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Mustang vs Camaro, WRX vs Evo, BMW-M vs Mercedes-AMG. These are among the fiercest automotive rivalries out there, but there’s one more which I think should be added to the list. Ford Falcon vs Holden Commodore. But if you’re not an Australian or New Zealander, you may not be familiar with these two cars.
While the North American Falcon was discontinued in 1970, the Australian Falcon was produced from 1960 all the way to 2016 over seven generations of unique Australian designs, making it one of the longest continuous vehicle nameplates in history.
The Holden Commodore was GM’s answer to the Falcon, a full-size sedan designed for the Australian market. It was produced from 1978 to 2017 over five generations.
They were rivals both on the street and on the track, and nothing encapsulated that more than the V8 Supercars series. It was the next evolution of Group A Touring Cars of the 1980’s, and was centred around V8 Falcons and Commodores competing for the championship. Now that production has ended for locally produced Falcons and Commodores, they have been replaced with imported models. But the V8 Supercars did provide us with one cool Hot Wheels, the ‘Ford Falcon Race Car’.
It was an unexpected addition to the lineup in 2012, two years after the other Australian Falcon, the XB. Designer Kevin Cao recalled “I remember it was hard to find reference on it because we didn’t have the race state-side, so we had to go by photos we found online. My favorite part is the rollcage, I really wanted it to look accurate to the actual car. I think it shows up really well in contrasting color.”
It’s debut was in the 2012 New Models Series in blue. It’s livery is based on the real-life ‘FG01’, the prototype and first FG body-style Falcon built by Ford Performance Racing as part of the homologation of the FG Falcon for V8 Supercars.
The 2012 New Model version came out in two colour-ways (Blue & White) and each colour came with a variation. The Blue version could be found with either a grey or blue Hot Wheels logo on the front door. And the white version could be found with 10 Spoke or Lace Wheels.
In 2013, it was released in the hard-to-find final mix of Team Hot Wheels: High Speed Wheels. Much like other infamous final mixes, like Garage, Vintage Racing and Boulevard, the final mix of ‘HSW’ appeared in some unusual places. To my knowledge, these were only found in Mexico, The Netherlands and Germany.
Also that year, the Ford Falcon Race Car saw two distinct releases as Multi-Pack Exclusives. These Multi-Pack exclusives recycled the Tampo scheme from the 2012 New Models release. The satin grey version was released first and is designer Kevin Cao’s personal favourite of the casting.
Next, it came out in black which was manufactured in both Malaysia and Thailand. Malaysian versions had white 10-Spoke wheels and a solid blue Ford logo on the side. Versions with the Thailand base had Chrome 10-Spoke wheels and a Ford logo with a gradient blue background.
Two years later in 2015 it was a Multi-Pack exclusive again. This time in dark red. Again it used the New Models Tampo scheme, and like the black version, this too was manufactured in both Malaysia and Thailand. Differences between the two included the Ford logo variation like before, and a slight colour shade difference.
After a short hiatus, it appeared in the 2017 Racing Circuit series. Each car in this 10 car series was adorned with the iconic Hot Wheels Race Team livery, although not all were painted in the trademark ‘Race Team Blue’. The Falcon was finished in a light metallic silver which added a contrast to bright yellow Hot Wheels logos.
The Ford Falcon Race Car’s most recent release was in the basic Forza Motorsport Series from 2017 as the ‘chase’. It’s livery is based on the car driven by former NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose for Team DJR Penske. Only packaged one per case, this release did not stay hanging on the pegs for too long, especially in Australia.
Also, it is worth noting that the Ford Falcon Race Car can be found with the mesh vs smooth grille variation, similar to that of the Datsun 510 Wagon. It appears that the original tooling for the 2012 New Models (Malaysia) used the meshed grille, then all subsequent Malaysia manufactured cars were converted to the smooth grille, while all Thailand cars use the mesh grille casting.
So there you have it! Every variation of the Ford Falcon Race Car. We didn’t see it in 2018, but will we see it in 2019? Only time will tell, but I sure hope we do.