The Ford Falcon is more than just a car
FEW rivalries are as deeply embedded in the Australian psyche as Ford versus Holden, Falcon versus Commodore.
It carries a tribal significance like no other in the motoring world, something more in line with the passion of European football rivalries.
So while Ford's recent decision to cease local manufacturing in 2016 carried an air of economic inevitability, it also signalled the death knell of something intrinsically Australian.
I belong to a Ford family - a loyalty that runs so deep that I recall childhood road trips roasting on the white-hot vinyl seats of our XC Falcon with some fondness. Those were the days!
But anyone genuinely shocked that the Falcon will soon cease to exist simply hasn't been paying attention. The relegation of the once-mighty family car market to an also-ran meant the days of producing a vehicle with little global appeal were always going to be numbered.
Speaking of numbers, Aussies bought 81,000 Falcons in 1995. Last year we bought about 14,000. Enough said.
As a motoring organisation, RACQ has a long history with the Falcon, naming it an Australia's Best Cars category winner seven of the past 10 years. That's a mightily impressive achievement, proving that the car's quality was not the reason for its demise.
Let's hope next year's model, the last of its kind, continues its legacy. I daresay it won't just be the blue side of Australia mourning the end of the Falcon, plenty of those in red will miss it too.