Random # 89: Ford XD Fairmont
The XD Falcon and Fairmont range was produced by Ford Australia from 1979 to 1982. This particular example, the more up-market Fairmont model, bears a Transport Tasmania rego label showing a build date of 1979, making the car 37 years old. It's in very good nick for a car of that age.
Like the XA, XB and XC series that proceeded it, the XD was an all-Australian design that departed from the earlier Falcons, Fairmonts and Fairlanes that took their engineering and styling from America. However, there were some stylistic similarities - Ford's 'global face' - that linked them to other vehicles from that maker - the British Granada being one example (please see below).
|This British Granada does not share mechanicals or body panels with Australia's XD Falcon range. However, there are sufficient similarities in styling to demonstrate Ford's more homogeneous 'global' look (internet image).|
The XD continued Ford Australia's run of 3.3 and 4.1 litre (200 and 250 ci, respectively) straight six cylinder engines, as fitted to the XA - XB versions, but with the same cross-flow head that was introduced for the XC model. The heads were upgraded from cast iron to alloy in 1980. There were 4.9 (302 ci) and 5.8 (351 ci) litre V8s available, too.
Three-speed column change and floor mounted four-speed manual gearboxes were available. All automatic versions were three speeders, with the only difference being that they could be either column-shifts or 'T' bars incorporated into a centre console.
The XD was the last Falcon sedan to have a leaf-sprung rear end, with all subsequent versions (XE and later) featuring coils. The station wagon, van and ute variants of the Falcon did, however, continue to use leaf springs well into the 2000s.
The basic XD shape continued through to the XE and XF sedans and station wagons, with fairly minor cosmetic changes, after which it was replaced by the EA series of Falcons and Fairmonts. However, the XF did continue in van and ute forms, being manufactured in parallel to EA sedans and station wagons, as there were no commercial variants in that newer line-up.
The XD - XF range has less of a following than the versions that preceded them, possibly because there was no GT option in the line-up. There was, however, an S-Pack (sports pack) and an ESP version - standing for European Sports Pack - but neither had the cachet of the earlier GTs. Worse still, the XF didn't have a V8 option which must have wounded the cars' reputation significantly!
|FairFord was a north-western Tasmanian Ford dealership, based in the city of Burnie.|
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All iPhone images.