CC Outtake: No Failure To Communicate


I don’t know if it is common in other areas, but in Australia you occasionally see vehicles with antennas for communications radios, from the old CB radios to HF radios on vehicles headed into the outback that can reach a couple of thousand miles.  You don’t often see a forest of them!


This 2005 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo has a total of 7, including 2 cell phone antennae, and 4 that appear to be for UHF radio.  The large one mounted under the rear bumper may be another, high-gain UHF unit, I’m not sure.

HF Radio aerial

It does not appear to be a HF aerial, that is normally seen fixed to 4x4s that are heading into the Outback; HF radio has a range of a couple of thousand miles, quite a bit more than a UHF.

Bionic GT

The car also has a rear wing that is like the one normally seen on an FPV GT, but without the central support leg, as well as aftermarket wheels.  This colour is Bionic blue; bright colours were a popular feature of ‘sporty’ sedans in Australia at this time.



I can’t help but mention the turbo version of the new “Barra” 4.0 DOHC 24-valve inline six in this car that made such an impact when it was released in September 2002.  This engine was given the code name within Ford of “Gull”, as in seagull, because it crapped on everything!  Output for this BA Mark 2 XR6 Turbo would be 240 kW (322 hp) @ 5250rpm with torque of 450 Nm (338 lb-ft) @ 2000-4500rpm, although these figures are notoriously under-rated as they proved consistently faster than the on-paper more powerful XR8.  Within 2 years there was a tuning house offering a 1000 hp engine for sale that would run on pump fuel!

The BA Mark 2 model saw a 6-speed Tremec T56 manual gearbox replace the previous 5-speed TR3650, however the BTR 4-speed automatic carried over until it was replaced by the ZF HP26 6-speed with the following BF model in October 2005.

Clockwise from top left: Phantom, Citric Acid, Acid Rush, Blood Orange

Clockwise from top left: Phantom, Citric Acid, Acid Rush, Blood Orange

As mentioned, Falcon sports models (and Commodores) from this era had some pretty off-the-wall colours available;  Rapid Yellow as per this car is a relatively “normal” hue!  Note the bottom-right photo above shows that Acid Rush in particular was available across the range, so you could have a company-rep car with hubcaps and this wild colour!

Ford Fairmont XA purple

Not only was Phantom inspired by the movie from a few years earlier, but also Wild Violet that was available on the Falcon from 1972-73.  This fairly uncommon colour experienced a spike in value during the muscle car revival of the early 2000’s that coincide with the return of the Falcon GT and Holden Monaro.

Falcon XR6 Menace purple

For the Mark 2 update, Phantom was replaced by a darker Vibe purple as well as Menace as pictured above.  Neither new purple had the impact of the original, with sales dropping roughly 2/3 with each passing year.  This car is a non-turbo Falcon XR6, which apart from not having Turbo badging is otherwise representative of what a standard car looks like, showing the standard wheels and rear spoiler as a comparison to the feature car.

So to finish off, we have an impressive car from an interesting time in history that has not only been customized but also had a forest of communications gear attached to it – surely there must be an interesting story behind it!


Further Reading:

Cars Of A Lifetime Number Two: 2004 Ford Falcon XR6 – William Stopford’s Phantom purple car