CC Cohort highplains68 described this shot as “mid 70s coupe”. Well, true enough, but it’s a bit more out of the ordinary than that. It’s an Australian Ford Falcon or Fairmont XB ‘Superbird’. Yes, same name as the legendary Plymouth Superbird, but from that alter-reality world down under. And it looks like a cross between a 1970-1971 Torino and a Javelin.
Unlike the American Superbird, this one was more of a marketing exercise, to sell a specifically-optioned XA (March ’72 – Sept. ’73) coupe. It came with the 240 hp 302 V8, sports suspension, radial tires, four-on-the-floor, rear window louvers (which our featured car lacks), and a few other goodies. Not all that “Super”, except maybe a super good deal.
Of course there’s always the question as to whether this one is authentic or a tribute. I’ll leave that to you Australians.
Really rare though Ive only seen two of these but theres no real shortage of XA,XB,& XC Falcon hardtops (Ford out here never called their two door a coup’e), there was a Falcon showcar with a huge super bird decal right along the side. Advertisement is for a XA but the featured car is a XB so yes mid 70s.
My first thought was
“That’s a Falcon XB”
Based upon the leaner and cleaner 1971 Torino, I like it better than the over styled 1972 Gran Torino Sport. Though the massiveness of the upper quarter panels is off putting.
It somewhat reminds me of a design proposal in its near final incarnation. With design details that haven’t been fully worked out. The front fenders and clip appear somewhat generic, and the rear window louvers look gimmicky here. As too, the louvers between the tail lights.
It looks one generation behind, if it was offered after 1972. Though I do prefer it to what Ford was doing in North America with the over styled Mustang, Gran Torino and Mustang II.
So many design details that were worked out a bit differently on the ’70-’71 Torinos, at about seven-eighths the size.
Also interesting is the Australia only 302 Cleveland which powered these and other vehicles.
I saw this on Curbside Cohort (?) this morning and realized fairly quickly that it was an Australian Falcon, but wondered about that dark, over the roof, stripe. It vaguely recalls the “Starsky and Hutch” Torino, yet (apparently?) PRE-dates that “iconic” car.
The gold with black stripe color scheme doesn’t seem all that race car like to me, reminds me more of a 70s German sedan. Is that one of the “special colors”?
Nice “alternate reality” Ford in a very 70’s color. I think the 70-71 Torinos are somewhat underappreciated here in comparison to their GM and Mopar competition, but it seems like Ford Australia liked the design quite well!
I’ve loved these coupes since I first saw the road warrior, I thought it was a RHD converted Javelin too until I discovered the internet. I love the design, but the stripes are way OTT for my taste, a common affliction for mid 70s cars. The XA in the ad seems more toned down, it looks more like a GT without the scoops and spoilers.
The Road Warrier was likely where most Americans got their first exposure to the Falcon XB. I’ll never forget watching it and wondering, “What the hell is Mel Gibson driving?”. I knew it was some kind of Ford but it had the roofline of a ’70-’71 Torino hardtop yet the doghouse and grille of something similar to a ’71-’73 Mustang with composite headlights.
It was ‘Mad Max’ that introduced the so-called ‘Ozploitation’ film to the American audience in 1979. Unfortunately, lot of missteps and colossal screw-ups with a less-known American film distributor doomed the premiere of ‘Mad Max’ in the United States.
Warner Bros. finally gained the US distribution rights for the ‘Mad Max’ sequel in 1981. The film was renamed as ‘Road Warrior’ as to circumvent the ‘bad experience’ while the rest of the world had ‘Mad Max 2’. When the Americans later connected the dots between ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Road Warrior’, the video release and midnight screenings turned ‘Mad Max’ into a cult classic. For 1985 release, the film retained the same name when screened in the US: ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’.
I saw ‘Road Warrior’ on VHS before my late best friend took me to a midnight screening (one of the greatest entertainments was watching the people in the audience) to see ‘Mad Max’. I realised the flashback part was from the ‘Mad Max’.
This film introduced me to the alternate universe of Australian automotive industry. It took me a several years in the pre-Internet days to find out the names of those MFP cars…
Not to mention, until the DVD remaster In 2000 or 2001 the first Mad Max was dubbed over in America, because apparently Australian is another language.
yes, i actually saw the 1981 release of road warrior in the theater with mel gibson’s lines dubbed. wtf? the man is from poughkeepsie new york!
My first reaction was how similar – at least the quarter panel and stripe – this is to a ’71 Plymouth GTX.
Image is from Barrett Jackson…
The similarity of the stripe occurred to me too. The stripe also bears a passing resemblance to this beauty, though its “stripe” was actually executed in the metal:
The owner of Alfa Romeo repair centre in Plano, Texas had a red Montreal and gave me a long ride. Feeling the V8 whining and roaring was something I would not forget.
Definitely an XB, the giveaways are the taillights flush to the rear panel, doorhandles and front guards with wrap around indicators. And to be more pedantic it appears to be the up market Fairmont rather than the more common Falcon 500 model.
Just logged in to say that. Definitely has Fairmont badges on the guards and tail panel.
I would sell a kidney for an XA or XB Falcon. LOVE those alternate reality Aussie Fords! Oh, and the Mopars and Holdens, too.
Never heard of an XB Superbird before. The XA in the ad had a much more coherent graphics package with just the bird on the sides, no extra side chrome and the wheels colour-matched to the bodywork accent colour.
I can’t say for sure, but this looks like a backyard job using several styles of aftermarket reproduction graphics on what was a clean and rare XB Fairmont hardtop..
This classic McLeod Ford ad has both XA and XB coupes with this ‘strobe’ livery – making me think it was an aftermarket or dealer option. I thought the Superbird was a) XA only and b) factory, which makes this even more confusing. I wonder if ‘Horn’ refers to the graphics.
As a child I adored those McLeod Ford ads – I used to spend ages studying the different looks and deciding which version I’d get – I usually settled on an XB GT with factory sunroof, blue exterior and white interior (like the XA at the top-left of the ad). I agree the Superbird was XA-only and factory, but a cursory google images glance reveals a number of McLeod XBs wearing the decal (in the same location as the feature car or between the marker light and wheelarch), so my money’s on it being part of McLeod’s decal options.
I always wondered about Horn cars too, wikipedia (grain of salt taken) has a viable-sounding explanation:
Horn cars was a name given to a range of dealer-modified passenger cars, usually Ford Falcons, sold at Australian Ford dealers in the 1970s. The term “Horn car” comes from the Horn Car Accessories company which supplied the parts used to modify these cars.
Horn cars were an initiative taken by Max McLeod, who owned a Ford dealership in Rockdale, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney. McLeod would add a range of visual modifications to his Falcons – typically spoilers, sunroofs and wild tape striping along the side of the vehicle – in order to make them stand out from the crowd and give his customers the chance to buy a “unique” vehicle. The concept proved popular and was soon employed by other Ford dealers around Australia.
Where is this in Australia? My guess would be Chatswood, NSW (north of Sydney) judging by the signs in Korean.
these are one of the few AU cars that don’t seem a little “off” to my N.Am. conditioned eyes. handsome car if a little hip-ey. Oh Ya! MadMax. seeing that film made me want to move to ‘Stralia. wide open, flat vanishing point roads with very little, but occasionally dangerous traffic.
Definitely a McLeod Ford ‘horn car’, and an XB. It looks like it may be the original colour/stripe configuration – I can’t imagine anyone choosing to restore a car with that beige-brown colour otherwise!
Silverkris – looks like Eastwood in the northern suburbs going by the restaurant name.
Here’s a link to a couple of excellent Shannons Club articles about the development of the XA Falcon, and its relationship (or not) to the Torino.
And the XB Falcon
Great links Stephen!
So not knowing what a McLeod Ford ‘horn car’ was, I equate that to being similar to a Yenko Chevy or a Mr. Norms Mopar that we had in the states. A particular dealer selling a variety of options not available from the factory.
Started looking up photos via the Google Search McLeods XB. I ran across this page: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/ford,mcleod/Interesting
This has a couple of photos of the exact car featured in the top image. The tag reads M I D 7 0 S. The photos of the car on the linked page feature red-line tires, it’s the only difference between that and the lead photo. You also get a better view of the rear decals and the strobe stripe.