A NEW issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine hits the shelves this week with a special Fordfeatured to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Falcon GT-HO, retrospectively nicknamed the ‘Phase I’.

The 1969-build Ford Falcon XW GT-HOon the cover played an important part in the development of the company’s factory race cars.

Although it never lined up on the grid in anger, the car was utilised at Ford Special Vehicles’ legendary Lot 6 headquarters on Mahoneys Road.

The Repco-Brabham sticker on the side window is a tell-tale of its unusual history, of which new details wereuncovered in the researching of the story.

Not that its place in Ford touring car racing history was obvious when it was found by its current owner.

“When I first saw it, it had a drop-sheet over it and stuff stacked on top,” he said.

“You couldn’t even see the car until you pulled it all off. I couldn’t believe that here was this GT-HO being used as a storage shelf.”

Along with the Repco GT-HO’s history, AMC issue #108 also chats to the odd couple of ’70s touring car racing – Captain Peter Janson and Larry Perkins – on how the pairing of two very different characters produced remarkable success at Mount Panorama, and features veteran racer and privateer car preparer Ron Gillard in its Muscle Man feature.

The issue also represents the end of an era for AMC. Issue #108 is the last for Luke West in the editor’s chair: after eight years and 55 issues, West is moving into an editor-at-large role while motorsport media veteran Steve Normoyle takes over the reins as editor.

Click HERE to buy Australian Muscle Car magazine issue #108.

V8 Sleuth strives to both preserve and celebrate Australian motorsport’s rich history, from tracking and tracing the race-by-race histories and changing ownership of individual cars, to capturing and retelling the stories of the people who made our sport what it is today.