South African Fairmont GT Info


What is the difference between an South African XW/XY Fairmont GT and an Australian XW/XY Falcon GT?

The Australian XW/XY Falcon GT was in fact made on the Fairmont production line, so they are really a fairmont as well, though Falcon GT does sound better.

The reason the GTs were badge Fairmont GT in South Africa is because they never had a Falcon over there in those days, they had XR and XT Fairmonts, but no Falcons, so to keep the model name continuing, when the XW and XY GTs were sold there, they rebadged them to be a Fairmont GT.

There are a couple of differences between the cars, but it's only cosmetic. These cars are a full spec GT.

South African XY GT


How are they different to an Aussie XY GT?

Australian Seats frames, but South African vinyl coverings with different patterns on the insert. Though some cars we have seen have Australian seat trim patterns as well, but we are unsure if they were original, or retrimmed to be like the aussie cars

South African XY GT Seat trim---------------------------------------------------- Australian XY GT

South African XY GT Door trim---------------------------------------------------South African XY GT seat trim

White perforated hood lining with C-pillar port lights (Aussie XY GTs have black perforate hood lining)

Speedo in KM/H and goes to 240km/h (140MPH)

Also 100lb Oil pressure gauge marked in Bar, so it goes to 7 Bar. Temp gauge is in Celsius


They are badged Fairmont GT instead of Falcon GT.

South African XY GT----------------------------------------------------Australian XY GT

-------------------------Pic soon (got a good one, please send it to us) :)

From the factory they were fitted with XY GS Hubcaps

Now this is something that we are yet to confirm, but so far just about every South African GT we have seen has had the tail light lenses upside down, so indicator at the top instead of the bottom?? At this stage we believe that they had just been put in upside down at some stage in the cars life, but if anyone can confirm otherwise, please let us know.

Stainless trim around rear window is stainless instead of being painted stain black like on the Aussie XY GTs. (However the pic below shows one that has been painted)

Window Glass, this features a different stamp to that seen on the Aussie cars

Wood grain is missing from the dash, as is the padded section under the glove box


54H body shell (GT body shell)
351 4V Cleveland (true Big Port 4V heads)
Engine were the exact same US crate motors as the Aussie Assembled GTs,
they are the same engine in every respect, same cam, some heads, some intake manifold, same factory cast sports exhaust manifolds, different to the standard cast units, etc.

South African XY GT-------------------------------------------------------------------Australian XY GT

This shot is with the shaker top removed------------------------------------------ There may be some minor deviations from factory specs in these photos.


Engine bay

Factory cast sports headers

Same GT Autolite distributor

GT 55Amp Alternator

Shaker Vacuum flap

Alloy Shaker
(yes the stripes have been incorrectly done on this vehicle)

XY GT dash with 8,000rpm tacho. GT silver fascia

South African XY GT----------------------------------------------------------------------------Australian XY GT

GT Steering wheel

GT Console

GT top loader or FMX auto (some XWs we think were fitted with C4s)
XY drum brake 9" (some even have the big finned drums)

XY GT Stripes (only missing Superoo)
though some like the stripe pictured below don't actually have enough
space for the superoo to fit, therefor they have been replaced at some stage with incorrect copies

Factory braced and locking pinned shaker bonnet

XY GT suspension

XY GT Sports racing mirror (Driverside only, we have not seen any fitted with a passenger side mirror, so we presume this was not an option)

XY GT Fuel cap

GT Bathurst fuel tank, was an option

Power steering was an option

As was Selectair integrated Air Conditioning


XY GT Driving lights, same brackets and same switch.
(After 30 years pretty much all the cars have had there original driving lights changed to another brand, but originally they were the same as the Aussie GTs)




As with the XY GTs, the 54H body shell was used.

As was the XW GT Vented bonnet with cable locking pins

Some of the XW Fairmont GTs have XY stripes, but most had there own
unique South African GT stripe, which appears to be an XY GT stripe, with the upper and lower stripes removed? (the stripe pictured is likely to be a poor reproduction, so the font is most likely incorrect)

Badges were relocated as seen in the pics below
(Please note the XW GT shown here has been fitted with XY tail lights, it would have had XW tail lights originally)


Factory Sports Racing mirror

Also like the South African XY GTs, the XWs featured different interior patterns to those seen in the Aussie versions, but essential features like the GT dash, console and steering wheel were retained the same as the Aussie GTs. The SA XW GT however still had the 140MPH speedo as fitted to the Aussie GTs and the 8,000rpm tacho as they were a Cleveland powered XW GT.



Vinyl tops were very common in South Africa as seen on this XW GT

XW Fairmont GTs were fitted with 351 2V Clevelands (we have heard rumours of 4V XWs, however we are unsure if they were factory fitted, or had an XY GT engine fitted later in life), the XY GTs were definitely 351 4V though, the same as the Aussie XY GTs.

More Info about the SA Fairmont GTs:

Body Number:

The body number on the South African Fairmont GTs is MS33 as apposed to the Aussie JG33. This was because the JG or MS stands for where the car was produced and nothing to do with what the car actually is. JG is for cars built in Australia on the Broadmeadow VIC assembly line and JH for the cars built on the Brisbane QLD assembly line. For the MS cars, the M stands for Australian Export, the S stands for South African assembled, as these cars had there final assembly on the production line at Port Elizabeth South Africa. The 33 denotes that the cars are in fact a GT model. If they were only a Fairmont they would be a 34 or if they were just a falcon 500 they would be stamped 23.

The compliance plate is similar to that seen on the 69 and earlier GTs, that being a small plate on the radiator support panel. This is the main plate, BUT most people do not realise that there is in fact 2 plates fitted from the factory. The 2nd plate is located under either the drivers seat OR the passenger seat, we cannot find any reason for the plate being on different sides, just seams to have been fitted at random. The 2nd plate does state the the car is a GT, as can be seen in the below pics.

Plate 1:
MS 33 Month/Year Serial number Sido
Engine Trans Axle Trim Paint

Plate 2:
Body colour / Stripe colour (vinyl top if factory fitted) vinyl top colour
F.MONT.GT. gearbox SED Sido

The SIDO code is the dealer code to state which Ford Dealer sold the car new.

Note the 2 plates below are from 2 different vehicles.

Plate 1 (Radiator Support) ------------------------------------------------- Plate 2 (Either under driver or passenger seat)


Paint colours:

We have factory documents listing the colours that the GTs were produced in, but we have found this paper work to be incomplete as there are several colours that we have identified and matched to other cars and their data plate but do not find listed anywhere in the factory specs. It would appear that some of the data on these GTs is very vague and Ford South Africa didn't keep very good records of the cars they produced.

There are a lot of unknown paint codes still as well as several known colours listed on the factory paper work that we cannot find photos of. If you have a South African Fairmont GT in a colour that we do not have listed please send us a couple of pics along with the code from your data plate and if possible colour name from data plate under the front seats.

M30J Paint

Raven Black----------------

Wimbledon White

Platinum Grey

Light Beige ------------------

Candy Apple Red

Diamond Blue---------------



Sunset Red

Ermine White---------------

M32J Acrylic Enamel

Amber Gold


Silver Fox



Currently unidentified factory colours


351 4V (big port) USA Crate motors, exactly the same as the Aussie XY GT engines. There engine numbers DO NOT match there body numbers. The engines were stamped separate to the cars. Engine numbers were usually FV###X (e.g FV130X), or FVA for cars that were factory fitted with an auto transmission, also the V can also be other letters as we have seen FJ prefixes and there maybe others, we are yet to work out if this signifies anything or if the letter progressed up once the numbers rolled over, e.g FJ999X, then FK001X, etc. This does not correspond with any body numbers. Although there is no way to tell if a car has "matching numbers" most cars still have there original engine. Only the GTs had the 351 4V, so there was no need to swap the engine from another car.

In most cases the engines were the same D block Cleveland as we had here, but some of the later 72 XY GTs have been seen with H blocks, we are yet to determine if these cars have there original block, or if they were rebuilt at some stage with the H block, all these engines were still fitted with the Big Port 4V heads.

Data plate code for 351 4V was "Y" , yes that's the same as a 302C here, but I can assure you these are DEFFINATELY 351 4V engines, they just had different codes in South Africa.


Manuals were of course fitted with the GT top loader 4 speed
Autos were mostly FMX,
but as far as we can tell at least some if not all XWs were fitted with C4s

Data plate code for manual was "N"
Data plate code for auto was "B"

Interior Colours:


Dark Green

Another thing that we have noticed on the South African GTs, is that the shock towers all have extra welds. We can only presume that the factory anticipated the roads being rougher in South Africa and that extra weld on the shock towers would help them hold together.

The small white reflector you can see between the headlight and driving light has been fitted to all the South African cars we have seen so far, though it does vary in style and shape, we presume these were a factory fitted item.

There was also an extra reflector added to the tail lights as well


This is a South African Rego label

And finally this is a interesting little device used to secure the 1/4 vent windows

So now you can see that owning a Genuine XY GT doesn't have to cost you over $70k.

Click to see some of the South African cars we have helped import previously


Can I buy a South African GT from you?

No, sorry we no longer import these cars. We were stung, like many others. We were buying from a guy in South Africa who appeared to be genuine and sounded like he knew what he was talking about, however when the cars started to arrive, they were not as they were sold to us as being. Very poor condition and generally well below what we had been told. At the end of the day, when the cars arrived we had to spend all our profit margin on cleaning and restoring the cars to the condition they should have been to make sure our clients got what they paid for. It's bad enough we got ripped off, we weren't going to do it to our clients. We can however give you our opinion on any car your looking at and advise you if we feel the deal your looking at doing is safe. We can't offer any garauntees, however it may make you more comfortable to have the emails and pics looked over by someone who has been through it all before and knows what to look out for.

What should I look out for when buying a SA GT?

Main thing to watch out for is, who are you buying from? Firstly are you buying the car in Australia or in South Africa (SA). If your buying the car in Australia, then no probs, go have a look for yourself, or have someone you know in the area of the car look at it for you and describe it for you. Generally if the car is already in Australia then buying it is no different to any other car, so you can probably figure it out yourself. :)

However, IF your buying the car from SA, you then need to be careful. It can be a good way to save yourself a few grand and generally get a car that nobody else has seen. Now unless your going to fly over and inspect the car yourself, your going to have to trust the person selling the car, which is not always that simple. Just because the seller sounds reliable and honest, doesn't mean they are, OR even if they are being honest, they may not know that much about the XW/XYs, or they may not be that well educated in the feild of cars and knowing whats good and whats not.

Ok first up, you are welcome to email me and tell me who your planning to buy a car from and I can tell you what I know about them, be it from experience or from other peoples references. There are several people in SA that offer cars for sale, some are businesses others are private sellers, neither option is a garanteed reliable source. Sometimes the most professional looking operation can turn out to be your worst nightmare, so ask questions before outlaying your cash.

The other thing to watch out for is of course the condition of the cars. Regardless of who your buying from, figure the car is about half as good as they tell you or half as good as it looks in the pics as everyones opinion or ratings are different. The seller might consider the paint to be 7 out of 10, but when you see the car the paint might be what you consider 4 out of 10, depends how they are looking at it. E.g they might think, well it was a $2,000 respray, so for that price the paint is 10 out of 10 for what you would expect for $2000, but your going to look at it and compare it on quality not price and think, sure it's what you get for $2k, but compared to a good paint job the paint on that car is only 5 out of 10. I'm sure you get what I mean. Bottom line, if they say the car is great, presume it's ok to good, if they say it's stuffed, well there probably right, lol.

Just to confuse you a little more, in regards to someone elses rating of a car before you buy it compared to what you find when you have the car in your hands, it can be very deceiving, again all comes down to each persons perception and what they think is important and what they see as a big job or an easy job. For example, when I was importing the SA GTs, I bought my first 2 cars for around 15,000 RAN (approx AUD$3500 ea at that time, 6 years or so back). Then later I bought a couple of cars around the 50,000 RAN (approx $12,000), which were supposed to be far superior quality cars with great paint, etc, etc. Now the price difference althought not huge in a way, it was a big jump, in the sense that I could have bough 3 or 4 of the cheaper cars for the same price as the expensive car. In hind sight I should have gone multiple cheap cars. When they arrived the cheap cars were rough, but honest, I could see the rust, I could see the engines needed a reco as they ran rough, they needed full restos, but they were pretty honest run down cars. BUT the expensive cars, although in the pics they looked good, had nice paint, clean engines, etc, it was all pointless as when they arrived the paint although shiny was crap, humidity bubbles (which you won't see in pics, but mean the car needs stripping back and respraying), they had poor repairs, you could see sink back marks from the filler, poor patches welded in. Realistically the cheap cars had better bodies as both cars needed the same work, but the cheap cars didn't have a shiny coat disguising the poor bodies. The engines although in better shape still weren't great and weren't rebuilt, just clean and tuned, so at the end of the day they had the same value. most cars have had an extra light or a crack put in the dash fascia, so it didn't matter if one looked great, but had a couple of small cracks or an extra gauges, as the cost to resto the dash is the same as the cheap car with it's bright orange?? painted dash. Just because something looks wrong doesn't mean it's any more expensive to fix than the almost perfect looking part. So don't be caught by a car thats been tidied up. From my experience any resto work done in South Africa will need redoing here, I'm sure there are places in SA that do good work, but the cars I have seen and the work I've had done over there, you may as well pay someone to do a back yardy in Australia, you'll get a better job.

How much should I pay for a car in South Africa, not including any shipping costs?

Your welcome to send me pics of any car your planning to buy and I can tell you what I think about them. The prices have risen over the past couple of years, I use to get cars for around $3500 - $10,000. I think last time I looked the range was more around $20,000 - $40,000. I've seen a few cars come up lately in Australia for around the $25k-45k mark, which would mean they couldn't have paid more than $15k-$20k in South Africa, and they looked to be good buying from the pics. So around 150,000 RAN is your average. If it's cheaper great, if it's too much more be wary and find out why it's so good and can they prove it? I have seen good cars lately (mid 2010) that are asking 200,000 RAN+ in South Africa, the cars I looked at seamed pretty good from the pics and looked to be good buying. Times have changed and just like the home grown Aussie Muscle cars the South African imports have risen in price too, after all they are a GT.

Unrestored is always best, even if it's a bit rough, but don't be afraid to grab a car that has been painted the wrong colour, chances are any repairs will be so poor you will see it through the new paint, so it's still an honest body, lol.

How much should I expect to pay for shipping?

Shipping is around $5k per car. Thats inclusive of import cars, so shipping, packing, moving container, customs, import GST. Remember your improt GST is about 12% (yes should be 10%, but alwasy seams to work out to be 12%??) thats of the total cost of the car (AND shipping I think), so if you pay $20k, plus 3k shipping, thats an extra $2400 (approx) in GST, so that could mean the total is around $6k. My advice, put $7k aside for shipping and you should be lucky and get a couple of grand spare to spend on the car, but don't leave yourself short as everyday the car sits on the dock waiting to be picked up is about $150 PER DAY storage.

Also the car may need to be steam cleaned which will hit you for about $400 (plus trucking to and from the cleaning yard in some cases). Be careful who you buy the car from, the guy I bought from decided he would get the container dropped for packing at his workshop, some 1000kms from the docks, it cost me about $1500 just to move the container within South Africa, Ouch!

Can I lie to customs about the value of the car to save on the import costs?

Best to be honest with the customs value, your only talking about a few hundred dollars saving IF you get away with lying. I got stung on one shipment, the cars were genuinely cheap cars, like $4000ea, but the customs guy had just read a unique cars mag about how expensive XY GTs were, he wanted to charge me import duty on 2x $60,000 cars!!!! I had to send him my for sale ad in Just cars showing that the cars were only for sale for $15,000ea inc shipping. I think they decided to tax me on $10k ea, wasn't very nice, all because I didn't have paper work in order to prove the correct values of the cars. So make sure everything matches up. That being, your purchase receipt for the car, the import paper work, AND your bank transfer receipts, if it all matches your fine.

Other Advice?

Just be careful who you buy from, don't be too picky about the specs of the cars, concentrate on condition, you can always change the colour of the paint or trim, or fit a 4 speed, it's still a GT, but if you want a factory red car with black trim and manual you could be waiting 5 years to find one and it could be completely stuffed anyway, so just take the white auto car with the red trim and then change it, they all need resto anyway, lol. If you have a few cars to choose from you can be a little picky, but just make sure the cars in ok condition and the seller is honest and NO you don't want any touch ups done in SA, no mater how cheap the deal is. (Trust me a $4k bare metal paint job is NOT a bargain in SA, you may as well get a brush and do it yourself at the local beach).

Hope that helps, Cheers Cam

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