Ford Falcon (EB)
|Ford Falcon (EB)|
Ford Fairmont (EB) sedan
|Also called||Ford Fairmont (EB)|
|Production||August 1991 – August 1993|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
|Related||Ford Fairlane (NC)
Ford LTD (DC)
|Engine||3.9 L Ford I6 (petrol; EB I)
4.0 L Ford I6 (petrol; EB II)<br /4.90 L Windsor V8 (petrol)
|Transmission||4-speed M85LE automatic (3.9 I6)
4-speed M91LE automatic (4.0 I6)
4-speed M95LE automatic (V8)
|Predecessor||Ford Falcon (EA)|
|Successor||Ford Falcon (ED)|
The Ford Falcon (EB) is a full-size car that was produced by Ford Australia from 1991 to 1993. It was the second iteration of the fifth generation of this Australian-made model and also included the Ford Fairmont (EB)—the luxury-oriented version of the Falcon.
Introduction and changes
Visually, the 1991 EB Falcon remained nearly identical to its predecessor, including carrying over the 3.9-litre Ford straight-six engine and four-speed M85LE automatic. The most noticeable changes were the transfer of the Ford emblem from the tip of the bonnet to the grille and a full-length applique bridging the gap between the tail lights, featuring reversing lamps on both sides of the rear number plate. Additionally, the C-pillars air vents were removed. The return of the V8 engine since its demise in the Ford Falcon (XE) of 1982 was welcomed by the motoring press, however, the 5.0-litre Windsor unit did not reappear in the utility variants until the "EF-shaped" XH series of 1996. The V8 was paired to the four-speed M95LE automatic transmission. There were also changes to the front suspension geometry, giving the EB a much better level of grip and steering feel. With the new model, Ford re-introduced the sports orientated GT specification level, an exclusive 250 unit run celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first original Falcon GT. The first XR6 and XR8 sports models appeared in the EB Series.
The model range of the first series on sale from August 1991 comprised the following variants:
- Fairmont Ghia
- S XR8
The revised Series II (EB II) model, appearing in showrooms in April 1992, saw the six-cylinder engine upsized by 35 cubic centimetres (from 3949 cc to 3984 cc). This brought the nominal total swept capacity to 4.0 litres. The automatic transmission was updated to the M91LE specification, and the electronics were also improved, and there were tweaks to the styling. The base model now had body-coloured bumpers, and the previously matte black plastic exterior door handles were now given a glossy finish. The update reportedly cost A$1 million.
Innovation became an evident strength in the EB II: anti-lock brakes became an option, a Falcon first, and in 1993, a lap sash centre rear seatbelt became standard. The EB also introduced the "Smartlock" security locking system. South Australian Police revealed the operational success of "Smartlock", by inviting four professional car thieves to steal either a Holden Calais (VN) or an EB specified with the locking system. The successful theft of the motor vehicle meant the thief could keep the vehicle indefinitely. The thieves made off with the VN in under 60 seconds, but gave up on the EB after four days' efforts. Therefore, the EB was classified unstealable. Foam-filled A-pillars also featured, which greatly increased crush protection and stiffened the frame, thus helping to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.
The rarest model was the SS, with just ten produced. The EB II SS was built to be successful under Group 3E Series Production Cars, five were absorbed immediately into production car racing. The forthcoming Tickford enhanced S XR6 replaced the role of the SS.
Note: GLi and Fairmont available with either 4.0-litre straight-six or 5.0-litre V8. S and S XR6 only available with 4.0-litre, and the S XR8 offered the 5.0-litre V8.
- Fairmont Ghia
- S XR6
- S XR8
XR and GT by Tickford
The EB Series II saw the first models from the joint venture between Ford and Tickford Vehicle Engineering (TVE). A new model was introduced, the S XR6, featuring Tickford enhancements to the engine and suspension. Similarly, the S XR8 was improved over the existing Series I S XR8. TVE re-introduced the sports orientated 25th anniversary EB Falcon GT specification level, an exclusive 250 unit run celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first original Falcon GT.
The Falcon (EB) SS was raced in the 1993 Australian Production Car Championship, with Mal Rose claiming a Championship win, after finishing 1st 4 times out of 6 rounds.
Marking the return of the Falcon to top level touring car racing for the first time since 1984, the Group A 5.0-litre touring car specification EB Falcon saw impressive success in the 1993 Australian Touring Car Championship. This was the first season run under the new Group 3A rules, with the EB winning seven out of nine rounds. Glenn Seton Racing carried the bulk of success, with drivers Glenn Seton and 1980 World Drivers Champion Alan Jones finishing first and second respectively. The Dick Johnson Racing Falcon's driven by John Bowe and Dick Johnson managed to score third and fifth.
The Seton teams second EB Falcon driven by Geoff Brabham and David Parsons won the 1993 Sandown 500 (the first Falcon to win the Sandown endurance race since Allan Moffat in an XB Falcon GT hardtop in 1974), though a mid-year aerodynamic package given to the Holden Commodore (VP)'s saw the Falcons not as competitive at Bathurst. The Falcon received its own upgrade in 1994 with the addition of small wings on the side of the front air dam which brought it back into contention. This allowed the DJR Falcon driven by Dick Johnson and John Bowe to win both the 1994 Sandown 500 and the 1994 Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst. This was the Falcon's first Bathurst win since Johnson and John French won the crash shortened 1981 race in an XD Falcon and the Falcon's 9th Phillip Island/Bathurst win overall.
- Ford Falcon (XF) – Utility pickup and panel van of the Falcon line running concurrently with the EB series of sedans and wagons
- "EB Falcon (1991–1993)". Falcon Facts. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Warner, Gary. "Falcon GT – style and substance (if you can find one)". FastLane. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
- "Ford Falcon EB". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Oastler, Mark (9 November 2015). "Falcon EB SS: Is this Ford Australia's rarest factory race car?". Shannons. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- Warner, Gary. "Falcon GT - style and substance (if you can find one)". FastLane. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
Ford Australia automobile timeline, 1980s–present
|Full-size||Falcon / Fairmont||Falcon / Fairmont||Falcon / Fairmont||Falcon / G Series|
|Fairlane / LTD||Fairlane / LTD||Fairlane / LTD|
|Falcon Ute||Falcon Ute||Falcon Ute|