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Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV establishes a new sale price record for an Australian-made road car

One of the most significant cars in Australian motoring history – a 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV, one of only four assembled – has purportedly sold for $1.75 million, setting a new sale price record for a locally-made road car.

While the cost has not been made public because the sale was handled privately by expert vehicle brokers Australian Muscle Car Sales – as opposed to by auction – the vehicle is accepted to have changed hands for $1.75 million, as indicated by individuals who know the mysterious Sydney purchaser.

Australian Muscle Car Sales declined to nominate an exact sale price, however, a proclamation said the vehicle sold for “just under $2 million” which is “believed this to be the highest … price ever paid for an Australian-made road car.”

The record price paid for an Australian-made road car was $1.15 million – for an immaculate 1971 Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III purchased at auction by an art collector in February 2021.

In 2018, a similar bright red 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV that has recently sold, went under the hammer in a Lloyds auction for $2 million – with a video showing racing legend Allan Moffat smacking down the hammer.

Anyway regardless of Lloyds auction announcing the vehicle was sold, the deal didn’t go through and the vehicle remained in the proprietor’s hands.

Australian Muscle Car Sales had been doing some routine maintenance on the 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV at their facility in Sydney when they were approached by an avid car collector to check whether he could purchase the sought-after vehicle.

The firm moved toward the proprietor of the 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV, Paul Carthew, who has had the vehicle for 20 years, tactfully arriving at a deal to sell the car in the recent months – however, the news was just unveiled over the weekend via social media.

Australian Muscle Car Sales director Mr. Chris Tzortzis, who was instrumental in expediting the deal, said in a media statement: “We have known of this car for many years, and with only 4698 miles from new, have always understood its unmatched provenance and significance as one of the best and most desirable Australian muscle cars in existence.”

The 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV is incredible because only three race cars and one road car were worked before the program was killed off by a “supercar scare” headline in the Sunday Sun-Herald in Sydney in June 1972.

The front-page news story cited government authorities who questioned the feeling of Australia assembling the world’s quickest cars at a price young drivers could manage – when road deaths were on the ascent.

Motor racing regulations in that period specified the vehicles on the track must be illustrative of vehicles in showrooms.

This prompted a series of high-powered, super-fast special editions being sold in showrooms, to deliver Ford and Holden a benefit on race tracks.

In any case, the plug was pulled on the 1972 Falcon GTHO Phase IV program after Ford immediately bowed to government pressure and newspaper headlines.

The replacement to the all-vanquishing 1971 Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III, the 1972 rendition of the road-going racing Falcon car was inherent secret by Ford in June 1972 for the forthcoming Bathurst race in October of that year.

In any case, when such vehicles were named “bullets on wheels” by newspapers in the midst of a rising road toll, each of the three Australian car manufacturers with motor racing programs – Ford, Holden, and Valiant Chrysler – deserted their plans in the midst of the apparent public pressure.

“It was a shattering moment for all three manufacturers,” said Tzortzis. “If they put their next Bathurst supercars on the road, they could expect to be shouted down as irresponsible, a danger to society, and see no more sales of any cars to the Australian Government.”

“So the … special hand-built 1972 Ford XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV prototype sedans were never given a chance to strut their stuff on a race track in anger,” said Tzortzis.

He said the cars were in “various stages of completion when the pin was suddenly pulled on their development.”

Australian Muscle Car Sales says this red example is “the only unrestored Phase IV remaining, and is an incredible time-warp example of originality from the era (with) original paint, original interior, it even wears its original factory tires on original Bathurst Globe wheels.”

While some of the photographs show the car with racing ‘stickers’ – and some without – the logos are in fact magnetic signs, so they can be handily shown or taken out.

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