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Ford Fairmont

XP Fairmont

Ford logo1 Mar 1965

By THE GOAUTO TEAM

Ford’s XP Fairmont sedan and wagon was a far more convincing challenger to Holden’s successful Premier than its Futura contender, which remained part of the Falcon range.

The Fairmont had little luxuries like front disc brakes, reclinable front bucket seats (from the Hardtop) and fancy trim.

It helped to boost the Falcon’s sagging image, along with Ford’s daring 70,000-mile (112,000km) non-stop endurance trial, a nine-day race where a bunch of XPs successfully averaged 70mph (112km/h) – all with a mesmerised Australia watching.

Holden’s HD turkey, released at the same time, also turned buyers in Ford’s direction.

Like the Falcon, the XP was the last of the XK-based cars. It is identifiable by a squarer nose, improved packaging (more legroom and boot space), better steering feel and ride, beefed-up body and an upgraded auto (now a three-speed unit).

It also scored a "Wheels Car of the Year" guernsey, although at that time the award was limited to Aussie-built cars.

Engines were carried over and 70,998 XPs were produced.

Ford models