The rarest Ford Falcon ever made in Australia, a 1972 V8 GTHO Phase IV - just one of only four produced and only three survive - has smashed auction records on the weekend when it sold for $2 million ($2.15m inc. buyer's premium).
While there were suggestions the car could go for as much as $3 million, the winning bid was just $100,000 off the record price paid for Brock’s HDT VH Commodore, which won back-to-back Bathurst 1000 races in 1982 and 1983. It became the most expensive Australian-made car ever sold when an anonymous buyer paid $2,257,500 (inc. BP) for it earlier this month.
The GTHO Phase IV was built as part of Ford’s plan for supremacy on Mt Panorama the year after Allan Moffat won the ’71 race in a Phase III. Just one road car and three Phase VI prototype race cars, designed for Moffat and co-driver Fred Gibson, were built.
But the car met its sudden demise in what became known as the “supercar scare” when it appeared on the front page of a Sunday paper under the headline “160mph ‘Super Cars’ Soon" and the then NSW transport minister called them “bullets on wheels”. Ford abandoned plans for the Phase VI.
Saturday's auction was the first time a Phase IV had come onto the market, and it was in original condition. Expectations were high in the wake of the Brock sale and a Falcon Phase III o
nce owned by fast bowler Jeff Thomson sold in June for more than $1 million.
Lloyds Auctions marketing officer Brett Mudie said he wasn't surprised by the price, even if it fell short of expectations.
“We were expecting it to smash the last record quite easily, with bidding already at $1.5 million 3 days before the auction," he said.
"The Phase IV’s limited number, immaculate condition, celebrity affiliation, along with its chrome bumper all contributed to the car selling at this price and will underpin its value into the future."
There were also three other Ford muscle cars up for auction on Saturday, but the hammer failed to fall on all of them. A 1971 Track Red car in original condition with 2,874 miles on the clock attracted bids to $900,000 before it was withdrawn, while another Phase III also in red following a restoration and colour change in the 1980s, with nearly 37,000 miles on the clock after life as a street car, when to $675,000 before it was pulled.
A Green 1970 Falcon GTHO Phase 2 got to $275,000 before being withdrawn.