Australia's most expensive car ever: Falcon GTHO claims $1.1m record
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We always knew that the Ford Falcon GTHO — in XW Phase II and XY Phase III configurations — was a special car.
It helped well and truly put Australian motoring on the world map, after the latter emphatically became the fastest four-door in the world in 1971.
Perhaps even greater was the legacy it kicked off in Australian touring car racing. The series owes much of its Holden vs Ford rivalry lineage to the GTHO homologation special, considering it played a starring role in the famed battle between Allan Moffat and Peter Brock in the early '70s.
So when prices on classic Aussie V8s recently hit a boom period, it shocked nobody that GTHOs were at the forefront. And last weekend at Lloyds Classic Car Auction house in Kelso, New South Wales, this well presented Track Red example claimed a new record — it is now, officially, Australia's highest-priced locally built car.
The Falcon in question used to be owned by cricketer Jeff 'Thommo' Thomson — one of the fastest pace bowlers in the sport's history, and frequent test cricket opening partner with fellow cricket icon Dennis Lillee. Thomson was clocked as hitting 160km/h with his bowling — 65km/h short of the Phase III GTHO's top speed.
During Thommo's stint of owning this Falcon, it took on the nickname of 'Big Red'. He ended up owning the Aussie brute for almost 30 years as its second owner, in which time it completed only 20,968km. That's an excruciatingly low odometer figure for a car that's nearly 50-years-old, and it's bolstered by the raft of original parts like original seat belts, interior parts and carpet — as well as full service history and documents.
And all of this added up to a weekend sales figure of AU$1,030,000 — or NZ$1,106,000. Among other things, that's a far cry from the GTHO Phase III's original sale price of AU$5,159.00 back in 1971.
That figure not only makes this Falcon the first Aussie car to record a sale of more than a million bucks, but also seals its slot as the highest priced Aussie car to ever hit the market.
“Now we have taken it into the seven digits we expect to be inundated by Phase 3 owners and buyers,” said Lloyds Classic Car Auctions head auctioneer Bill Freeman. “Which is exciting for all classic car collectors and investors around Australia.”
The big Falcon was one of several classic examples of Aussie muscle to go up for sale. Among the others to strike gold was a Holden Torana SS A9X that sold for AU$500,000.
The A9X is one of the most sought-after Holdens money can buy these days, in part thanks to its own stanza of incredible Bathurst success with Peter Brock, and also in part due to its unique hatchback styling. This half-a-mil example was special in its own right, courtesy of an odometer that showed only 14km travelled, as well as the fitment of an ultra-rare General Motors Parts and Accessories kit when the car was new.
These sales figures will no doubt further stimulate prices of old Aussie Holdens and Fords on the second-hand Aussie car market, given they're now a product that's well and truly in our rear-view mirror.
Considering that, expect to (sadly) see more and more of these cars go into hiding.