Alan Jones Signature Series One V8 Falcon Proto-type (001)
VIN No. 6FPAAAJGSWTA20496
Engine No. JGSWTA20496
Serial No. 7173849
Aussie Ford fans aren't exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to late-model performance Falcons, are they? In fact, compared with Holden's performance image, you'd swear the suits at Broadmeadows were still mourning the death of the Phase IV!
The General's into factory performance. There's the wild, in-ya-face GTS-R backed by a battalion of HSV artillery and a genuine factory Holden Racing Team which scattered the blue oval boys in the Australian Touring Car Championship. The appeal is bolstered by the Commodore ranks snapping up everything from ex-Police cars, to Corsa road rockets and WGR Commodores from tourer ace Wayne Gardner.
Sadly, Ford just doesn't seem to be on the same wavelength. There's no proper factory race team to take on HRT and its performance push is restricted to well-engineered but poorly-marketed Tickford XR Falcons.
Fortunately for Ford fans, things may be looking up. Our own Formula 1 world champion Alan Jones has had enough of this imbalance of hot Commodores stalking the streets and has decided to start tweaking Fords under the 'Alan Jones Signature Series' banner.
AJ likes Fords. It was Ford Cosworth power that took him to his world title in 1980 and for the past four years he's been pedalling V8 Falcons in the Ford vs Holden Shell tin-top series. Jonesy's new Fords are a serious attempt to create sub - $50K after - market performance versions of the latest EF Falcon in both six (AJ-6) and eight cylinder (AJ-V8) versions. And we're talking strictly limited edition at just 200 a year.
Tickford makes superb cars, they really do a great job. But my cars offer alternative, Jones says.
It's all about individuality. We've got a long list of options so you can go for the full package or pick and choose exactly what you want
Jones has had a lot of input on getting the right balance between comfort and performance and reckons he's cracked it. Unlike Wayne Gardner's in-house Commodore road car division - where road cars and the team's race cars are prepared under the same roof - the AJ Fords will be bolted together eat GTM Automotive Enhancements in Seaford, Melbourne.
GTM proprietor Bryan Griggs says the plan is for new Falcon buyers to be able to order a fully ADR-approved AJ Ford EF through their local Ford dealership, or deal direct.
According to GTM's test data, tweaks to the cars' exhaust systems, competition-bred brake package based on Harrop components.
As Jones pointed out, this is all about individuality in car building. Even in base specification, the AJ-V8 throws down the gauntlet by claiming superior 0-100km/h acceleration times to HSV's 1851 Commodore, and higher concerning and braking G-force as well.
Jones has modified the suspension package in a joint development with Quadrant Suspensions. They've reworked the geometry and specified Bilstein shockers to suit the new coils and front swaybar mounted in urethane brushes. Big 225 and 235.
Bridgestone G-Gord radials bite into the pavement. Bodywork deliberately borrows a lot of styling cues from the Group A race cars. The AJ-V8 wears the tougher outfit including touring car style rear wing, 17-inch rims and a full 20mm lower ride height than AJ-6. Stick your head inside the cabin and there's a few subtle visual tweaks to set an AJ Ford apart from the rest. Carbon-fibre trim inserts, embroidered door fabrics and Alan Jones serial-numbered endorsement plate to name a few.
To gauge public interest, AJ had his two prototypes on show at Mallala Raceway during the Shell touring car round in June and you could barely see the cars at times from the constant crowds and enquiries. Some said they didn't even like the adhesive lettering on the front guards, others wanted the spoiler to sit closer to the ground but the unanimous reaction was a very enthusiastic fulls-up.
And from frustrated, performance-starved Ford fans, a huge sigh of relief.
Estimate $ 40,000-50,000