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Tickford Limited grew from the very substantial coach building business founded in the 1820s in England by Joseph Salmons later known as Salmons and Sons based at Tickford Street in Newport Pagnell. Their products bore the brand-name Tickford. With the advent of the internal combustion engine, Salmons & Sons progressed into developing coach built cars as early as 1898 and prospered. In 1925 they announced their Tickford “All Weather” saloon, a convertible with the hood mechanism operated by inserting and turning a handle in the rear quarter-panel. By the late 1930s 450 people were employed producing 30 car bodies a week. Their London showrooms were at 6–9 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane WC2. In 1943 following Ian Boswell’s purchase of Salmons & Sons Limited the company changed its name to its trademark Tickford Limited.
In late 1955 Tickford Limited was bought by David Brown, who was already the owner of Aston Martin (since 1947) and Lagonda (since 1948) and an extensive user of Tickford bodies. He soon moved Aston Martin onto the site at Tickford Street where it remained until Ford moved DB7 production to Bloxham and then to Gaydon for the DB9 and DBS. The Tickford name disappeared between the late 1950s and 1981.
In 1981 Aston Martin created an engineering service subsidiary and chose the name ‘Aston Martin Tickford’, rekindling the specialist service available to all vehicle makers, which had been the Tickford philosophy for the first half of the century. With the changing fortunes of Aston Martin, the company moved into a purpose-built facility in Milton Keynes under the separate ownership of CH Industrials plc and despite carrying out a lot of unseen, “back-room” engineering projects for major manufacturers, gained most publicity from adding engineering and tuning to its coach builder roots allowing it to develop special products like the 140 mph, turbocharged Tickford Capri for Ford. After the Capri, Tickford worked with among others, MG to create the Maestro Turbo and Ford to create the road-going Sierra Cosworth RS500 and the homologated version of the RS200. These vehicles were made in a factory set up near Coventry and a railway division was set up in Nuneaton to design interiors for underground and mainline train carriages. The roof of the Jaguar XJS cabriolet was also designed by Tickford. These cars were originally converted by Tickford themselves, but it was so successful that Jaguar set up a convertible production line to cope with demand.
During the collapse of the CHI Group in 1990, the directors of Tickford executed a buy-out and saved Tickford from going into receivership, partially funded through the sale of the railway division to Babcock International. Tickford was now back in its roots of engine and vehicle engineering and worked on developing new markets. The company won projects in Detroit and the Far East and set up liaison offices in the USA and Germany.
Tickford set up a production line in Daventry to convert the Ford Puma into the limited edition Ford Puma Racing (just 500 were built) and did most of the engineering design and development of the Ford Focus RS at Milton Keynes, also providing a build facility next to Ford’s Saarlouis plant.
Australia 1991 – 2014
After a Worldwide search, Ford Australia selected Tickford as a joint-venture partner, resulting in Tickford Vehicle Engineering Pty Ltd (TVE) being established in 1991 as the high performance car division of Ford in Australia.
TVE is best known for building the Ford Falcon XR6 and XR8 models for Ford. It also engineered a range of higher performance cars, the T-Series with TE50 & TS50 models based on the Ford AU Falcon and the TL50 derived from the Ford AU Fairlane. The T-Series models were launched in October 1999 under the FTE name, FTE being an acronym for Ford Tickford Experience. The “T-Series” was produced in very limited numbers with less than 500 built. The third series, known as the T3 was the final resting place for the Ford Windsor V8 engine and the last model from TVE.
In 1998, TVE made a number of improvements to the NL series Fairlane Ghia marketed the resulting car as the Fairlane By Tickford. Using the upgrades from the EL series Falcon GT “30th Annivesary” of 1997 and Ford Motorsport parts, the engine received different heads and an intake manifold resulting in a power output of 195 kW’s, up from standard Fairlane’s 165 kW’s. The FBT also benefitted from the said GT’s bigger brake package and an sportier interior. A total of 106 were produced, only available in Navy Blue or Regency Red.
In 2001 the whole Tickford Group in UK, Germany, Australia and USA, was acquired by Prodrive, the British motor sport company and, in 2002, its Australian joint venture with Ford, Tickford Vehicle Engineering, was rebranded as Ford Performance Vehicles. The Tickford name disappeared again.
In 2002, following the purchase of Tickford by Prodrive, the Ford Performance Vehicles company was formed as a joint venture between Ford Australia and Prodrive. The FPV brand name was created to replace the FTE name and a restructured range was developed based on the Ford BA Falcon, seeing the return of the GT nameplate to a Falcon-based product for the first time since the 30th Anniversary GT, and as a regular production model since the XB Falcon GT. The range was headlined by the FPV GT-P, and included a turbo-charged model based on the XR6 Turbo.
Over the years, FPV expanded the range to include a High Performance version of the Ford Territory as well as a number of special editions and anniversary models. The purchase from Prodrive also saw a factory backed V8 Supercar outfit in Ford Performance Racing.
In August 2012 it was announced that Ford Australia was to purchase the assets of Ford Performance Vehicles and continue the engineering, manufacturing and marketing of the FPV brand in Australia. The FPV GT, GS and F6 nameplates will be discontinued and the FPV brand retired as of 2014 in preparation for Ford Australia’s manufacturing shutdown, ending 12 years of performance car production under the FPV brand.
BA 2002 GT / GT-P / Pursuit (ute)
The 2002 BA range included the GT, GT-P, and the Pursuit. The GT was the entry-level vehicle that started with a suggested retail price of A$59,810. The GT-P was the upmarket version of the GT, with a price tag of A$69,850. The Pursuit was a ute version of the GT, featuring the same seats, basic dash/interior package and wheels. A FPV specific body-kit was applied to all cars, using the lights from the XR-range. The kit had a strong resemblance to the BA Falcon V8 Supercar, highlighting the connection to FPR.
All three were powered by a unique version of Ford’s 5.4-litre Modular V8, with DOHC 4-valve cylinder heads from the Mustang Cobra R engine. FPV named this uniquely tuned engine as the Boss 290 because of its power output. It produced 290 kW (394 PS; 389 bhp) at 5500 rpm and 520 N•m (380 lb•ft) of torque at 4500 rpm.
BA MkII 2005 GT / GT-P / F6 Typhoon (sedan) / Pursuit (ute) / Super Pursuit (ute) / F6 Tornado (ute)
The GT, GT-P and Pursuit received a new stripe package with bonnet decals, a six-speed Tremec T56 manual and the GT-P received 19″ five-spoke alloy wheels. A new car and ute were added to the range, the F6 Typhoon (sedan) and F6 Tornado (ute), the F6 was visually separated from the GT range with the use of a different pattern in the front bumper grill mesh, and a smaller boot spoiler. They were FPV’s version of the Ford Falcon Barra engine, featuring a 4.0 litre DOHC 24-valve turbocharged inline-six with variable cam timing, which produced 270 kW (367 PS; 362 bhp) at 5250 rpm and 550 N•m (410 lb•ft) at 2000 – 4250 rpm. FPV also released the Super Pursuit, which was a Pursuit ute with GT-P extras.
BF 2005 GT / GT-P / F6 Typhoon (sedan) / Pursuit (ute) / Super Pursuit (ute) / F6 Tornado (ute)
This new range was launched in 2005 with engine specifications unchanged. All models share the same six-speed manual and were now offered with an optional SS made ZF six-speed automatic (the same as featured in Jaguars and BMWs). The GT received the GT-P’s old 19-inch wheels, and the GT-P and Super Pursuit received their own specific road wheel styles. Typhoon & Tornado versions had optional 18-inch road wheel design used on the previous model, or a new 19-inch design with black spokes. All models received new body kits, with the F6 Typhoon benefiting from its own unique styling changes. The F6 now had color coded fog lamp surrounds, and a lower grill insert emphasizing the intercooler. The rear now had a new bumper with mesh inserts, a deeper diffuser, with the GT models now sporting a dual exit exhaust system cut into the diffuser.
BF MkII (2006) GT / GT-P / F6 Typhoon / Force 6 / Force 8 / Pursuit (ute) / Super Pursuit (ute) / F6 Tornado (ute)
No mechanical changes were introduced with this update; however, all models came standard with 19 inch rims. Subtle styling changes were made, but the most significant news was the introduction of new Force 6 and Force 8 models. Built to rival HSV’s Senator Signature, they are mechanically identical to the auto-equipped GT model, but in a more luxury-focused package with more conservative visuals (no rear wing and more conservative colour range). The Force models are essentially an FPV version of the Fairmont Ghia (luxury model in the Falcon range). In the final months of the BF MkII Falcon, a number of limited-edition models were released – the GT 40th Anniversary, the F6 Typhoon R-Spec, the GT Cobra R-spec sedan and utility – all of which received stiffer “R-Spec” dampers, and in the case of the sedan, a power increase. (The GT Cobra R-spec motor produced 405 hp (302 kW) and 398 lb•ft (540 N•m)
300 R Spec model Typhoons were produced in 2007, these had different Ardent Dark Silver colour accents on wheels and spoilers, leather upholstery, R spec floor mats, Brembo 4-pot front brakes, ten of these R-Spec Typhoons were exported by Ford Australia into Ford New Zealand, of that ten, one was fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission and the other nine were equipped with 6-speed automatic transmissions.
Only 200 BF GT 40th Anniversary models were produced, making it the rarest and most sought after of the limited edition models, as it was released to commemorate as well as celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the Falcon GT legend in Australia, which stretches back to 1967 with the release of the original XR GT Falcon.
Limited Release BFMKII’s
GT 40th Anniversary Edition (200)
GT Cobra R-spec 30th anniversary model (400)
Cobra Cobra R-spec utility (100)
F6 Typhoon R-Spec (300)
In January 2008, Ford Performance Vehicles unveiled the FPV F6X, a high-performance, luxury version of the Ford Territory Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The F6X is fitted with the F6 270 Turbo 4.0 L DOHC in-line six-cylinder engine, a ZF six-speed automatic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system. It is the first non Falcon-based model to be produced by FPV and, with an engine producing 270 kW (367 PS; 362 bhp) and 550 N•m (406 lb•ft), was claimed by the company to be the most powerful six-cylinder SUV available in Australia at that time. The F6X was discontinued in February 2009, with approximately 229 examples having been built.
All models in the FPV FG range were based on the Australian Ford FG Falcon and included the 6-cylinder F6 sedan, F6 Ute (the former Typhoon and Tornado names having been retired) and F6 E sedan, the V8 powered GS Sedan and Ute and the V8 engined GT, GT-P and GT E sedans. The 4.0 L Turbocharged Inline Six produces 310 kW (421 PS; 416 bhp) and 565 N•m (417 lb•ft), while the 5.4 L V8 developed 315 kW (428 PS; 422 bhp) and 551 N•m (406 lb•ft). The 5.4 L V8 was replaced with the new 5.0 L Supercharged Coyote (Miami) V8. The GT range now produces 335 kW (449 hp) and the GS 315 kW (428 PS; 422 bhp). It is capable of a sub 5 second 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) time, surpassing the HSV GTS (the FPV’s main rival) in both power and torque. The decision was brought about because of pressure to convert to Euro IV emissions, which the 5.4 L was unable to pass.
In August 2009 FPV launched new GS Sedan and GS Ute models, reviving a name that was first used for an option pack on the XW Falcon range of 1969. Unlike that earlier GS, the new model is a limited-edition model and it is intended to provide a lower entry-point into FPV’s performance stable. At $54,950 (plus on-roads) for the Sedan, and $49,950 (plus) for the Ute, the GS variants sit between Ford’s Falcon XR range and FPV’s GT and F6. The pricing puts both the GS Sedan and Ute under the bar for the Luxury Car Tax.
Featuring GS graphics, FPV chassis enhancements and interior updates, and sitting on 19 inch rims (Graphite for the Sedan, Alpine Silver for the Ute). Production includes 250 sedans and 75 utes. The GS features the new 5.0 litre V8, but produces slightly less power and torque than its more expensive V8 siblings. The engine makes 315 kW (428 PS; 422 hp) and 545 N•m (402 lb•ft), and driving through the standard six-speed manual, runs a GT-spec exhaust system and sits on a GT-spec suspension set-up. The GS also offers a premium sound system, Bluetooth compatibility, iPod connectivity, GT instrumentation, starter button, and dual-zone climate control as standard features.
The GT costs the same and has the same features as the F6, the major difference being the engine. It features a 5.0 L supercharged V8, code named “Miami”. The engine has 335 kW (455 PS; 449 bhp) at 5750 rpm and 570 N•m (420 lb•ft) of torque between 2200 – 5500 rpm. Because of different shaped BOSS engines that are physically larger than the I6 engine in F6, the GT has a “power bulge” on the bonnet with GT decals. The GT has two transmission choices a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Standard are 4-piston front brake calipers, 19-inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, and other items. The GT retails for $71,000. A higher performance version of the GT was offered, called the R-spec.
The GT-P is a higher-spec version of the regular GT. It costs $81,000 (AUD). It features FPV’s new “Miami” V8, it has the same power as the GT. It also includes larger brakes, adjustable pedals, performance seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, and extra GT-P decals. It also features 19-inch alloys; however, they have a different design to the regular GT.
The GT-E is the flagship of the new FPV range at a price of $82,000 (AUD). It is more focused on luxury rather than performance. It has the 5.0 L supercharged V8 that is found in the GT models, which is mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic. It has replaced the Force 6 and 8. The GT-E comes with a boot lip spoiler, special alloy wheels and other features like a reversing camera, parking sensors, leather, and a wood grain interior. The GT-E gets the same sport luxury suspension found in the Ford G Series range.
Presented in June 2014, the GT-F 351 is the last ever Falcon-based GT sedan and last FPV model (along with the Pursuit Ute), with a total production of 500 reserved for Australia at $77,990 and another 50 for New Zealand. Its nomenclature was chosen to mean “F” for final whereas “351” is this GT-F’s engine output in kW as well as a homage to the iconic 351 cu in (5.8 L) engine capacity of the 1970s GT Falcon. Mechanically, the GT-F features launch control, standard Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, the suspension and 275/35 R19 Dunlop Sports Maxx 9in rear tyre package from the limited edition GT R-spec and a retuned version of the supercharged Coyote “Miami” 5.0 L V8 (embossed “GT-F 351” instead of “Boss 335”) developing a minimum of 351 kW (477 PS; 471 bhp) of power (or, depending on prevailing conditions, over 400 kW (544 PS; 536 bhp) for 15–20 seconds thanks to a transient overboost function) but an unchanged 570 N•m (420 lb•ft) of torque that is, however, available across a broader range. Inside, the GT-F is characterised by darker finishes, orange accents throughout (e.g. trim stitching, instrument facia and GT-F seat embroiding) and a build number plate complemented by a certificate. The exterior features stealth or black accents (specifically, the headlight and foglight bezels are black, as are the external mirrors, door handles, rear spoiler and diffuser, alloy wheels) and a unique GT-F stripe package (including over the roof of the car) that is available in different colours depending on exterior paints, which are Winter White, Silhouette (black), Kinetic (blue), Octane (orange) and Smoke (grey).
The NSW highway patrol acquired one of these last ever FPV GT sedans (build number 88 out of 500) which, as a unique special, had the engine tuned by Ford racing legend Dick Johnson to 600 kilowatts (800 horsepower). This gave it far more power than Australian racing V8 Supercars and it is, as of 2015, Australia’s most powerful police vehicle. It was commissioned by the NSW police force as a promotional car, although it is a fully equipped and operational highway patrol police vehicle.
FPV auctioned build number 001 and the last (for Australia) build number 500 on eBay, with a view to donate proceedings to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. These cars were sold for $236,100 and $157,600 and attracted 84 and 106 bids, respectively.
The F6 is one of two turbocharged 6-cylinder vehicles in the FPV sedan range, with a suggested retail price of $66,590 (AUD). It comes with the same features as the F6 ute, except it also has a Control Blade independent rear suspension, dual-zone climate control, premium audio system, and reverse sensing system that are not standard on the ute. With 310 kW (421 PS; 416 bhp) and 565 N•m (417 lb•ft), this can take it from 0–100 km (0-62 mph) in 4.9 seconds. The F6 is the quickest Ford vehicle ever sold in Australia.
The F6 E incorporates the features of the GT E with the turbocharged six cylinder engine from the F6.
The GS ute is now the only V8 powered ute in FPV’s line-up. It is powered by the same 315 kW (428 PS; 422 bhp) supercharged 5.0 L V8 found in the GS sedan. Fuel economy for the GS ute is 14.0 L/100 km for the manual and 14.2 L/100 km for the automatic, both figures are small improvements over the 5.4 L V8. The GS ute can be optioned with either a 6-speed manual or a ZF 6-speed automatic. The GS ute will start at $52,000.
Pursuit and Super Pursuit
FPV offered two V8 powered utes in the FG range, both using the 5.4 L V8. The two models were discontinued when the company introduced the 5.0 L Supercharged V8 in October 2010. The Pursuit ute is effectively replaced by the new GS ute. In 2012 FPV released a limited edition Pursuit Ute alongside the GT R-Spec, The limited edition Pursuit Ute is powered by the FPV modified all-aluminium 315 kW 5.0-litre “Miami” V8 engine producing 545 Nm of torque between 2000 and 5500 rpm. It also shares styling cues with the GT R-Spec boasting Vixen coloured stripe packages and wheels.
In June 2014, along with the GT-F 351 sedan, Pursuit Utes marked the end of FPV’s production. A total of 120 were released at $52,990.
The F6 Ute is the only 6-cylinder vehicle in the FPV Ute range; it starts off the FPV range at $57,990 (AUD). It is powered by a 4.0 L turbo-charged DOHC 24 valve in-line six-cylinder engine, which produces a maximum power of 310 kW (421 PS; 416 bhp) at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 565 N•m (417 lb•ft) across the range from 1950 to 5200 rpm. The fuel consumption has dropped to 12.1 L/100 km (23.3 mpg-imp; 19.4 mpg-US) for the automatic. The engine is mated to a new 6-speed manual transmission; however, a ZF 6-speed automatic is a no cost option. It is equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), 6 airbags, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), Beltminder technology, a six CD player (MP3 compatible), FPV starter button, alloy pedal covers, and 19-inch (480 mm) alloy wheels.
5.4L Modular “Boss” V8
Based on the cast iron 4V DOHC Boss short blocks sourced from Windsor, Ontario, the Boss engines include some locally sourced parts such as intake and pistons coupled with DOHC 4-valve cylinder heads from the Mustang Cobra R engine. FPV named this uniquely tuned engine as the Boss 290 because of its power output. It produced 290 kW (394 PS; 389 bhp) at 5500 rpm and 520 N•m (380 lb•ft) of torque at 4500 rpm.
For the BFII FPV GT Cobra special edition, the Boss 302 was created. The GT Cobra motor produced 405 hp (302 kW) and 398 lb•ft (540 N•m)
For the FG MkI, the 5.4 was further tuned to produce 315 kW (428 PS; 422 bhp) and 551 N•m (406 lb•ft). FPV achieved this through a new camshaft profile, new camshaft timing, strengthened piston assembly and a higher compression ratio (10.5:1 to 10.8:1).
5.0L Coyote “Miami” V8
In October 2010 FPV retired the 5.4L Boss V8, in favour of a new supercharged 5.0L V8. The project, codenamed “Miami”, is based on the Coyote 5.0 litre V8 and is a supercharged alloy quad cam engine. It has cost FPV $40 million and has taken 3 years to develop. The engine was offered in three versions, Boss 315, 335 and finally 351.
Used in the entry level GS sedan and ute, the Boss 315 produces 315 kW (428 PS; 422 bhp) at 5750 rpm and 545 N•m (402 lb•ft) between 2000 – 5500 rpm.
Available in the GT range, the Boss 335 kW (455 PS; 449 bhp) between 5750 – 6000 rpm and 570 N•m (420 lb•ft) between 2200 – 5500 rpm. The latter is offered in the GT range, which includes GT, GT-P, and GT-E. Fuel economy was improved dropping 4.5% to 13.7 L/100 km for the auto and 13.6 L/100 km for the manual.
This is a specially tuned variant of the 5.0L unique to the GT-F, similar to the Cobra before it, the 351 is a reference to the Cleveland engines offered in the Falcon in the past. The engine is capable of up to 15 per cent more power and torque, equivalent to over 400 kW and 650Nm, when the conditions allow.
4.0L “Barra” I6
For the BA/BF F6 Typhoon and Tornado models, the boost from the Garrett GT3540 turbocharger was increased over the Barra 240, producing 270 kW (362 hp) @ 5250 rpmTorque: 550 N•m (406 lb•ft) @ 2000-4000 rpm
With the FG series,a larger turbocharger and intercooler were added. This is the most powerful engine with 310 kW (416 hp) @ 5250 rpmTorque: 565 N•m (417 lb•ft) @ 1950-5200 rpm (and the first to produce more than 100 hp (75 kW) per litre) manufactured in Australia. As a result, the F6’s rolling acceleration from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph) is 2.8 seconds.
Prodrive Racing Australia
FPR was created in 2003 to establish a link between FPV’s road car range and the V8 Supercars. Given the team’s massive budget, its early results were disappointing but a form reversal in 2006 saw the team finish 2nd in the teams’ standings. Mark Winterbottom has also got 2nd place in the drivers championship in 2008. The team achieved their first Bathurst 1000 victory in 2013 at the helm of Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards and again in 2014 with Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris. Current drivers are Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert in the two PRA entries. Former drivers include Craig Lowndes, Glenn Seton, Greg Ritter, David Brabham, David Besnard, Jason Bright, Steven Richards and Will Davison.
FPV created a show car dubbed the ‘DRIF6’ – an F6 Typhoon with modifications making the car suitable for competitive drifting. The car was entered into the national-level Drift Australia Series in 2006, where it was driven by Adam ‘Newtonmeter’ Newton. One of the car’s main objectives was to expose the FPV brand to a younger audience than its usual, traditional V8-driving crowd.
Apart from Adam Newton, only Gary Myers of Summernats Burnout fame has driven the car. Gary drove the F6 for Street Machine Magazine, and commented the vehicle had incredible power.
The F6 drift car managed to score a best qualifying position of 5th at Mallala Motorsport Park in Adelaide, South Australia. In the Queensland Round of racing, the car suffered damage when Warren Luff, a professional race driver, took to the wheel for a few demo laps. Under Warren’s control the car only made the end of the back straight of Queensland Raceway before it was turned passenger side first into the wall and Warren ended up in hospital with a fractured nose.