1 Sep 1966
Billed as the “Mustang-bred” Falcon, the handsome, long-nose, short-tailed XR model was the second generation big Ford, with longer and wider American styling remodelled significantly for local tastes.
You can spot the Fairmont from the Falcon by its unique square (instead of circular) indicator incorporated inside the XR’s round tail-lights. F-A-I-R-M-O-N-T was also spelled across the bootlid valance.
The roomier interior was also completely fresh and featured seatbelts as standard.
Again available in four-door sedan and wagon variants, the big Fairmont news was the availability of a 149kW/382Nm 4.7-litre/289cu OHV V8, along with a longer options list.
But as the carryover six-cylinder engines by and large remained the same, they had to work much harder to haul the heavier Falcon around.
Ford was awarded with another "Wheels Car of the Year" gong too, the Falcon’s last for 36 years.
All in all, 90,810 XRs were produced.
Years later a Ford boss of the time cited the XR as the “car that saved Ford” and “a turning point” for the Australian arm.