The Falcon may have won the last Armstrong 500 held at Phillip Island in 1962, but it wasn't until the V8-powered Falcon XR GT conquered Mount Panorama that the Falcon entered Australian motorsport folklore.
V8X Supercar Magazine issue #92 reflects on the Falcon and Holden Commodore legacy, from their origins, on and off track battles, the greatest models and drivers and a look ahead to what will be the final generation to be part of this rivalry.
V8X Supercar Magazine issue #92 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #92.
Falcon was already a name with winning credentials in the Great Race when the new XR GT model fronted up to 1967's Gallaher 500 at Bathurst.
Harry Firth and Bob Jane, after all, had won the Armstrong 500, the precursor to the Bathurst event, in an XL Falcon in 1962. But that was an age ago... a deed done with a different Falcon, a full generation older, with six-cylinder engine, not a V8, on a different track.
Touring cars had moved on and small, quick four-cylinders were the winning ticket. Ford's Cortina GTs and GT500s had cleaned up the first three 500s at Bathurst (1963, 1964 and 1965), then the Mini Cooper S in 1966.
And a big V8 was a leap of faith. Sure, there was this new V8 Falcon – then the fastest, most exciting car ever foisted on buyers by an Australian carmaker – but also the memory of big barges like the Studebaker Lark.
They'd torn smaller cars to pieces up Mountain Straight with their bountiful torque, even led the race, but always self-destructed with tyre, brake and fuel-economy issues before the finishing flag was ever near being unfurled.
By the end of that weekend, however, a new era had dawned and the Falcon badge would soon be an Australian institution for racers, petrolheads and everyday car buyers alike.
CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #92 to read the full feature on the origins of the Falcon and so much more.
CLICK HERE for the Falcon's Bathurst and championship winners.