Ford made the unfortunate but not unexpected decision last night to shutter its Australian manufacturing operations. A by-product of the announcement is the death of a great Australian motor car: the Ford Falcon. This iconic car has quite a history in Australia, but does that make the car an instant classic? Should you buy one now to profit from it in future?
Just because the Ford Falcon brand is dead, doesn't mean that its name will be etched into some hall of fame somewhere, making each model of the car instantly more valuable. This might mean that the old Falcons will get a small bump in value, but the newer models simply trade on a legendary name, rather than being legendary cars in their own right.
Car brands are retired all the time, and many — whether from Ford or otherwise — simply pass out of memory (as they should).
Remember the old V6 sedan that was the Ford Cougar? Or the 1980's funmobile that was the Lotus Elan or the frankly ghastly Holden Camira? All cars that were discontinued and rightly forgotten about.
Iconic cars often get their significance from events they are involved in. Cars like the Lancia Beta for example represent world rally excellence from a bygone era, whereas a classic car like the Aston Martin DB7 holds its value largely because of its inclusion in the James Bond franchise as the car for the successful gentleman.
The Ford Falcon only really ever held an iconic historical significance to the people who trundled up Mount Panorama every year to bury beers in anticipation for the Bathurst 1000 race. That's the type of person who is going to buy and maintain a Ford Falcon, and it's a very slim market.
You should certainly buy an old Falcon for the love of the car, but not as an investment. Save your money and buy something a little more iconic if that's your game.
Picture: Ben Didier