- One-owner RPO 83 XA Ford Falcon
- Stored on farm outside Gympie, Qld since 1991
WE won’t call this a barn find, because Aussies have sheds, not barns. Nevertheless, this XA GT Falcon hardtop – currently up for auction at Grays – is a very special part of Aussie muscle car history.
For starters, it is one of 120 XA GT hardtops built to Regular Production Order 83 specs. Better known by the abbreviation of RPO 83, these Falcons were the lucky recipients of goodies intended for the doomed Phase IV GTHO.
This particular example is also said to be the only GT coupe to leave the factory decked out Sogo Port Wine duco, making it a genuinely unique beast.
But what really fires up my imagination is the story behind it and the condition it is in. Parked up in the early 1990s, the XA is a rolling time capsule.
Purists might blanch at the wide Sampson Engineering Magnum rims, BF Goodrich rubber, aftermarket tape deck, air horns and ‘GT’ gear knob, but I reckon it is cool to see what the original owners of these cars did with these cars when they they were much closer to new.
Like many of those who purchased RPO 83 GTs from new, Alan Sterland didn’t realise his GT was anything special at the time. “I didn’t know it was an RPO 83 when I bought it,” said Alan.
“We weren’t even looking for a car at the time. The dealership had a customer who’d ordered one, when he saw it he didn’t like it, so we got it at the right price.”
The XA was bought as a company car for Alan’s trucking firm: “Like typical company cars it was used, but it wasn’t abused. In its day it was definitely a performance car. You couldn’t do today what we did then!”
As road rules and the enforcement tightened, Alan decided to put the car off the road in 1991. “It got to the point that you could lose your licence in a weekend. That’s why years ago I deregistered it, just because I needed a licence. As fun as it is, you can’t drive it without a licence anyway.”
“I don’t think there’s any rust in it, if there is it’s just surface rust. It’ll be a shame to see it go, but if I can’t use it I can’t enjoy it and may as well move it onto somebody who’ll use it.”
A similar RPO 83 hardtop dubbed the ‘Chicken Coupe’ sold in July last year for $300,090. What will this one bring? We’ll have to wait until Tuesday to find out.