This guide covers both the V8 and 6-cylinder model European Sports Pack (ESP) optioned cars in the Ford XE range, all of which were based on the Fairmont Ghia. Please follow this link for information on the earlier XD series Falcon and Fairmont Ghia ESP. Classic Register also maintains a register of XE Ghia ESP cars here.
The ESP optioned cars generally demand far higher prices above others in the Ford XE range, and it is therefore important to understand the features to look for when confirming the originality of a vehicle. This guide provides detailed descriptions of the XE ESP features, including exterior, interior features, mechanical features and important engine and model code information.
The ESP was an option on the XE Fairmont Ghia, and it is worth noting that the only way to confirm a vehicle’s authenticity with certainty is to enquire through Ford, and quote the vehicle’s unique chassis number. Ford will be able to confirm whether the vehicle was an ESP optioned car (option 54) from the vehicle’s original order sheet. We do not recommend purchasing a vehicle without first making this enquiry. As that is the only means of verification carrying certainty, this guide has been produced to provide details of the features and specifications applicable to genuine ESP cars in order to confirm a vehicle's originality.
Production numbers and period of manufacture:
The XE ESP was produced from March 1982 – October 1984, with the model availability breakdown provided in the table below:
|Engine||Transmission||Number built||Years available|
|250CI (4.1l) 6-cylinder (Carburettor)||Auto & manual||< 300 (est.)||1982 - 1984|
|250CI (4.1l) 6-cylinder EFI||Auto & manual||< 500 (est.)||1983 - 1984|
|302CI (4.9l) V8 Manual||Manual||100||1982|
|302CI (4.9l) V8 Automatic||Auto||260||1982|
|351CI (5.8l) V8 Manual||Manual||178||1982|
Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below.
Colour schemes available on the XE ESP depend on the vehicle’s year. Note, special order colours were also available, and therefore although the below paint schemes represent the majority of cars, there may be some exceptions.
1982 XE ESP:
Vehicles were available in two-tone colours (the lower body colour always being Charcoal).
|Paint colour||Ford Code|
|Monza Red over Charcoal||K|
|Sno white over Charcoal||9|
|Silver Grey over Charcoal||4|
|Chestnut over Charcoal||T|
|Hermitage over Charcoal||L|
1983 – 1984 XE ESP:
Unlike the 1982 models, 1983-1984 vehicles were only available in single tone paint schemes. Although the 1982 colours continued to be available, we’ve sighted a number of other colours on ESPs that are less common. As the ESP was an option on the Fairmont Ghia, it was presumably possible to order the ESP option in any colour in which the Fairmont Ghia was available. We have listed below several colours sighted on those later cars, noting that this is not a comprehensive list. If you have another colour on your ESP, please let us know and send in some images so we can improve this section.
|Paint colour||Ford Code|
The serial number is essential in determining whether a car is a genuine ESP optioned vehicle. Despite certain parts being rare, most features of the XE ESP can be replicated. Given the price premium genuine cars demand, the chassis number enquiry should be a priority for any prudent purchaser.
The Serial number is a 5-digit number unique to each vehicle, and will be followed by either a “C” (meaning 6-cylinder) or a “K” (meaning 8-cylinder).
As noted in the introduction, only the original Ford order sheet will confirm whether a particular serial number was ordered with the ESP option. As such, it is necessary to contact Ford to receive this confirmation. When enquiring, you will need to quote the 5-digit serial number and the Sido number (see section 7). You may also be required to provide proof of ownership (obviously, you will have to have the assistance of the seller if you’re a prospective purchaser).
Chassis number location:
The serial number is located in 3 positions (see images for a better description):
1. On the vehicle’s data plate:
Located on the passenger side inner mudguard, there will be two data plates (one for vehicle options, and one for ADR compliance). Both will contain the serial number, however, it can be most easily viewed under the title “Serial Number” in the foremost plate.
2. Stamped into the body:
The serial number as noted on the vehicle’s data plates should also be stamped into the metal of the passenger side engine bay and into the top of the inner passenger side mudguard (between the suspension strut and mudguard edge).
3. Stamped into the vehicle’s engine:
Ford also applied the chassis number to the engine, which will allow you to confirm whether the car is “matching numbers”. The location of the engine number will depend on which engine is fitted (250, 302 or 351). This is detailed further in section 5 of this guide.
The prefix body code is a 6-digit code that appears on the first row of the data plate (top left), and essentially confirms the information displayed elsewhere on the data plate. Importantly, the same code should prefix the vehicle’s engine number (See section 6 of this guide for engine number details).
Example: “JG32AM” - This decodes as follows:
J = Ford Australia
G = Broadmeadows plant (passenger vehicle)
32 = Fairmont Ghia
A = 1982
M = July
Note: The 5th and 6th digit of the body prefix refers to the year and month of manufacture, per the below table:
Note, the month/year code in the Body Prefix above relates to the vehicle’s estimated ‘Ship date’ – being the date when the vehicle was estimated to be completed and shipped. As the body prefix was allocated at the commencement of production, this code may slightly differ (by a month or so) to the manufacture date stamped on the compliance plate. The latter represents the ‘actual ship date’.
As the ESP Option was only available on the Fairmont Ghia in the XE series, it is essential that the model number confirms the same. The model number is located on the foremost data plate in the engine bay (passenger side inner mudguard).
The correct model code for the Fairmont Ghia is 18238. This should appear on the second row of the data plate, under the heading “Model”, as demonstrated in the images.
Engine serial number:
The engine serial number applied to an XE is the same as the vehicle’s serial / chassis number, thereby allowing you to confirm whether the engine fitted is the original “matching number” unit. This serial number should be prefixed by the vehicle’s body prefix (as outlined in section 5 above) being JG32, followed by a date code, then the unique serial number.
For example: JG32AT12345
6-cylinder engine number location:
The engine number on a 4.1l 6-cylinder engine is located on the driver’s side of the engine block, at the front top of the engine. Look above the alternator, and just below and in front of the exhaust manifold, and you will see a square flat area where the number is stamped into the block.
V8 engine number location:
The engine number on a 4.9l or 5.8l V8 engine is on the driver’s side of the engine block, at the rear, on the vertical flange edge up against the gearbox. You will see a rectangular flat section on which the number is stamped.
Engine and transmission codes:
The engine and transmission codes are positioned to the right of the model code on the second row of the foremost data plate. The relevant codes that may appear, and their meaning, are outlined below, with several examples in the images.
T = 351CI V8 (All states)
P = 302CI V8 (All states except NSW complied)
B = 302CI V8 (NSW specific emissions complied)
W = 250CI 6 cylinder (Carburettor: All states except NSW complied)
X = 250CI 6 cylinder (Carburettor: NSW specific emissions complied)
Y = 250CI 6 cylinder (Electronic fuel injection: All states)
L = 4-speed single rail manual transmission
B = 3-speed T-bar automatic transmission
This was a ford dealer order number attached to the vehicle’s chassis number. It may be relevant if you wish to track the vehicle's original delivery history through Ford.
|Engine Type||Power||Transmission||Years available|
|Inline 6-cylinder 4.1l OHV (12 valve) carburettor||105kw @ 3800 RPM||Borg Warner ‘35-3’ 3-speed Auto or Borg Warner 4-speed manual||1982|
|Inline 6-cylinder 4.1l OHV (12 valve) electronic fuel injection||111kw @ 3800 RPM||Borg Warner ‘35-3’ 3-speed Auto or Borg Warner 4-speed manual||1983 &1984|
|Cleveland V-8 4.9l (302C) OHV (16 valve) carburettor||140kw @ 4500 RMP||Borg Warner C4 3-speed Auto or Borg Warner 4-speed manual||1982|
|Cleveland V-8 5.8l (351C) OHV (16 valve) carburettor||149kw @ 4300 RPM||Borg Warner 4-speed manual only||1982|
Attached is a small collection of original brochures / advertisements for the XE ESP. They are displayed here for historical purposes.
If anyone has copies of early documentation (such as brochures, advertisements or specification sheets), please contact us so we can display the information.
Please note, all documentation placed here is not owned by Classic Register, and is for historical reference and educational purposes only. Upon request from any original copyright owner, the material will be removed.
The following sources, among input from many owners and enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.