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Death of Aussie icon

Friday, 24th May, 2013

Barry Croft with his 1972 Ford Falcon 500 V8 that he inherited from his father. Ford has announced it will stop making the Falcon and Territory in October 2016. Barry Croft with his 1972 Ford Falcon 500 V8 that he inherited from his father. Ford has announced it will stop making the Falcon and Territory in October 2016.

By Craig Brealey

The news that motor company Ford was pulling out of Australia did not surprise Broken Hill Car Club member, Barry Croft, but it still stung.

“I’ve always been a Ford man,” said Mr Croft, who has owned seven Fords in his life - three of which he still has.

“My dad, Bill, was a Ford man. He was a mechanic in Tibooburra in the days of the Model-T and used to go to Adelaide and drive them back.

“He had the Rugby (motor company) agency but he used to work for the bloke who had the Ford agency and he did a lot of work on them.
“So it’s been a family thing.”

Announcing the end of local production in 2016 yesterday, Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said the Falcon nameplate would be “retired” along with the car.

The fact that the famous Ford Falcon would soon cease to exist was a bitter pill for Mr Croft who has had his late father’s 1972 Falcon 500 V8 fully restored.

“He bought it brand new in Mildura. It looked exactly like that,” he said.

“I take it to rallies, a couple of Birdswoods in Adelaide ...”

Mr Croft’s first Ford was an XP that he bought in 1955. He also owns a Fairlane from 2004 (the last year that they were made) and an old Escort that he is doing up.

“I’ve always had a good run out of Fords,” he said. “They are a very good car.”  Ford has been making cars in Australia for more than 50 years but the writing was on the wall, said Mr Croft.

“They almost went broke in America so they’re not going to worry about Australia when they’re struggling at home,” he said.

“It’s a shame for Australia but you couldn’t keep them going on workers’ tax money.”

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