Ford Falcon (XK)
Ford Falcon Deluxe Sedan
|Production||1960 – 1962|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
2-door panel van
|Engine||2.4 L (144 cu in) Falcon Six I6
2.8 L (170 cu in) Falcon Six I6
2-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic
|Wheelbase||2,781 mm (109.5 in)|
|Length||4,602 mm (181.2 in)|
|Width||1,778 mm (70.0 in)|
|Height||1,384 mm (54.5 in)|
|Curb weight||1,103–1,130 kg (2,432–2,491 lb)|
|Successor||Ford XL Falcon|
The first Falcon sold in Australia was the XK series, which was introduced in September 1960. It was initially offered only as a four-door sedan, in both Falcon and Falcon Deluxe trim levels. The XK was essentially a right-hand drive version of the North American model, although local country dealers often included modifications such as heavy-duty rear suspension (five leaves) and larger 6.50 x 13 tyres. Front seat belts were optional.
The steering was light and the ride surprisingly good, on well-paved roads. Whereas the North American model used an 'economy' 3.10:1 rear axle ratio, the Australian Falcon was built with a 3.56:1 ratio which better complemented the torque characteristics of the engine. It had a 38 ft (12 m) turning circle.
The wagon, added to the range in November 1960, was shortened at the rear due to concern that the back of the car might scrape on rough roads and spoon drains.
Billed as being "Australian-with a world of difference", Falcon offered the first serious alternative to Holden, and became an instant success. Sales were aided by the contemporary FB series Holden being perceived as lacklustre and dated by comparison. Two engines were available; a 144 cu in (2,360 cc) Falcon Six inline-six, which produced 67 kW (90 hp; 91 PS) and an optional 170 cu in (2,786 cc) version of the Falcon Six, which produced 75 kW (101 hp; 102 PS). The Falcon was available with either a three-speed column shift manual transmission, or a two-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.
Although the engines were superior to the Holden FB's 138 cu in (2,261 cc) inline-six, which produced 56 kW (75 hp; 76 PS), and the Holden did not offer an automatic gearbox, the Falcon quickly gained a reputation for weak gearboxes and suspension components, and struggled to take much of Holden's marketshare. This was further compounded by the introduction of the new Holden EJ in July 1962.
The XK range was expanded in May 1961 with the addition of utility and panel van body styles, officially designated as Falcon Utility and Falcon Sedan Delivery, respectively. As with the wagons, these lacked the extended rear overhang of their American counterparts, and also used the four-door front doors rather than the longer two-door units used by the Ranchero and US sedan delivery. When production of the XK Falcon ended in August 1962, 68,413 units had been sold. The Falcon was also exported in small numbers to the various Empire colonies and Commonwealth nations.
- "1960 Ford Falcon Sedan 144 Six 3-speed (XK) (model since September 1960 for Australia ) specifications & performance data review". Automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 2014-12-19.
- Dusan Ristic-Petrovic. "File: Australia/1960 Ford Falcon/1960 Ford Falcon _Aus_-08". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "1960 Ford (Australia) XK Falcon Sedan performance data, specs & photo". Automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Dusan Ristic-Petrovic. "File: Australia/1960 Ford Falcon/1960 Ford Falcon _Aus_-07". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Ford Falcon (XK Falcon)". GoAuto.com.au.
- Bushby, A. C. (1989). The Australian Ford Falcon. A.C. Bushby. ISBN 0-7316-3621-X.
- "Aussie Ford now adds Cortinas to Falcon line". The Straits Times. 30 September 1963. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
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