Chris Flocken of Milton, Florida, has been a Ford enthusiast all of his adult life. Growing up in Fort Lauderdale in the '70s, he saw mostly Mustangs and Camaros; from the beginning, he yearned for something different. It just so happened that a friend of his owned a Mercury Cougar, and one day Chris went for a ride with him. He was impressed and for the next 20 years was "hooked on Cougars." Since that first ride, he's owned more than a dozen of the cool Cats.
Then one day Chris went to a car show and saw his first Australian Falcon. Immediately, all of his previous automotive loves became a second priority. From the beginning, he saw the potential of the muscular Fords from Down Under and knew these unusual cars would be his new favorite.
His first Australian Falcon was a '76 GT replica that he financed by selling his '69 390 Mustang and a big-block Cougar. He liked his new car, but the more he drove it, the more he realized that he really wanted a genuine GT.
Chris finally found the car of his dreams right near home, and he's but the third owner. The car you see here is a genuine '74 Australian XBGT Falcon two-door hardtop and one of seven Australian Fords he now owns. This car is rare, even by Australian standards, with only 949 produced. Approximately 150 Australian Falcons are known to exist in North America.
As you might expect, Chris is an active member of the Australian Ford Falcon Club. Beyond that, this car has influenced his life a great deal, and because of his interest in Australian Fords, he has traveled to both Australia and New Zealand. He has also had Ford enthusiasts from Down Under visit him and stay as guests in his home. He reports that Ford fans from both Australia and New Zealand are just as enthu-siastic about their cars as their American counterparts.
This view of the factory hood...
This view of the factory hood shows the use of air-intake scoops patterned after those used on the big-bodied '71-'73 Mustangs. The factory hood locks are a nice safety precaution on a car capable of 150 mph. The wheel centers are similar to those used stateside for Ford passenger cars.
Performance-oriented details include the factory rear spoiler borrowed from the Mach 1.
The faux air-intake scoop...
The faux air-intake scoop ahead of the rear wheelhouse; and the racing-style, flip-open fuel door.
'74 Australian Ford Falcon XBGT
Owner: Chris Flocken, Milton, FL
351 Cleveland V-8
Australian 4V cylinder heads
Closed combustion chamber, 67cc volume
10.5:1 compression ratio
2.19-inch intake valves
1.71-inch exhaust valves
Original Holley 780-cfm four-barrel carburetor
Ford cast-iron 4V intake manifold
Top Loader four-speed manual
This view of the engine bay...
This view of the engine bay shows you just how nice this car really is. It's basically a time capsule from the Australian high-performance world from over 30 years ago. Under the air-cleaner housing lurks the original Holley 780-cfm four- barrel carburetor. It's the same carb Ford used for the Boss 302 engines.
Pacemaker headers with 1 3/4-inch primaries
2 1/2-inch exhaust tubing
Ford factory replacement mufflers
Front: New factory suspension components, heavy-duty front antisway bar, Koni shocks
Rear: New replacement stock leaf springs, antisway bar, Koni shocks
Front: Factory disc
Rear: Factory disc
Front: Magnum 500 steel wheels, 15x7
Rear: Magnum 500 steel wheels, 15x8
Front: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P225/70R15
Rear: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P255/70R15
InteriorRighthand drive; original carpeting; factory bucket seats; original upholstery; Nardi steering wheel; factory instrumentation including tachometer, speedometer, oil and water; original AM radio still tuned to Australian frequencies
ExteriorOriginal Red Pepper color (25-year-old repaint), factory-original exterior appearance
What's Ford Australia?Ford Australia is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company originally founded in Geelong, Victoria, in 1925. Once established, production of the Model T began right away. Ford Australia is best known for producing the Falcon, which was originally an American offering introduced in 1960. However, since 1972, the Down Under Falcons have been 100 percent Australian-designed. Ford has manufactured more than 3,000,000 Falcons in Australia since 1960. These cars are renowned for their durability and, like the Crown Victoria in the United States, the four-door versions of the Falcon are popular both as taxi cabs and police cars.
The interior is a perfect...
The interior is a perfect representation of factory splendor. The righthand drive is something we'd have to get used to for driving on American roads. Because of the different radio broadcast frequency used in Australia, the OE AM unit you see here has trouble pulling in the tunes. For more images of Chris' car (as well as the rest of his collection) visit his Web site at www.lastv8.com.