We know that Ford is number one Down Under. That's why we were glad to hear from Kyron Wright of Alice Springs, Australia. He is the proud owner of this Australian-issue '71 Ford Falcon XY GT. Kyron was originally after the two-door version of the XA GT, made famous in the movie Mad Max, but when this four-door turned up right near his home, the possibilities were too good to ignore. Kyron bought the car and began down the long road to restoration.
The path was fraught with the usual difficulties plus a few unusual ones. Consider the freshly rebuilt 351 Cleveland 4V engine. It had been reinstalled into the Falcon GT while the car was left at a shop. During that time, water somehow found its way down the carburetor throat-the result was a hydraulically locked engine. The ensuing squashed bearing and bent connecting rod were replaced with fresh parts. For another bad break, somehow the engine stand let go and the 351 ended up on the floor. Luckily, the only damage was a dented oil pan and some bent pulleys.
Despite these out-of-the-ordinary setbacks, work proceeded on Kyron's cool Falcon. The process of the restoration took the better part of four years. It was unusual that the entire roof would need replacement, but it was the only way to repair the damage left by a homemade sunroof. Alice Springs Crash Repair helped in getting the body panels squared away. Although the car had little rust owing to the dry conditions in central Australia, there was a significant amount of bodywork that would require attention. Once the car was nice and straight, a new coat of Yellow Ochre, which is the original color, was applied.
Kyron says he has a lot of people to thank for staying with him during the course of his fantastic Ford adventure. They include his buddy Cliff Glover, Bob Tanner at Alice Crash Repair, Adelaide Custom Engines, GT Performance of Melbourne, and Chris Milton Engine Development. Most of all, Kyron wants to thank his wife for her patience during the long pull toward the Falcon's completion. As for us, we're impressed with the way our Australian friends carry the Ford hobby forward.
'71 Australian Ford Falcon XY GT
Owner: Kyron Wright, Alice Springs, Australia
351 4V Cleveland V-8
4.020-inch bore, 3.50-inch stroke
Complete rebuild with 0.020 overbore
Rated at 285 hp
Top Loader four-speed
Powdercoated by Alice Powder Coating
Custom system by Sprint Mufflers
Front: stock, powdercoated
Rear: stock, powdercoated
Front: stock disc
Rear: stock drum
Front: Globe aluminum, 15x7
Rear: Globe aluminum, 15x7
Front: Yokohama, P225/70R15
Rear: Yokohama, P225/70R15
Super Fringe AM radio
Four-door sedan body
Functional Shaker hoodscoop
36-gallon fuel tank
What's an Australian Falcon?
An Australian Falcon is built by Ford Australia at its Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia plant. More than 4 million Falcons have been produced there beginning in 1960.
Ford Australia is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company founded in Geelong, Victoria, in 1926. Originally, the Aussie Falcon was a close copy of the North American version. It soon became apparent, however, that this design was structurally inadequate for the rough terrain found in Australia. The car evolved into a much sturdier platform, and by 1971 it was super stout, great looking, and all Australian. For 1971, the XY version is especially sought after because it denotes the 351 Cleveland engine.