With Ford Australia set to cease local production on October 7, the Broadmeadows factory has had an early send-off for one of the Falcon-family, with the last Falcon ute built on Friday July 29.
Without a farewell edition of any kind, or any real fanfare, Ford quietly farewelled the falcon ute privately amongst its staff.
Images presented on social media show the last Falcon ute to be a white XR6, and the vehicle will remain in Ford’s historic vehicle collection, to be joined by the final Falcon sedan and Territory SUV, scheduled to be built on October 7.
The Falcon ute story began in May 1961, with the Falcon Utility introduced to sit alongside the then still-new XK Falcon sedan and wagon.
The second-generation XR Falcon of 1966 saw a V8 engine introduced to the range, available on every model.
By 1972 the American-based Falcon was phased out, with Ford Australia conceiving an original design for the third generation XA Falcon range. Utes and panel vans adopted the longer doors from the Falcon Hardtop (coupe) range.
The XD Falcon of 1979 heralded the fourth ‘new Falcon’ design, but little did Ford know at the time, this model, steadily updated over time would carry the ute range through until 1999.
Ford brought the Falcon ute back into sync with sedan models with the AU utility of 1999, which also introduced a cab-chassis model for the first time in Falcon history, opening the Falcon ute up to a range of aftermarket trays and applications that it hadn’t been considered for before.
BA, FG and FG X utes also followed the sedan range as Ford introduced the successive updates, with the BA introducing both the sporty XR6 Turbo and the RTV, a version with a raised ride height, underbody protection, and a locking rear differential.
But, with the final XR6 coming off the Broadmeadows production line last Friday, 55 years of Falcon Utility series production comes to an end. As Ford shuts down Production entirely on October 7, so too Holden will cease local Cruze manufacturing.
Both Holden and Toyota will continue local production in 2017, before large-scale vehicle manufacturing comes to an end entirely.
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