15 Fascinating Facts About the 1968 Ford XL Fastback


Let’s backtrack to the mesmerizing era of the late 1960s when an automobile got the spotlight in road shows, exhibitions, and even movies. We’re not talking about the fictional Lightning McQueen in “Cars.” This legend is a show-stopper that exudes power and elegance in equal measure – it’s the legendary 1968 Ford XL Fastback. Let’s shed some light on 15 facts related to this masterpiece, including its design and lasting legacy.

A Name With a Touch of Class

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You’re not looking at your average family car. This is a sleek, stylish muscle model with a fitting name. The “XL” represents “eXtra Luxury” and signifies its extra-large size and premium features, appealing to drivers craving a spacious vehicle. On the other hand, the term “Fastback” indicates the sloping rear roofline.

Has a Polished, Retro Look

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Celebrities loved this car for its sleek and aerodynamic design, especially the roof, which set it apart from other models of the time. Its angular lines and swooping silhouette gave it a much-desired appearance that made it stand out on occasion.

Distinctive Front Grille, Headlights, and Taillights


The XL cleverly disguised pop-up headlights behind the smooth front grille, giving it a terrific look when they were retracted. The dual circular lights are housed in a chrome bezel, adding to the overall appeal. Also, its triple-segmented tail lights have a horizontal shape and chrome accents, giving the car a bold and distinctive presence on the road.

Cruise in Comfort

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In reviews, many owners confirmed that the high-quality materials used to build the Fastback’s interior made every drive feel special. Why wouldn’t they leave such positive feedback! The plush bucket seats are upholstered in luxurious black leather, and the dashboard has vintage gauges that produce a soft glow in the dim light. Then, the wooden steering wheel adds elegance to the whole set-up.

Varying Color Options

1969 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback/Facebook

The car was available in a range of eye-catching colors. Vibrant hues like Candy Apple Red, Gulfstream Aqua, and Lime Gold added to its appeal. They accentuated the lines and ensured its metallic finish shimmered under the sun, making it look stylish.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

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Forget all show and no-go. The car had various engine options, from a straight-six cylinder to a monstrous “Cobra Jet” V8 that could pump out 410 horsepower and produce significant torque. With a four-barrel carburetor, it roared with a surreal symphony of power through its double exhausts.

A Celebrity on Screen

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The XL wasn’t shy about the spotlight. It appeared in several movies and TV shows, including “Bullitt,” solidifying its place in pop culture history. Steve McQueen’s character, Frank Bullitt, drove a green Fastback in one of cinema’s most iconic car chase scenes.

From America to the World

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The XL wasn’t just a US phenomenon. It was exported to other countries, sometimes with unique modifications to meet local regulations and preferences. Wealthy foreigners who frequently visited America loved how it accentuated the essence of the rider and had it exported with some cool tweaks.

The Mustang’s Big Brother


The XL preceded the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, which took the muscle car scene by storm. While it maintained its shape and general aesthetic feel, the manufacturers added an extra touch of aggression. Unlike the luxurious XL, it was a performance-oriented variant obviously developed for racing.

A Short but Sweet Run

60s & 70s American Cars/Facebook

It’s hard to accept that the XL only had a two-year run (1968-1969) because it was the ideal representation of the muscle 1960s American car. Ford decided to shift their focus to other models due to the cost of production and the promise of better prospects. Moreover, since it only served a limited population, the XL was set to become the ideal coveted piece for collectors.

Market Success

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Despite its short stint in the market, it was still a huge success, mainly because of its long hood and sloping rear end. It had peculiarities like a powerful V8 engine and expensive details that impressed buyers, especially those with a taste for luxury. It attracted a loyal following of enthusiasts who valued its beauty and heritage.

Freedom To Customize

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Owners of this Ford machine had the opportunity to customize their cars with various preferences, such as different wheel designs, performance upgrades, and unique paint colors. They could make internal trims for premium vinyl upholstery and a sporty center console. Customers could also opt for racing stripes that ran along its length to create a different appearance.

A Collector’s Dream

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Depending on the condition, engine, and rarity of features, a 1968 XL Fastback can fetch a hefty price. Since its limited production, vintage car collectors swoon over it for its rarity and historical significance. While revamped ones cost about $30,000, original classics can get auctioned at hundreds of dollars.

More Than Just a Car

Işte sürat işte ses Fast N’ Loud/Facebook

Owning an XL isn’t just about driving a car. It’s about owning a piece of automotive history and joining a community of passionate fans. The love for this model extends beyond individual ownership. Active clubs are dedicated to sharing restoration tips, upgrades, and stories of exciting road trips. Their one goal is to celebrate and preserve this classic Ford.

High Chance of Restoration

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Restoring and preserving this vehicle is tough, but enthusiasts are intrigued by its different options. They believe it deserves meticulous attention as a one-of-a-kind. Most focus on reviving the authentic interior, upgrading the suspension, and adding modern amenities. Overall, these projects enhance the driving experience while preserving its retro charm.

Written by Bruno P