A book that covers one of the most iconic cars in Australian motoring history – and traces every example ever built – is about to sell out, despite an eye-watering price of close to $300.
The historic book lists every 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III ever produced.
The mighty V8 dominated the Bathurst car races and was the fastest production sedan in the world at the time. History shows 300 were built, but fewer than 100 are believed to still exist, with the majority written-off, crashed, stolen or missing.
The 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III Register confirms the bonafides of each vehicle and traces their whereabouts to the modern day.
The first three limited edition examples of the book sold out within hours of going on sale on 1 January 2021 – despite costing between $351 and $995.
Now a final edition - dubbed the Blue Edition - which costs $275 (plus $24 postage and handling) is about to sell out. Once this edition is sold, the author says there will be no more.
The final soft-cover Blue Edition was added after complaints from hundreds of Ford fans who missed out on one of the original three editions. The author says a portion of the funds for all examples of the book will be donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne.
All four editions of the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III register are due to be produced and distributed in limited numbers later this year:
- QC Edition ($995, sold out): Hard cover. Only 25 individually-numbered copies printed. Certificate of authenticity personally signed by Ford factory race drivers Allan Moffat, Fred Gibson and John French.
- Gold Edition ($580, sold out): Hard cover. Only 25 individually numbered, faux leather-bound copies printed. Certificate of authenticity signed by Allan Moffat.
- Black Edition ($351, sold out): Hard cover. Only 300 individually numbered, faux leather-bound copies printed.
- Blue Edition ($275, available as this article was published): Soft cover. An undisclosed number will be printed. Orders will not be extended once orders are closed.
The content inside all four editions is the same, however the covers are different and some are numbered and autographed.
Copies of the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III register will also be available as a reference book at state and national libraries as an article of historic significance.
However, as with all reference books, copies of the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III register won’t be allowed to be removed from the libararies where they are being kept.
Automotive historian Ross Vasse spent 30 years sourcing Ford factory production records, police stolen car lists, and state registration data, to account for every one of the 300 examples of the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III.
It also covers the most money ever paid for a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III to date – $1.15 million plus auction fees in February 2021 (pictured in blue at the bottom of this story).
The book will include photos supplied by owners – and former owners – of their cars over the past 50 years, including in some cases from the day of showroom delivery when the vehicle was new.
There will also be an interview with the owner of the sole one-owner example, the owner of the lowest mileage car on record (13,000 miles), and a list of how many 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III sedans have been accounted for, written off, stolen, or missing.
The register also aims to dispel myths about a rumoured automatic Phase III GTHO, and traces the first and last examples built. Every one of the 300 vehicles is listed in chronological order, including their original factory specifications.
Mr Vasse says about 220 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III sedans are accounted for as “alive” (restored in pristine condition, or in original unrestored “survivor” condition), or listed as “dead” (written-off, or reported stolen and never recovered over the past 50 years).
The exact number of 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III sedans still in existence in 2021 – 50 years after the model was introduced – will be verified on publication because more information is coming to light after plans for the book were announced earlier this year. The author is in the final stages of compiling data ahead of the book going to print later this year.
While many books have been written on the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III – a vehicle which became famous for its Bathurst endurance race victories and for being the fastest and most powerful production sedan in the world at the time – the register promises to be the most detailed analysis yet of the breed.
Historian Ross Vasse said the Blue Edition was added reluctantly and only after being contacted by frustrated Ford fans who missed out on the original editions.
“This difficult decision was made after listening to the recommendations from owners of original GTHOs, and to collectors in different time zones, to the voice of Falcon GT Club members and … Ford fans,” said Mr Vasse. “With a limit of one book per person, pre-orders will only be accepted for a very short time before this title will no longer be available, ensuring these books will remain as rare as the car itself.”
When asked if further editions would be reprinted down the track, Mr Vasse said: “Not of the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III title, but I have something special on the way for XW GTHO Phase I and Phase II fans,” he said.
All copies of the 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III register are due to be distributed via secure mail from the end of November 2021.