I saw this Ford XD/XE Falcon very recently, and was shocked. American Curbsiders might be mystified by my surprise; it looks like a fairly generic, 1980s two-door sedan/coupe, right? Crisp lines, not entirely unattractive, but not entirely memorable either. One problem, though, and it’s something my fellow Aussie and Kiwi Curbsiders will have noticed by now: Ford didn’t make a Falcon two-door in the 1980s.
Americans and Canadians saw two-door Ford Granadas, Fairmonts and Tempos during the 1980s, but those of us down under have always been more practical folk. We like our cars to have four doors–unless they are utes, that is–and we have never had a long-lasting relationship with coupes. Sure, the Holden Monaro was sold over two decades, but even it was available as a four-door at certain points. The Chrysler Valiant Charger died before its sedan/wagon/panel van/ute counterparts, and the Ford Falcon Hardtop seemed to be sold only in short bursts (1964-66 and 1972-79). The 1980s saw no coupes engineered in Australia, with a plan to bring over the Opel Monza as a flagship Holden coupe scrapped.
I saw the Falcon two-door as I passed through a set of lights, and quickly pulled to the side of the road to snap it as it drove past. I missed a shot of the front clip, but it appears the automotive Dr. Frankenstein grafted on the 1979-84 Ford FC/FD LTD clip, something often done with old Ford/Holden utes. As for the body, I don’t know how they did it. Perhaps another Curbsider from Oceania can shed some light?
Is it a ute cabin with a sedan back section grafted on? My very quick glance confirmed it was pretty expertly done, but then again it was dusk and the car was moving (which explains the awful photograph). Interesting though that this backyard mechanic did a better job of welding than Studebaker did with its 1953-55 two-door sedan.
While pony cars and muscle cars were careening out of dealerships in the 1960s, and personal luxury coupes wafting effortlessly out in the 1970s, Aussies saw comparatively few coupes. The ones we did see, though, were striking. There’s the aforementioned Holden Monaro pictured above…
…the Chrysler Valiant Charger…
…the Ford Falcon Hardtop…
…and the ultra rare 1973-76 Ford Landau (only 1,385 produced!).
Clearly, Dr. Frankenstein made this Falcon as homage to an era where Aussie automakers actually built coupes, even if it was conservative sedans, wagons and utes that kept them in business. The next Aussie coupe wouldn’t come until 2001 with the reborn Holden Monaro, which has the dubious distinction of being the last Aussie coupe.