About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oct 14: Another good-bye

I can just imagine what this big fellow is thinking, "Where have all my Aussie cars gone, mate?". And no wonder he's thinking that, as Ford has just closed their last Australian manufacturing plant. A shame really, since Australia has a tradition of having unique cars, at least among the transplanted American manufacturers, who found this island fertile ground for American iron and unique local products. Not sure how this all came about, since the population is relatively small. How did they manage to design and engineer cars that would only be sold in Australia and possibly the Middle East? Good question and this blog, unfortunately won't be able to provide the answer.

But in the case of Ford, it seems to have started in the early '60's (yet another history lesson) with the introduction of the Falcon to North America.......

Also introduced to the Australian market, it became a fan favorite and to this day, the Falcon name is used and has spawned some very interesting machinery. But first, humble beginnings. As the American Falcon moved to a new body, the Aussie version featured a tweaked design, based on the original......



And it found a variety of uses, that would never have been considered stateside.......


No doubt the Aussies were smaller, if this ambulance version, shown at an all Ford show, was going to be successful in transporting them to the local hospital. Even the next generation Falcon was only a slightly modified version of what we had over here.......


After experimenting with the modified original, they went all out and came up with their own unique models......



.......and for the Aussies, the Falcon name meant an upscale ride and depending on the trim level, a real hot rod........



Back to my original question of how could a country with a small population and subsequently small yearly sales support their own unique model? And these efforts were certainly not half baked local oddities. Well, some were oddities for sure, like the uniquely Australian ute.......



A little like the North American El Camino and Ranchero, but this body style was feature of the Aussie roads long before those other car based vehicles graced our landscape. Their ute design was unique in that it always had that little window behind the door glass. Also unique, in that its popularity has been sustained until the present day. Whatever will they do, now that they will no longer have those special Australian rides?

Going back to the Falcon coupe and sedan, there is a model that most North Americans will be familiar with, although they may not realize it.......



Yep, this performance coupe was the basis of Mad Max's wide ride in the movie. Hands up, how many of you knew that this was an Aussie Falcon? Be honest, please.

Yes, it is a sad day, now that Ford has stopped making these interesting cars and GM has also announced similar plans. No longer will the islanders see ads like this.......


.........or buy car magazines with covers like this one........


Ah nostalgia, it brings back old memories (courtesy of Stephen Wright). We love our old Mustangs, while the Aussies love their old Falcons. They look like us, but car wise, think quite differently. But what will they do, now that the production has shut down and their beloved Falcon will no longer roam the outback. Cars like the wild XR6 will now be the staple of collector car shows. Performance sedans that we can only dream about.......
Yes, old buddy, shed a tear for the very recent good old days, and now only you, the ubiquitous symbol of Australia, will be unique to the island continent (and of course, the platypus).


Until next time.......




No comments:

Post a Comment