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EA Falcon / Fairmont Ghia 1988-1991
The EA Falcon showed that Australian car designers could do anything. One by one other car makers had either closed down or, like Holden, had taken to revising overseas models instead of designing exclusively Australian models. Ford was the only remaining local designer/manufacturer. The EA shared a few components with the XF, mainly in the floor pan, but was virtually all new.
The body was far sleeker than any Ford before. It was also more spacious than ever before and offered smooth, refined travel. The six-cylinder engines were so heavily revised as to be almost new designs. An overhead camshaft was used for the first time and all versions of the engine were fuel injected, though in some cases it was a rather simple system using single-point injection. The rear suspension design was carried over from the XF’s Watts linkage layout, but the front suspension was redesigned.
Ford had intended to fit a four-speed automatic since day one of the EA Falcon, but the transmission simply wasn’t ready in time. When the four-speed did come on line in October 1989, Ford introduced the EA Series II to mark the occasion. The car can be identified by the body coloured B-pillar. The EA Series II had slightly firmer suspension than the original EA and there were minor changes to the interior.
The EA had far sleeker lines than the XF which makes it look smaller than that model when actually it is larger in most dimensions, particularly the interior. Performance, handling and interior comfort were all far better than the previous XF model.
The Falcon S was introduced, which had firmer suspension, a lower ride height, sports instrumentation and unique interior trim. The price leader in the EA Falcon range was the GL, but its equipment levels were higher than some upmarket Falcons of the early days. The up market EA Fairmont Ghia came standard with the most powerful engine in the range – the multi-point 3.9-litre unit. It also had ‘turbine-blade’ alloy wheels, a limited slip differential, cloth seats with velour insets and full instrumentation.
A special 30th Anniversary Falcon was released in October 1989. It had new side badges and deeper body protection strips. Biggest news was out of sight, a much improved security system with Tibbe locks, these and other changes made the Falcon one of the world’s most secure cars.