The Fairmont GT was built in Australian & assembled in South African, that’s what makes these cars so unique. These cars are the genuine GT,s and the Ford XR-XY parts book has numerous references to parts listed as 54H, for South African only. The Australian XW/XY Falcon GT was made on the Fairmont production line.
The American Falcon was introduced in SA in 1960 and quietly discontinued in +-1963. Until 1969 certain American style Fords were sourced by Ford South Africa as CKD (Complete Knock down Form) from Canada. In 1969 there was a switch to Australia as a source of American style cars for Ford SA and the Australian Falcon was introduced with the previously unknown Fairmont name. The American style Galaxies were replaced with Australian Fords badge as Fairlane’s. The XT 6-cylinder Australian Falcon with round tail lights was the first to appear, followed by the XW about a year later.
The reason why they were called Fairmont GT’ was the imported XK Falcons from Canada in 1960-1962 had a bad reputation for reliability that they called all our Falcon derived cars Fairmont’s for sedan and Ranchero for utes (South African bakkie). This was so they wouldn’t be associated with the US Falcons of ’60-’62. With the Sales & Racing success in Australia, Ford of South Africa knew the Fairmont GT would sell like hot cakes.
The compliance plate is similar to that seen on the 69 and earlier GT’s. A small plate on the radiator support panel. There are 2 plates fitted from the factory. The 2nd plate is located under the drivers seat OR the passenger seat. Unable to confirm the reason for the plate being on different sides. The 2nd plate does state the the car is a GT, as can be seen in the below pics.
Note the 2 plates below are from 2 different vehicles.
The SIDO code is the Ford Dealer that sold the car new
The Fairmont GT was built in Australian & assembled in South African that’s what makes these cars so unique. These cars are the genuine article and if you have access to a XR-XY parts book you will see numerous references to parts listed for 54H South African Only. The Australian XW/XY Falcon GT was made on the Fairmont production line, so they are really a Fairmont as well, though Falcon GT does sound better.
There are two recorded reasons the GT’s were badge Fairmont GT in South Africa
The baselines for the export cars are set out by the Australian Ford parts manual as variances to the standard XW/XY 54H model specifications. Each amendment to the Australia model is defined by a “South Africa 54H” designation on each part listing. Refer to Appendix B – Part books details for the complete part variance details for XW and XY GT.
The vast majority of parts are identical to the Australian GT specifications for 54H including body shell, suspension, bonnet and air scoops, grille, spotlights and badge, differential, drivers mirror, dual exhaust, external boot trims and blackouts
The variances in Australian parts set out in the Ford Parts book can be summarised as:
ALL SA 54H