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Emil Hafner's 1966 Ford Falcon XP Super Pursuit Coupe

Sydney, Australia

My Falcon variant was never released outside Australia and is a bit of an Australian icon in our motoring history. It was designed, built, released in Australia before the motoring business, generally, became a hybrid of multi-nationals. The "Ford Falcon XP Super Pursuit Coupe 1966" (there were about 70K produced in all variants which included a sedan, stationwagon ute - short for utility, or as you guys call them Ranchero's, I mean really, Ranchero, great car, shocking name, but I digress) I believe Ford pulled together the best styling aspects of the previous models into the one great car. I must admit I do like the slightly rounder, softer look of earlier models as well, but the XP front grill and slightly squarer shape is quite distinctive and gives the car a slightly "harder look" which is part of it's individuality.

It originally came out with a 170 cubic inch Inline 6 and was called and badged the XP "super pursuit" as it was a bit of a rocket in it's day. The Australian New South Wales State police used it as a pursuit car/highway patrol car for awhile.

I got the car for a steal considering the work of previous owners, but the previous owner had been told to get a real car by his boss (accounting firm no less) and just wanted to get rid of it fast. What a turkey he was, the car had over 20 K in receipts for major work done and I bought it for 9500K!!!

I have since spent about another 6500K, considering the bargain I got it for I thought "why not finish it off".

Well, there are two morals to this story:

1.) Never give up the dream, miracles just take longer, and;

2.) With a 33/34 yr old car you are NEVER finished, there is always something to do!

This Falcon has been almost totally rebuilt underneath while trying to keep the exterior as original as possible with:

a 302 cubic inch V8 Windsor,
C4 three speed transmission with T bar auto floor shift from the
original column shift,
new heavy duty drivetrain,
LSD off an F100, all new heavy duty springs, coils and shock absorbers, I lowered the front a 1/2 inch (the photo makes it look like I've lowered it 3 or 4 inches but that is the slope the car is on) which I find makes it better to drive for visibility and lowers the centre of gravity slightly with the big V8, all new upgraded cooling system (bigger radiator, waterpump, fans etc),
2 1/2" one piece stainless exhaust system,
interior restored to original,
disc brakes,
retractable seatbelts,
halogen lights of course,
all new wiring and a couple of other little things (security devices,
sound system etc).

It is arctic white with a fire engine red interior and deep maroon carpet. There is plenty of chrome and the overall effect is terrific. The boot is detailed as well in maroon carpet and will take three sets of golf clubs with buggy's comfortably!

I'm not crazy about the mag wheels but that is on the list of things still to do, I'd like to go back to original of course, but my priority is to make sure the mechanicals are A1 first.

I'm eventually going to get an air conditioner and maybe power steering.

I don't see myself ever getting rid of it and my hope is that in a few years or so I will strip it down completely and rebuild it exactly to my specs, every nut and bolt.

As you've probably guessed I love the 60's styling but I like a mechanically reliable car that performs well and stops well. There are too many little Japanese buzz boxes on the road that pull up from 60kph to 0 in about 1 sec, so good stopping is essential.

I live and work in the city of Sydney in Australia and drive the car everyday and everywhere. It's most at home though out on the open roads where I often take it for cruises in the country and interstate driving. Not the most economical beast on the road (the fuel usage figures are actually quite ordinary I suppose when compared to modern 4 cyl buzz boxes etc) but there is no substitute for cruising in the country on a nice day with plenty of cubic inches at hand. It drives and handles extremely well and is as solid as a rock.

As far as I'm concerned the designers really got it right with the XP, it has beautiful lines and is the last of the older style Falcons before Ford went plastic and boxy with the 67'. How they could have gone from the beautiful styling of the early sixties in Falcons to what they produced in 67' and on astounds me, then again 67' was a bit of a start towards some of the fashion and styling mistakes of the seventies.

Emil Hafner



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