56 years of Falcon

THE countdown has started. It's now just 56 days to the end of Ford Falcon production on October 7.

We’ve decided to chart the progress of Ford’s oldest continuous running nameplate, in all of its published highs and the lows in Wheels, every single day leading up to the final car running down the Broadmeadows production line.

We’re beginning with the very first XK model released in Australia in September 1960 – a little more than a year after its US debut as the Blue Oval’s take on the Volkswagen Beetle – and will go right up to the latest, and last, Ford Falcon FGX of 2016.

Over the next 56 days, we’ll be checking in with every year, to see how the fledgling Falcon has fared: at the start, as the stylish but ultimately under-developed US compact with severe durability issues that almost saw the series meet an untimely end by the mid 1960s; the so-called “Mustang-bred” XR GT, providing Holden with its first real big fright, and culminating in the fastest production four-door sedan in the world by the time the legendary XY GT HO Phase II version appeared in 1971; and then on the only truly Australian designed family car from the 1972 XA, taking in the 1979 XD, 1988 EA, 1998 AU, and 2008 FG.

We’ll also explore the rollercoaster ride, from the Falcon’s halcyon days of market leadership in the 1980s and – for a brief time – the mid 1990s, to the decline that inevitably led to the end of a true Aussie legend.​

With such an extremely varied and chequered history, what better way for Wheels to celebrate, so stay tuned for your daily dose of the life and times of the Ford Falcon, as we look back at 56 years in 56 days.

Showing 1-57 of 59 results

Celebrating 56 years of Wheels and Falcon

It’s been one hell of a journey. Here are all the Wheels covers to feature the Falcon since the dawn of the Australian icon.

The day the Falcon died

Join Wheels as we follow the last Aussie-made Ford Falcon off the line at Broadmeadows

2015 Ford Falcon: FG-X Falcon EcoLPi review

More of the same, done slightly better

2014 FPV GT-F 351 review

With a nod to Ford’s glorious past, FPV has kept its best for last.

2013 Ford Falcon: GT-HO farewell ruled out

Crushing rumours of a 375Kw-GT-HO send-off, Ford has said it won’t happen

2012 Ford XF Falcon v Holden Commodore v Toyota Camry v Toyota Aurion

In this latest address to Aussie drivers, Falcon and Camry come to the four with boosted incentives, while Commodore and Aurion set out to prove...

2011 Ford Falcon FG: FPV GT Concept

Sinister FPV show special ups grunt and grip - only 125 of these FPV black beauties were built

2010 Ford Falcon 50th Anniversary

For 50 years, Ford’s Falcon had ridden the ups and downs of an ever-changing, always competitive, Australian car market.

2009 Ford Falcon XR6 v Commodore SV6 v Chrysler Charger R/T E38

Could the toughest six-cylinder ’70s muscle car teach the Falcon FG XR6 and Commodore SV6 a trick or two?

2008 Ford FG Falcon reveal

No model in the Falcon's 47-year history has ever launched into a market as fragmented and challenging as that faced by the FG. Here's how it wa...

2007 Ford Falcon: Next gen FG FPV scoop

Bold looks and big power brought the fight back to HSV.

2006 FPV GT v HSV Clubsport R8

The FPV GT took on the much-improved HSV Clubsport R8 to determine the automatic choice of Australia’s sharpest-shooting V8.

2005 Ford Falcon XR6 v Mitsubishi 380 VRX and Holden Commodore SV6

The 2005 Falcon XR6 is the benchmark in a three-way comparison with Mitsubishi’s new do-or-die model and Holden’s dated sporty six.

2004 FPV F6 Typhoon v FPV GT v HSV Clubsport

Is Australia ready for a world where the V8 is not king? Wheels was ahead of the curve with this question …

2003 Ford Falcon FPV GT

Ford has fallen short of the Falcon GT legend since the early ’70s. Now, at last, there’s a car tough enough to try it on

2002 Ford BA Falcon wins Car of the Year

Ford’s history with the Wheels Car of the Year awards was always a bit up and down. But in 2002, it reached new heights

2001 Ford Falcon AU XR8 v Holden Commodore VX SS

Ford gives its XR8 a 220kW kick in the guts, then sets off in pursuit of the long-departed Commodore SS. It’s a wheelspinning wow of a drive

2000 Ford AU II Falcon

Ford's AU II re-think is a better car. But is it good enough to tackle Commodore?

1999 Ford AU Falcon: Tickford’s Special T

In 1999, a hot Ford arrived that Wheels could get excited about

1998 Ford AU Falcon launches

After a near-death experience, the Ford Falcon adopted New Edge design and IRS as part of a sixth-generation makeover.

1997 Ford EL Falcon GT: How it was built

The B to L of making a Ford GT by ANGUS MACKENZIE

1996 Ford EL Falcon review

Ford has pinched, pulled, fiddled and finessed the Falcon to the tune of $40 million, most of it spent underneath. TODD HALLENBECK is our man in...

1995 Ford EF II Falcon first drive review

At last, a tweaked chassis, more equipment and less noise makes Falcon the car it should have been from the start. Bob Hall gives EF II the thum...

1994 Ford EF Falcon XR6 review

Tickford’s performance Falcon is affordable, sticks like glue and, says a gleeful Bob Hall, goes like stink.

1993 Ford Falcon: Next-gen EF scoop!

Wheels snapped the hotly anticipated Ford EF Falcon before anyone else

1992 Ford EB II Falcon GT v Holden VP Commodore SS

After the Falcon XR8 nudged out the VN SS in August this year, the VP now carries Holden's hopes in the bent eight battle. And this time, as KEV...

1991 Ford Falcon EB review

The EB marks the make or break of Ford Australia. It's hardly hot-blooded in body or form, but ANGUS MacKENZIE and MIKE McCARTHY dig under the s...

1990 Ford Falcon EA II brings back the bent eight

Okay, so Ford realised the decision to kill off the V8 was a bad one. Here’s how they breathed new life into it.

1989 Ford Falcon EA Series II review

The big Ford at last gets the four-speed auto it needed. Other subtle changes help make the 1990 Falcon a much improved car.

1988 Ford Falcon EA 26 v Holden VN Commodore

Wheels took the two rivals and pounded them over a four-car total of 21,000km in our toughest-ever comparison. Trail boss Mike McCarthy gives th...

1987 Ford Falcon XF SVO

Plans for Dick Johnson's SVO - Special Vehicles Operation - call for building 500 distinctive Falcons. Not V8s, but high-output sixes with the e...

1986 Ford XF Falcon v Mitsubishi Magna v Holden Commodore

Was this the start of the decline for the big, rear-drive Aussie-made six-cylinder?

1985 Ford Falcon: 1988 EA 26 world scoop

In 1985, Wheels stunned Australian readers – and the world – with in-depth scoop on the EA Falcon three years before its launch.

1984 Ford Falcon XF launches

Ford shifts the Falcon into the era of electronic engine management.

1983 Ford Falcon coupe conversion

Just because Ford killed off the Falcon coupe doesn’t mean you weren’t able to buy one

1982 Ford Falcon 5.8 ESP v Holden Commodore SS Group Three

Commodore SS Group Three meets Falcon 5.8 ESP. Long live the bent eight!

1981 Ford Falcon XD v Chrysler CM Valiant

An outsider passes judgement on Australia’s Own – the Ford Falcon and the Chrysler Valiant.

1980 Ford Falcon XD 1/2 review

Out goes the Falcon’s iron head, and in swoops the Honda-built alloy one.

1979 Ford Falcon XD: The new era dawns

We finally get our Aussie designed and developed Ford Falcon.

1978 Ford XC Falcon goes back in time

Ford’s third-generation Falcon, the XC, provided Wheels with the perfect opportunity to reflect on the car’s 20-year evolution.

1977 Ford XC Falcon drives from Sydney to Perth

Sydney to Perth in 33 hours sounds much better as …Around the world in 13 days

1976 Ford Falcon XC reveal

Ford decided the task of meeting the new Australian anti-emission laws meant more than making engineering compromises, so it came up with two ne...

1975 Ford Falcon XC scoop

Ford’s upcoming XC Falcon had to deal with tough anti-pollution requirements. Turns out it didn’t need those bulky American-style bumpers, though.

1974 XB Ford Falcon GT review

Four wheel disc brakes and a headlight flasher . .. today's Falcon GT is more than ever a grand tourer.

1973 Ford Falcon 500 v Leyland P76 Deluxe v Holden Kingswood v Valiant Ranger

Here for the first time, WHEELS has the Four basic Australian six-cylinder cars - all priced around $3200-$3400 - to compare. lt's the biggest a...

1972 Ford Falcon XA review

With all the good points of the old car and a few new ones thrown in, Ford’s new one continues the “great road car” theme.

1971 Ford Falcon GT HO Phase 3 review

In 1971, Wheels gained an exclusive first drive of the car conceived by Ford to win Bathurst, the Ford Falcon GT HO Phase 3 – and using that now...

1970 XY Ford Falcon GT road test

Bill Bourke's GT Special goes into production to top the new range ...

1969 Ford Falcon 351 CID GT HO road test

First full test of Ford Motor Company's ultimate sixty-niner ...

1968 Ford Falcon XT GT review

A touch of hair-on-the-chest motoring in Australia's fastest production saloon

1967 Ford Falcon XR: 1966 Wheels Car of The Year

WHEELS magazine has, for the second year running, given its Car Of The Year award to the Ford Falcon

1966 Ford Falcon XR: The great leap forward

Ford's new XR Falcon has stolen a march on the opposition in the biggest possible way; we could be looking at the most influential new passenger...

1965 Ford Falcon XP: 70,000-mile marathon

In which the equivalent of 140 Armstrong 500s goes a very long way to demonstrating that there's a Falcon in Ford's future

1964 Ford Falcon XM review

Ford’s new challenger is at long last trim, taut and terrific. All this, however, may have come one model late

1963 Ford Falcon v Holden v Valiant v Freeway

I had an awful dream last night. I saw a Falcon on the Freeway and it was Holden its own with a Valiant.

1962 Ford Falcon XL Futura vs Holden EJ Premier

Here’s our comparison test of the two semi-luxury, status-seeking sedans that have set Australia agog

1961 Ford Falcon XK sales make waves

In spite of the gloom which settled over the motor trade just before the Falcon was released, the main result to date has been to expand the car...