1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III tipped to sell for high price - SUV VEHICLE

1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III tipped to sell for high price


An Electric Blue Ford Falcon is the latest GTHO Phase III to head to auction, with bidding already surpassing the quarter-million-dollar mark.

One of just 300 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase IIIs is being auctioned, and the famous sedan is tipped to change hands for a considerable sum.

Listed by the Australian division of UK auction house Collecting Cars, this ‘Electric Blue’ is reportedly the 170th of the 300 Falcon XY GTHO Phase IIIs built by Ford, rolling off the Broadmeadows production line in July 1971.

In October of that same year, the GTHO Phase III made headlines after it became the world’s fastest four-door production car – reaching 228km/h, as tested by Wheels magazine – and for winning the Bathurst 500-mile race (the precursor to the Bathurst 1000) at the hands of Ford hero Allan Moffat.

Compared to the Falcon GT, the GTHO Phase III was more powerful – with its 351 cubic-inch/5.8-litre ‘Cleveland’ V8 engine producing an official claim of 300 horsepower (220kW) – and had upgraded brakes and suspension components to endure 130 laps of Mount Panorama.

According to the Collecting Cars listing, this vehicle is one of just 11 GTHO Phase IIIs painted in Electric Blue – with only one other example upholstered in black vinyl trim with identical options.

First sold by Fisher Ford in Biloela, Queensland, the Falcon was involved in a crash on the same day it was collected by its first owner – a buyer named in the auction listing as ‘Mr Streeter’ – though Ford reportedly assisted in repairing the high-performance sedan.

After being sold a handful of times in the 1990s and early 2000s, it arrived with its current New South Wales-based owner in 2005, and it has since been registered with the number plate ‘GTHO’ – a combination likely worth a fair sum on its own.

The GTHO was rebodied and restored at some point in its life, when it was fitted with period-correct ‘Globe Bathurst’ 15-inch wheels.

Its odometer reading of 6003 miles (9660 kilometres) is unverified, though an investigation of its registration history shows it last underwent a roadworthy check in November 2023, when a reading of 6138km was recorded.

It is not known whether the Falcon will be sold with its ‘GTHO’ registration, though it will include a copy of the 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III register, which documents the reported 300 examples built that year.

The listing also claims its Cleveland engine has recently been tuned on a dyno, with the V8 pushing out 291hp (217kW) at the rear wheels – with a four-speed ‘Toploader’ manual gearbox and a ‘Detroit Locker’ limited-slip differential helping to send power to the back axle.

Additional optional extras fitted from the Ford factory include seat belts, a 36-gallon (136-litre) fuel tank, an analogue clock, a Super Fringe radio and push-out front quarter-light windows.

At the time of writing, bidding has reached $255,000 and the auction is due to end at 4:30pm AEDT on Thursday 18 January.

A 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III holds the record for the highest documented price for an Australian-made road car at auction, after a ‘Yellow Glo’ example sold for $1.3 million (excluding auction fees) in September 2021.

However, this price was achieved at the peak of the pandemic-influenced boom among classic cars, with the bubble now believed to have burst.

Last week a delivery-condition HSV GTSR W1s was sold via Collecting Cars for $363,000 including fees, well down on the model record of $1.05 million.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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