Eric Bana, is loved throughout his home country, Australia, for his roles on the big screen in Hollywood. Despite his acting success on the world stage, Eric and his family live where they feel most at home, Melbourne. It also home to where his life passion lives, his first car, first love.
The 1974 Ford Falcon XB is not just any car, its a car that Eric feels so spiritually and emotionally attached to“I’d wanted a Falcon Coupe ever since I saw the car win Bathurst, one of our big motor races here in Australia, in 1977. That race sparked a love of the Coupe for most Australian petrol heads.” Eric knew he had to get one as soon as he could afford and drive one, which he eventually did at 15. 30 years later, its the only car he’s ever cared about, and still owns. It’s a true romance that see’s no end.
“Eric, feels lucky to be alive and the Falcon is still being restored to this day”
Bana’s love for muscle cars evolved from watching Rally races as a kid, it was only a natural progression then, that he would later race in one. The Targa Rally in Tasmania, Eric says, is responsible for his car enthusiasm. Eric Bana is world famous actor but driving his teenage sweetheart in the Targa Rally was a dream come true. He and the Falcon or, The Beast, as it was nicknamed, raced in it twice, both in 1996 and 2007. The last race, saw him and The Beast lose control on a corner and into a tree. Eric, feels lucky to be alive and the Falcon is still being restored to this day in, ’Celebrity rehab’, as he says.
Since it was first introduced in 1973, it has been known as ‘The Great Australian Road Car’. Ford first introduced the Falcon series in 1960, the XB was part of the third generation. The whole series, which still are made today, have been very successful but the XB became very popular in Australia where it was produced. Part of this popularity was spawned from the XB’s role in the Aussie classic, ‘Mad Max’. The XB was the first car of the Falcon’s that looked very aggressive and muscly. The bonnet had cool looking scoops added and the bumpers, wheel arches, sills were painted black. The macho grand tourer never looked so good!
Ford Falcon XB features
One big addition to this series, was the XB being fitted with a power-assisted four-disc braking system, which was the first of its kind in Australia, emulating its European counterparts. Among other changes, were minor details under the hood, like changes to washers, nuts and minor materials. Also, the XB was fitted with power-steering which was much need upgrade in the series as older models were notorious for steering-wheel vibration and understeer. According to Falcon loyal’s though, it made all the difference, the XB additions made the Falcon more reliable and durable long-term.
The inside was very spacious and comfortable. The bucket seats are positioned perfectly giving the driver comfort and plenty of leg space. The visibility is good but depends on the size of the driver. This is because the windscreen is two inches shallower than pervious models, which can make it challenging to see past the long profile of the bonnet.
The Ford Falcon is an Australian classic, it is easy to see why it was so popular in the day. The XB had a style that was so cool, it was polarising. It somehow found a way to be aggressive yet laid-back. Either which way it is interpreted, the Falcon stole many hearts, including Aussie heartthrob, Eric Bana’s.