Scoops and vents

Scoops and Vents

When it came to their sporting musclecar GTs, Ford were not averse to employing a little style and aggression to intimidate their opposition on the streets, and their owners behind the wheel. While the original XR GT and it’s successor, the XT GT, were subtle makeovers of the cars they were based on, when Ford upped the ante by going to a 351ci V8 engine, and gave the cars a bolder, more broad shouldered appearance, they used scoops and vents to distinguish the later GTs.


The XW scoop is a strange affair as it was functional, but not quite for the purpose one would expect.

The scoop was offset to sit in front of the driver, not to feed air to the engine, but to feed air via a metal duct to cool the brake master cylinder. A rather unique but debatable attempt to acknowledge and cure the problem of brake fade.

Note also that the XW bonnet has pin style bonnet lockdowns.


The underside of the XW scoop, showing the open slot, and its relationship with the brake master cylinder and servo.


The XY GT was, is and always will be known and recognised by it’s nickname, the Shaker. Borrowed from the 1969 and 1970 Mustangs, and 1970 and 1971 Torinos from Ford U.S.A. the XY shaker was mounted on top of the engine air cleaner. Under normal driving, the engine still used the usual snorkel inlet to the air cleaner under the bonnet, but exposed to full throttle, and operated by vacumn, the shaker suddenly opened up and sucked in as much cool air through its open mouth as it could. Visually, it poked through the open hole in the bonnet. And why was it known as the Shaker ? Because, at idle, it shaked, moving about with the quivering engine beneath the flat expanse of the bonnet.

The shaker attached to the aircleaner.

Note the ‘belled’ end to the air cleaner nozzle and the water drain tube leading down from the shaker on the right.

I mentioned above that the engine used the snorkel intake until the throttle was opened. This was the case with the ‘normal’ XY GT.

With the GTHO Phase3’s, things were slightly different.

Ford removed the snorkel and fitted a blanking panel, and let the 780cfm Holley carburettor take its air continuously through the Shaker.

As an aside, note the sticker on the front of the rocker cover reading ‘CK608A1’. This has some significance as it shows that the engine is a U.S. imorted Cleveland engine as fitted to XW and XYs. The ‘K608’ signifies that is is a 4V engine - an M-code in U.S. VIN parlance - and ‘A1’ signifies that is is, A - First design level, and 1 - First revision. The ‘C’ prefix is unusual and doesn’t show up anywhere in Ford U.S. literature but is generally accepted to mean export.

To further digress, ‘CK617’ was the engine code for imported Clevelands fitted to XA and XB GTs. Very early on, all XAs, automatic and manual had imported ‘CK617’ engines, but the automatic cars quickly converted to Australian built 2V-style engines. Manual cars through XA were fitted with U.S. 4V engines, and some early manual XB GTs had ‘CK617’ engines also, before all XB GTs used Australian built 2V-style engines.

The XY used recessed, chromed and two eared push and twist lockdowns, and surrounded them with a protective black ring.


It could be argued that by the time the XA arrived the musclecar was entering decline, but Ford were not about to give up on scoops on their GTs. In fact, they added more. On the bonnet were twin NACA style ducts, sunk into the metal and therefore efficientally suspect, and not connected to anything underneath either.

The ducts were painted black whether surrounded by semi flat black paint as on this car with the standard blacked out bonnet, or more highly visible on the body paint coloured bonnet cars with the delete option. However, it is interesting to note that this function was reversed during the XA’s life.

Option 55 was the option for the blacked out bonnet. In early listings for the XA, the bonnet was black and ordering Option 55 deleted the black paint. After May, 1972, the default was for a body painted bonnet, and ordering Option 55 gave you a blacked out bonnet.

Ford again offered chromed twist and turn bonnet lockdowns on the XA - and on the XB - but did not use the protecting ring.

Ford also fitted fake vents, again in black on the front wings of the cars, behind the indicator lenses and in front of the wheel openings.

These may have been to give the impression of brake cooling scoops. It is worthwhile noting that the scoop grill mouldings are different from left to right.


The XB also employed twin bonnet scoops. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the XB bonnet and its scoops very closely followed the style of the 1971 to 1973 U.S. Ford Mustang, except that the scoops themselves are not interchangable with the American ones

With the re-styling of the front end of the XB with respect to the XA, the front wings on the XB lost the fake brake cooling scoops. However, Ford were very proud of the fact that the XB GTs had four wheel disk brakes, so introduced fake brake cooling scoops on the rear wings on their cars.


1992 saw the 25th anniversary of the first Falcon GT and Ford were keen to celebrate the fact and re-introduce their most famous of models. Making full use of their involvement with Tickford Vehicle Engineering, Ford produced approximately 300 examples of the EB GT. Limited in colour choice and fitted with a 200kw 302ci V8, the EB GT also gave Ford a great opportunity to resurrect the scoop.


With the 1997 EL GT, Ford once again used the occasion of an anniversary of the introduction of the GT in 1967 to release a celebration model. Powered by the same 200kw version of the 302ci V8 and once more limited to three colours, the limited production - 250 built - EL featured yet another functional and aggressive scoop.


With the release of the BA GT in 2003, Ford had decided that there was no more need for anniversary celebration models of the GT, and instead, the GT came back as a regular production model. Sadly, it was scoop less, but featured a prominent bonnet bulge, all the better to cover the sophisticated overhead cam V8 beneath.

However, with Ford U.S.A. having released a Mach 1 version of its outgoing Mustang which featured a very retro looking shaker for 2003 and 2004, and with Ford fans hoping for an HO version of the BA GT, would be amateur designers have produced several different sketches to gently show Ford Australia that they want the BA GTHO to bring back the shaker.

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Option 86

While talking about vents, it is worth while noting Option 86, which was available on XA and XB four door Falcons. While looking at pictures of the XR to XY Falcons which were designed and styled for the sixties, you can see that they had front quarter windows. When the Australian designed and 1972 released XA Falcon arrived, Ford were keen to promote their new through flow ventilation system which would render the need for quarter windows redundant. However, somewhere along the line they must have had doubts because they offered Option 86, which was the fitting of front side glass with quarter windows. This was not a option that was much specified by buyers, and, there has been debate as to actually why it was offered. Was it for the benefit of smokers, or was it for cars sold in areas of Australia where very hot weather was the norm ? It would be interesting to find out

Here are a couple of pictures of XBs with the quarter windows. Ironically, both are XB GTs, and both are painted code F - Frosted Lime - which was in itself a rare colour choice for the GT.

Thanks to Drew Tootell of the Falcon GT Club of Australia for taking and sending us almost all of the photos on this page.

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