History The unveiling of Ford’s T3 T Series in 2001 was FTE’s long-overdue response to the dominance of HSV in its segment. With a large capacity V8 engine, a wild body kit including an outrageous rear wing and performance to match its looks, it was sweet revenge for Ford fans. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this has not happened before.
In 1990, Ford Australia’s engineers created a heavily modified EA Falcon prototype, which revived the GT badge that had not been seen since the XB series of the mid ’70s. Powered by a 5.8 litre (351 cubic inch) Windsor V8 with an estimated power figure of more than 300 horsepower, the EA GT drove through a 5 speed manual transmission and was equipped with a limited slip differential. Fully race prepared suspension gave it the handling to match its acceleration.
However, the project was axed before the car reached production. There were concerns over its cramped under-bonnet space not allowing adequate engine cooling ? which had been a problem for even six cylinder EAs. And the cost of bringing a totally new engine to the EA production line for a single, expensive, low volume model, sadly, could not be justified.
Still, a V8 went into mass production the following year with the EB’s launch, and remained an option for Falcon buyers ever since. An even wilder-looking, 5.0 V8-powered EB series II “25th Anniversary” Falcon GT surfaced in late 1992.
After years of neglect, the EA GT prototype was restored in 1999 by students at the Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong. It remains on permanent display at Ford’s Discovery Centre.
Specifications: Built: 1990 Price: Not Applicable Body: 4 Door Sedan Total Built: One Engine: 5.8 litre (351 Cubic Inch) Windsor V8, specially prepared by Rouche Engineering, USA Power: Undisclosed, but estimated to be in excess of 300bhp Transmission: 5 speed race-type manual Suspension: Fully race prepared Front: Independent with coils, dampers and roll bar Rear: Floating axle, hotchkiss type with inclined dampers and roll bar Brakes: Power assisted four wheel discs Final Drive: Rear, Limited Slip Differential
Photos Special thanks go to The Goodz and Jack Travis for taking the pictures below at the Discovery Centre and Luke for assisting with information. Due to popular demand, the images shown here are now the full resolution, original images. A set of 1800×1200 high resolution, high quality images are now also shown here.
EB GT (Series II ’25th Anniversary’)
History In time for the 25th Anniversary of the original XR GT in 1992, Ford released it’s most anticipated model since 1976, the EB GT. With the EB GT, Ford and Tickford Vehicle Engineering have refined the original GT concept using today’s technology. The result was a stunning success, selling all 250 EB GTs pretty much before the car was even revealed.
While Ford’s wild-looking modernisation of the classic ’60s and ’70s Falcon GTs was a little too mechanically sober for some, it was most definitely more of a Gran Turismo car than even its older ancestors were. With a full leather interior, all luxury features of the time and a 200kW V8 (heavily disputed), it was more of a long-distance car than a hard-edged boy-racer. The styling was bold and masculine, though Ford claimed that the bonnet vents, body kit and massive rear spoiler actually improved the car’s high speed stability too.
Many ask if the EB GT was deserving of the GT badge. That depends on what you wanted. The EB GT was made more with the street in mind rather than the race track, much to the disappointment of hardcore GT fans, who wanted less frills and more performance. The price tag matched the desirability of the limited edition car, and immediately made it a collector’s car. The EB ensured the tradition of the Falcon GT lived on, albeit an evolved one.
Specifications Price: $62,500 (AUD) Body: 4 Door Sedan Engine: 5 litre OHV Windsor V8 with Multi-Point Fuel Injection Compression Ratio: 9.0:1 Bore & Stroke: 101.6mm & 76.2mm Power: 200kW @ 4700rpm (Claimed) Torque: 420Nm @ 3700rpm (Claimed) Total Built: 250 Transmission: 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic Suspension: Front: Short and long arm, long spindle (SLALS), coil springs, anti-roll bar. Rear: live axle, trailing arms, Watts link, anti-roll bar, coil springs Brakes: Power assisted four wheel discs Final Drive: Rear, Limited Slip Differential Wheels: Aluminium, 17 x 9 inch Tyres: Pirelli P-Zero 245/40 VR17 Performance: 0-400m: 15.5 (Manual) Top Speed: 225km/h (Manual); 180km/h (Auto, speed limited)
Photos Special thanks go to the Falcon GT Club of Australia for the following images.
EL GT (’30th Anniversary’)
History The EL GT was released as a limited edition model to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the XR GT. This was also the last special edition E-Series model to be released, and not surprisingly, all 250 of the cars built for Australia were bought before the car was even released. Such was the demand for the GT name, left by the last ‘real’ GT in 1976, the XB GT. Only the rare limited edition EB GT of 1992 had dared to fill this demand, which had sold out in similar time.
Surprisingly, the GT was based on the Fairmont Ghia, rather than the more popular XR8. The EL GT was much like the EB GT, with the street in mind more than the race track. As a result, the interior was a thing of pure luxury and class, with leather and suede upholstery, plenty of fake wood and all the luxury car gizmos, like power everything, automatic climate control, trip computer, premium sound and more. The EL GT received the first of Steve Park’s controversial designs, like the generally disliked eleven slot grille (the next grille he designed was the AU Falcon’s). It was given the nickname ‘Darth Vader’ due to its wild bodykit. However the car looked very tough and the look grew on you after a while.
While the interior was something to drool over, the engine was less so. By 1997 standards, the engine fell far short of what many people expected of the GT name, and was a fair way behind even HSVs bread and butter models. It’s claimed output of 200kW was of quite some debate, some claiming Ford were overstating their power figures. However, this car did have some good technology in it. There was the quick shifting ‘Adapt-A-Shift’ automatic gearbox, and for the first time in a Falcon, genuine performance brakes featured. Big 329 mm discs in the front and 299 mm discs in the rear, with sliding twin pot front calipers, as used in the US Mustang Cobra.
Many argued that Ford’s ‘family car’ engineers had too much influence in the GT’s design, (as was the case with the EB GT) much to the detriment of GT fans. But, despite its flaws, the EL GT was and still is an amazing car, and is still extremely desirable. With a tough looking exterior, a classy luxurious interior, and a motor built for cruising, one couldn’t go wrong with this car. That is unless you want it for a good drag race!
Specifications Price: $69,500 (AUD) Body: 4 Door Sedan Engine: Tickford Enhanced ‘GT40’ 5 litre OHV Windsor V8 with Multi-Point Fuel Injection Compression Ratio: 9.0:1 Bore & Stroke: 101.6mm & 76.2mm Power: 200kW @ 4700rpm (Claimed) Torque: 420Nm @ 3700rpm (Claimed) Total Built: 250 Transmission: 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic Suspension: Front: Short and long arm, long spindle (SLALS), coil springs, anti-roll bar. Rear: live axle, trailing arms, Watts link, anti-roll bar, coil springs Brakes: Power assisted four wheel discs Final Drive: Rear, Limited Slip Differential Wheels: 17″ x 8 1/2″ 6 spoke unique 30th Anniversary GT alloy wheels by ROH Tyres: Yokohama A510 245/40 VR17 tyres Performance: 0-100km/h: 6.97 (Manual); 7.73 (Auto), 0-400m: 14.97 (Manual); 15.65 (Auto), Top Speed: 230.3km/h (Manual); 226.7km/h (Auto)
Photos Special thanks go to the Falcon GT Club of Australia for the first two of the following images.