The Ford Falcon GT is an automobile which was produced by Ford Australia from 1967 to 1976 and 2003 to the present day with intermittent limited edition anniversary models offered in between. Since 2003 the car has been marketed as the FPV GT but FPV continue to release anniversary editions based on the original 1967 model. The Falcon GT is inextricably linked with the history of Australian muscle car production and with the evolution of Australian domestic motor racing.
The GT was introduced as a performance variant of the Australian Ford Falcon XR series in 1967. GT variants were also offered in: 1968 XT, 1969 XW, 1971 XY, 1972 XA, 1973 XB models. HO (Handling Options) variants released with XW and XY model ranges, further modified for performance and were essentially homologation specials for motor racing. A XA version of the HO was abandoned in the early stage of development due to public pressure in 1972 after an infamous newspaper campaign.
The 1967 XR series was a major shift in the evolution of the Falcon, then still being adapted from its American counterpart for Australian release. The car was noticeably larger compared to the XP model range. For the first time Ford Australia offered a V8 engine on the range, the 289-cubic-inch engine then in use on the Ford Mustang. As part of the introduction a new high-performance version, the GT was introduced, based around the success of GT versions of the Ford Cortina. The GT Falcon would be marketed in exactly the same way as the GT Cortinas with the competition arm of Ford Australia preparing production racing cars to race at the Bathurst 500. The factory racing team, led by veteran driver/engineer Harry Firth entered two cars, one for himself and Fred Gibson and the other for the Geoghegan brothers, Ian and Leo. After a day long battle against three Alfa Romeos at Bathurst in 1967, the team emerged with a 1–2 team victory which captured the public imagination and sales figures soared. The move forced General Motors-Holden's and Chrysler Australia to respond with their own performance editions of their large sedan in 1968 when neither had such vehicles planned, beginning the era of the Australian muscle car.
Over the next five years each of the three manufacturers produced faster and faster variants. Engine capacity increased, first to 302 cubic inches displaced, then finally 351 c.i.d. Ford introduced the HO (handling options) package in the 1969 XW model range, essentially producing road registerable racing cars for the leading production touring car teams to exploit. these homolgation specials reached their zenith with the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III in 1971, a car which Allan Moffat used to smash all opposition in the 1971 Bathurst enduro and would remain the fastest four-door production saloon in the world until the introduction of the Lotus Carlton 19 years later.
A fear campaign against the homolgation specials started with headlines of "160 MPH Street Cars soon!" led to Ford dropping production with the planned Falcon GT HO Phase IV. For their own part, touring car racing regulations were altered, creating the 1973 Group C regulations, which allowed production cars to be modified for racing independently of the road going cars, reducing pressure on manufacturers to put racing modifications into the road cars.
A Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III was the most expensive Australian vehicle sold at auction selling for $A750.000. A previous sale had been for $A683,650.
In 1971 a Phase III won the Bathurst 500 driven by Allan Moffat.