On his third attempt he got the Falcon airborne for a distance of 25 metres before crash-landing, without structural damage (well, that’s what Ford said at least).

Chrysler-Plymouth tried a similar stunt back in 1955 with its new Cranbrook four-door sedan. York Motors, the NSW distributors of Chrysler-Plymouth cars, asked racing driver Frank Kleinig* to prove that these were “the world’s safest cars”.

The main aim was to show the indestructibility of the new tubeless tyres and safety rim wheels fitted as standard, but as you can see Frank also gave the Cranbrook’s front suspension and chassis a serious workout.

In other tests he drove over railway sleepers and beds of nails at speed without damaging tyres or wheels.

This was an interesting period, when most local manufacturers and distributors showed how tough their products were by attempting to destroy them in the annual Redex Round Australia Trials.

What this meant to the average motorist was debatable, but it was all good fun. In any case, it would be interesting to see how a modern Commodore or Falcon would respond to this kind of torture test today!

Any takers?

*In case you are wondering, this is Frank Kleinig Snr., the father of Frank Kleinig who raced successfully for several decades in the Formula Vee category.

This article appeared in Australia MUSCLE CAR Magazine Issue 49