An anonymous car collector from South Australia has paid $300,909 for an old, run-down 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 that had been left to rot in a chicken coop in rural Queensland for the past 32 years.
The barn find – dubbed the “Chicken Coupe” because of where it had been stored for most of its life – was sold in a Graysonline auction on Wednesday night.
The six-day auction was supposed to end at 7pm, but late offers from four rival bidders in the final minutes extended the sale until the hammer finally fell about 7:40pm.
Under Graysonline rules, rival bidders have up to 10 minutes to respond to a new offer, which is why the deadline kept getting extended.
Bids for the 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 coupe started at a nominal $9 when it went live at 5pm on Friday 24 July 2020, before climbing to $160,000 within the first 10 minutes, hitting $180,000 late on Friday night, $250,000 on Saturday morning, and reaching $300,000 on Sunday night.
Bids hovered a little over the $300,000 mark for three days until a late rally between rival parties on Wednesday night.
Organisers originally expected the vehicle might sell for $200,000, other experts said it would comfortably eclipse $150,000 and estimated another $100,000 would need to be spent on restoration.
A statement from Graysonline auction representative Rian Gaffy said: “I think it was a great result and I’m so glad the family chose Graysonline to sell the car. This shows that if someone has an old car, tucked away somewhere and covered in dust, it could actually be worth real money and we would encourage others with similar vehicles to come forward.”
The Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 is regarded by many collectors as even more rare than the mighty Ford Falcon GTs of the 1970s.
The car was created almost by accident – from high performance parts originally intended for the Ford Falcon GT Phase IV – to race at Bathurst.
However, plans for the Phase IV were scrapped after the vehicle was deemed by politicians and the media at the time to be too powerful for road use.
So Ford used the performance parts on a limited run of regular Falcon GT sedans and coupes – that turned out to be anything but ordinary.
Numbers vary, but historians estimate about 120 coupes and 139 sedans were built, for a total of 259. To comply with racing rules at the time, 250 examples of a car with the same modifications had to be built to be eligible for competition.
The model code RPO 83 stood for Regular Production Option. The cars got most of the Ford Falcon GT Phase IV performance parts, but not the recognition.
Our original story with more details is linked here.
Photo credit: Survivor Car. For more details on the vehicle that sold at auction, see the video below:
MORE: Old cars, big money