Ford managment brought in some new blood in an effort to get the Ford Falcon back on track. For starters, Wallace Booth replaced John Mclntyre as managing director in mid-1963. A finance man, Booth was reportedly sent to Australia to "straighten things out," the chiefs in Dearborn clearly not happy with the profit performance of their Australian subsidiary. Along with Booth came a new marketing director, Bill Bourke. Between them they established a new era for openness with the media and created some marketing ideas and promotions that were considered radical at the time.
Soon to follow was a new Falcon, the XM, released in February 1964. Its marketing slogan, "With Certified Gold Quality," suggested Ford was still sensitive about the car's reputation. The XM showed the first fruits of the efforts by Ford Australia engineers to build a car capable of conquering the harsh local conditions.
It also had more local styling input because the 1964 Australian Falcon did not follow the look of the restyled 1964 U.S. Falcon. The Australian variant retained most of the existing outer skin panels of the 1960-1963 American version. The most obvious styling change from the XL was at the rear where the taillights were increased in diameter and mounted higher. This necessitated a new concave rear panel and new rear quarter panels.
There was a bold new grille with a broad chromed surround, deeper bumpers front and rear, and a repositioned body-side spear. Inside, the instrument binnacle was restyled and there was a new range of upholstery trims and colors.
Mechanically the big news was the availability of a 200-cid "Super Pursuit" six-cylinder engine that produced 121 bhp at 4,400 rpm and was able to push the Falcon to just over 90 mph. Now with three engines on offer, Ford used colors to outwardly identify each: 144-cube engines had their rocker cover and air cleaner painted light green, 170 Pursuit engines were painted red, and 200 Super Pursuits were yellow.
Both the 170's and 200's air cleaners also wore identifying decals. Exterior badges -- a stylized falcon in flight with checkered flags for wings -- showed the engine capacity on a blue background for the Pursuit 170 engine and a red background for automobiles equipped with the Super Pursuit 200 engine.
Read about how the additions to the 1964 Ford Falcon gave the car some much-needed new flavor on the next page.
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