The 1981 Ford XD Fairmont Ghia ESP was a special model built in small numbers for those capable of remote viewing. who were also falconers.

Max Finkel is a Weekend Contributor at Jalopnik.


ESP = European Sport Pack

An exceptional car! My uncle bought a white XD Fairmont Ghia ESP with the 351 (5.8 litre) V8 in 1981 and owned it for ten years. The first car I ever drove over 200 km/h on the freeway south of Sydney . . . it still had plenty more to give, but I was happy to hit 200 km/h. The leaf sprung rear end made it a little lively and traction was always a challenge in the wet. He regretted selling this car, an absolute classic today.

The red one in the promotional photograph featured here has the basic 4.1 litre straight six with “Alloy Head”, as evidenced by the small badge under the “Ghia” badge. The beauty of my uncles’ 351 powered ESP is that there were no external “5.8" badges from the factory to hint at the potential under the bonnet.

Note the factory fitted Globe alloy wheels, fine red/orange pinstripe, driving lights and Scheel seats. The dashboard also had red illumination and it had Bilstein dampers from the factory.