Australia implemented the metric system in August, 1974 which was into the XB model Falcon. All previous model Falcons, including all of the XAs, had speedometers that read only mph as seen below.

With the introduction of the XB model, a decision was taken to fit dual scale speedometers with the mph reading still dominant, but with an inside reading in smaller yellow letters showing kph.

As the metric introduction was August, effective from July, 1974, Ford began building their cars with speedometers that only read in kph.

All well and good, except, there were some other subtle differences.

XA GTs featured a 140mph speedometer.

And, in a carry over from the XW and XY’s, some XA GT’s had 8,000rpm tachometers.

But, as below, the gauges were completely different in style and markings on the XW-XY.

Most XA GT’s had 7,000rpm tachometers.

And non-GT, and non-GS, cars had a 120mph speedometer.

And a 6,000rpm tachometer. In this case from a six cylinder car.

Or the slightly differently red-lined V8 6000rpm tachometer.

And in the metric changeover period the speedometer switched to dual scale markings.

And the tachometer and auxillary gauges were replaced with something much simpler.

In the metric switch over period, the stock dash had the dual scale speedometer as shown below.

But, with the full switch to metrification, the stock speedometer read to 200kph.

And the GT and GS read to 240kph.

It is worth noting that XC Falcons, including GXLs and Cobras which had the ‘sports instrumentation’ had a metric speedometer that only read up to 220kph.

It is also worth noting that, as befitted its more luxurious status in the Ford range, the LTD and LTD Landau’s came with a 140mph speedometer which also, in its early versions, had a dual scale.

It also had, as you can see, a trip meter.

As ever with information like this, I would like to thank the Falcon GT Club of Australia and its members for their help and encouragement.

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Oddities and Strangeness

Consider this dash above, from an August, 1975 John Goss Special. Note that it has the metric speedometer, and that it has the classic XB gauge needles, aligned //// when the engine is off. Note also though it has a Cold-Hot temperature gauge, only marked with the letters ‘C’ and ‘H’.

But have a look at the following dash from an early - pre July 1974 - XB GT. You can see it has the dual mph/kmph speedometer, but it also has a temp gauge with numerals indicating degrees C.

A numeralled temperatue gauge does seem to be rare, and if you consider the photos at the top of the page featuring XAs and XBs, it does not seem to have been a common fitment to either model, nor an XA carryover to this particular car.

Note also, in the photo of the JGS dash above that it has the metric oil pressure gauge, reading from 0 to 700 kPa. Earlier, non metric cars had an oil pressure gauge that read, 0-50-100 psi, as shown below.

But, the plot thickens - taking into account all of the above in this page, consider these two dashes, including a full image of the auxilliary gauges immediately above.

It is a 1974 XB GT with the combined kph/mph speedometer, but an Imperial psi oil pressure gauge. Must have been a car built before the introduction of the 0-700kPa metric oil pressure gauge as seen on the JGS dash above, and enlarged below.

The mid 1974 period seems to have been one of some confusion on the production line regarding metricification, as there are June and July, 1974 cars with metric only speedos, yet imperial oil pressure gauges, but also July, 1974 cars with the dual mph/kph speedo and imperial oil pressure gauges. The metric oil gauge appears to have become the fitted gauge by late 1974, and is default in 1975 cars.

Interestingly here, below, is an XA GT with a metric oil pressure gauge that reads 0-3.5-7 kPa x 100 - but has an XA mph only speedometer. A strange mix.

I guess we should be grateful that volts are volts, and F is Full, no matter what the scale or system used.

Yet another strange guage has shown up. An oil pressure gauge that reads 0-40-80 psi.

Thanks to Donny for that photo, and also for the one below of an RPO XA that has strange speedo and tacho gauges with ‘increments’.

During the metric changeover period, various overlays were sold to allow folk to convert their speedometers. This is an overlay fitted to an XA.

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The Interceptor speedo

This is the instrument cluster from a police specification - commonly known as an ‘interceptor’ in Australia - XB.

You can see that the car lacks the extra guages along the top of the two deep instrument binnacles, but, if you compare the actual speeodmeter with that of the metric only speedometer shown earlier, you can see that there is an important difference.

My apologies that the photos does not enlarge too well, but it is just good enough to show that the police specification speedometer has many more gradations separating the scale. These are, in fact, set at every 2kph and were no doubt used to help the police calculate as accurately as possible the speed of their own car and any other that they were pacing.

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Heater facia plates

It was pointed out to us by Drew, a Falcon GT Club member, who owns the yellow XB GT featured here on this site, that there is also a subtle difference between the heater plates of XA and very early XBs, and later XBs.

Note that, both the XA

And the early XBs have black and white heater panels, black panels with white lettering.

Close up of the XA heater control panel.

And with optional air conditioning.

But later XBs had blue, white and red sections.

Heater only.

With air conditioning.

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