1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 heads to auction

Aussies revheads have a chance to own a piece of Australian motoring history.

Another 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO is headed to auction just weeks after a chicken wire-wrapped, rust and rat dropping filled example sold at auction for more than $300,000.

And in a good sign for the owner this version is in a much better condition and is expected to fetch about $500,000. The current bid is at $160,000 with more than two days left on the Lloyds online auction.

The 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT has become a cult car after the notorious “supercar scare” of the early 1970s.

As the story goes, back in the early 1970s Ford, Holden and Chrysler were forced to scrap plans for faster muscle cars to compete at Bathurst after a political uproar caused by a newspaper article.

Then NSW transport minister Milton Morris told the newspaper he was horrified at plans for the big three to build sedans capable of 160mph (roughly 260km/h), calling the cars “bullets on wheels”.

Ford had already built four “Phase IV” GT HO Falcons but, fearful of the political backlash, the company scrapped the program in 1972.

The next year, though, it offered a run of 130 RPO (regular production option) 83 sedans that came with many of the modified parts left over from the Phase IV program.

Lloyds Auctions’ executive Mr Lee Hames says this is one reason why these cars are breaking records.

“If you look at the number of records broken over the last couple years you can definitely see a trend in demand for a secure yet enjoyable investment. Cars in original condition, with chrome bumpers, celebrity affiliation or prominent history or rarity seem to be the assets that are rising in value the most consistently,” says Mr Hames.

“Because this car is connected to the iconic GT Phase IV Falcon where only 4 were ever built, the RPO83 is becoming more sought after by collectors”.

This example was built in a one-of-a-kind specification and one of only 11 coated in Wild Violet paint.

It has had only five owners — with one storing it for 18 years unregistered and unused — and it has just a tick over 91,000 miles (146,450km) on the odometer.

The record price paid for an Aussie-built car was more than $1m set by 1972 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III once owned by legendary Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson sold at auction in 2018.

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