the Holden Commodore, the Falcon has dominated the ranks of taxis in Australia and New Zealand, as well as police car and company fleets.
In its last incarnation as the FG X series, the body style of the Falcon range consisted of sedan and utility body styles. Luxury variants of the current model Falcon, collectively known as the G Series, were marketed as the Ford G6, G6E, and G6E Turbo, which replaced the long-standing Fairmont and Fairmont Ghia models. Previously the Falcon range also included a hardtop coupé, panel van and station wagon (respectively up to 1978, 1999 and 2010). as well as the Futura variant. The Falcon platform had also spawned luxury models such as the Landau coupe and long-wheelbase Fairlane and LTD sedans.
In May 2013, Ford Australia announced the end of local production, which consisted of Falcon and its closely related Territory crossover SUV, by October 2016. This decision was attributable to Ford Motor Company's "One Ford" product development plan introduced in 2008 to rationalise its global range. Under this plan, Falcon's indirect replacements are the fourth-generation Mondeo from Europe and the sixth-generation Mustang from North America, the latter to retain Ford's Australian V8 heritage. The final Ford Falcon, a blue XR6, rolled off the production line on 7 October 2016.
In 1973, the XB Falcon (sold with the slogan "The Great Australian Road Car") was introduced with more aggressive styling, a multifunction control stalk (indicators, high beam, horn), new colours including colour-coded bumpers on the GT variants, and minor trim variations. Engine options carried over from the XA-series. New panel van and utility option packages, "Surferoo" and "Surfsider" vans, and "Overnighter" ute, were introduced.
Power-assisted front disc brakes were now standard across the Falcon range. The GT variant of the XB also included four-wheel disc brakes (the earlier GT/GT-HO models used large finned drums at the rear). The first 211 XB GTs built were fitted with a US-built version of the Cleveland 351 cu in (5.8 L) V8 engine known as the 'big port', and later XB GTs were fitted with an Australian-built version of the engine with 'small port' heads and a 4-barrel 605 CFM downdraught Autolite 4300 carburetor, rated at 224 kW (300 bhp; 305 PS) @ 5400 rpm and 515 N⋅m (380 lb⋅ft) @ 3400 rpm of torque. A notable difference in performance is seen between these engines, and also in resale value, as the early US-powered GTs are rarer, so more collectable. The twin driving lights remained, as did the bonnet locks. The bonnet scoops of the GT were now integrated into the "power bulge" on the bonnet, the bumpers were now body-coloured, and the power bulge, wheel arches, sills, and valances were painted in a contrasting colour to the body colour (usually black, but dependent upon the actual body colour choice).
This classic car is world-renowned for its starring roles in the movies Mad Max and Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior), both starring Mel Gibson. In Mad Max, the police use yellow XA and XB sedans, and Max later drives a customised black XB hardtop known as the Pursuit Special, or black-on-black due to its matte black over gloss black paint scheme. In Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) it was referred to as the "Last of the V8 Interceptors". It is often referred to as Max's Interceptor, but all the MFP cars badged "Interceptor" were four-door sedans, including the one Max drove during the Night Rider chase.
The Ford Landau, a two-door "personal coupé" based on the XB Falcon Hardtop was released in August 1973.