Ford NZ will hang on to the first and last of 50 Ford Falcon GT-F sedans it will get from the final production run of 550 – but only for a short time.
Car number 001 will be used as a demonstration model before being sold through the Ford dealer network; car 050 (with number plate GT-F50) will go to auction, the proceeds going to the children’s charity Variety, a long-time Ford NZ beneficiary.
“We are working on the details of the auction – the dates and so on – at the moment and I expect to have them finalised in a week or so,” said Ford NZ communications manager Tom Clancy.
New Zealand build numbers 002 through to 049 have already been sold through Ford dealers, snapped up at NZ$99,315 a piece – even before they were unveiled. (One reportedly sold for NZ$120,000 on TradeMe last week).
“They were sold shortly after the announcement (that the GT-F would be built),” said Clancy. “There has been such demand that we have had calls from Australia trying to get one of ours.”
Ford Australia will build 550 GT-F sedans – 500 for Australia, 50 for NZ. The Australian batch has also been sold, again within 24 hours of Ford listing it at A$77,990 and before it had been unveiled.
Two of the Australian cars were sold at a charity auction on website eBay on Sunday night. Car number 001 was knocked down to a West Australian bidder for A$157,600 (twice its retail price of A$77,990) and number 500 went to a Victorian for A$236,100 (three times). The combined A$393,700 goes to Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation to whom Ford has donated A$1.2 million over the past 10 years.
The winner of car 001 – blue with black stripes – gets a sedan that has already been used for media reviews across the ditch. The winner of car 500 will be able to choose the colour – because the car is yet to be built.
Cars 001 and 500 might have attracted all the bidding but build number 351 has created most interest. It’s a reference both to the engine size in cubic inches of the Falcon GTHO V8s of the 1970s and the 351kW of power the GT-F’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 will deliver. Car 351 will go to a Queensland customer after his local dealer drew the number out of a ballot.
Ford dealers on both sides of the Tasman have said they could have sold many more than the limited run of 550 GT-F sedans, but it is understood Ford HQ wanted to keep the car exclusive to retain its collectability.
One of the most collectable go-fast models is the 1971 race-ready Ford Falcon GTHO, of which only 300 were made. They cost A$5350 when new. Fast forward 36 years to June 2007 when a Sydney collector paid A$750,000 for a mint original. Soon after came the Global Financial Crisis – these days the same car might only be worth half that, say car valuers.
The 550 Ford Falcon GT-F sedans will come with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The cars have been built both to salute Australia’s muscle car era of the late 1960s and early ‘70s and farewell Ford in 2016 as a manufacturer from the Australian landscape.