Ford’s Rare AU Falcon Mobile Office Pack

G’Day and welcome to MotoringBox. Today we’re going to be looking at one of
the strangest ever factory accessories to have been offered on an Australian car. So stick around, because this one’s gonna
be good. Now this is my 2001 Ford AU Fairmont Ghia,
and if you follow my channel you’re probably already sick of seeing it. But bear with me, because this video is a
little bit special. Because when Ford Australia launched this
car back in 1998, they offered an optional accessory pack so unique that I’ve not really
seen anything else like it on any other car. Ford called it the ‘Mobile Office Pack’, and
in their own words promised that it would transform the Falcon’s interior into an ‘office
on wheels’ with the addition of several pieces of equipment. So what did optioning Ford’s Mobile Office
Pack actually get you? Well for a start, you got a Mobile Phone Presenter
– which provided you with a secure and permanent mounting point for your late-90’s Nokia. Back then it was quite common for mobile phones
to come with their own car mounting kits, and the phone presenter was designed for these
mounting kits to be screwed directly to it. The Phone Presenter is also designed to fold
back into the centre console when it’s not in use. Ford also provided an additional 12V outlet
in the centre console, which was perfect for charging your phone or for powering other
period-correct accessories such as mobile fax machines or your fancy new laptop or electronic
organiser. And while you were working away, Ford understood
the importance of lighting in any office – whether it’s a mobile one or not – and included two
aimable reading lamps here in the front. There are also additional reading lamps added
in the back, along with grab handles. Now I’m not really sure what you would need
grab handles for in an office, but I’m sure we can think of something. But to be honest here I’m just beating around
the bush, because the centrepiece of Ford’s Mobile Office Pack revolved around one very
important piece of equipment – and that is the Horizontal Work Table. The Horizontal Work Table was designed to
provide a stable work surface for your notebook, binder or chunky late-1990’s laptop. In the design, Ford also included a cup holder
moulded into the tabletop which is suitable for most 600ml drink bottles, or your rather
bland looking 1990’s styrofoam cup of coffee. When I first heard about this table I immediately
had a few questions. Like whether you could use it while driving,
and whether Ford were encouraging their customers to start multitasking behind the wheel – which
was surely a recipe for disaster. And I had also hoped to get my hands on one
to try and find out the answer to these questions, but to say that this table is rare is a massive
understatement. Ford only offered the Horizontal Work Table
on the base model AU Falcon Forte and the Futura. Presumably, because these were the models
which the road warriors and mobile salespeople would actually be using – and I’m guessing
not many people bought them. There’s also precious little information about
them on the internet, and every single search I ran always returned the same old image from
the Ford AU Falcon sales brochure from over 20 years ago. But these tables are incredibly hard to find. Even if you’re actively looking for one, they’re
almost impossible to buy because they never come up for sale – such is the rarity of the
item. But, as fate would have it one of them fell
into my hands – and it’s still in the original Ford Service Parts box no less. So join me as we unbox and take a closer look
at one of the rarest factory accessories in Australian car history. When this thing turned up in the mail words
could not describe just how excited I was to take a look at this thing. I know it’s just a plastic table but considering
how rare this thing is, to even be handling one of these is a privilege in itself. So to all the AU Falcon owners out there who
may never ever see one of these tables, this one’s for you. To begin with you’ll notice there aren’t any
external markings on this box to reveal what’s lurking inside, except for one of them here. Which says ‘KIT MOBILE OFFICE’ Qty 1. And a part number which no longer exists in
Ford’s systems. Trust me I checked around 6 months ago, and
the tables are long gone. Ford can’t even look up this part number in
their system because the items don’t even exist anymore. Inside we get our first look at greatness
– a navy coloured drawstring bag inside this plastic protective cover. Ford’s Mobile Office Horizontal Table came
with its very own carry bag, so you could safely stow and protect your table when it
wasn’t in use. And one hilarious fact about this carry bag
is that Ford created their very own Mobile Office logo. When I first saw this thing, it kind of reminded
me of a cheap, imitation superhero logo. Like you’re not just a salesman out on the
road anymore, you’re Mobile Office Man – and that this work table is one of the secret
weapons in your arsenal. It gets stranger too, with Ford opting for
this vertical Mobile Table heading – with each word in its own box. Very segmented, and very weird. So to unleash your Horizontal Work Table,
one simply loosens the drawstring and it slides straight out. And the first thing that struck me is just
how large this table is. There didn’t seem to be a lot of space available
around the centre console of the car, and Ford has obviously utilised all of it with
the design of this table. Here we can see a moulded cup holder and a
pen slot which we’ll take a look at later, and the underside we catch our first glimpse
of how this table installs into the vehicle. There’s a single folding leg which slots into
the centre console cupholders, and also a moulded section here which sits on top of
the gear shifter. There’s also a warning sticker here advising
you to stow the table whilst driving, and also a reminder that you should only use the
table whilst the vehicle is stationary. There are also two more things to know about
this table. The first is that it’s made from hollow plastic. And the second is that it’s actually very
light – I’d estimate it to be around 1kg or 2.2lbs. The build quality is nothing special, I mean
it’s just plastic and there’s a metal hinge for the leg – but it certainly does seem sturdy
enough, so I think it’s time we take it over to the AU and see how it works. So here we are back in the car, and we’re
about to turn our run-of-the-mill AU Fairmont Ghia into a fully mobile office environment
– and we’re gonna do that by simply deploying the leg on the table and then slotting it
down into the cup holders here in the centre console. The front half of the table rests on the gear
shifter, and there you have it – you’ve arrived at the office, and you’re ready to work. The table certainly seems sturdy enough to
support a small laptop and also a drink. You could even put a tablet in the pen slot
if you wanted to I reckon and lean it against the dash. This table actually would have been extremely
useful for travelling salesman and other workers who spend the majority of their time on the
road. The only downside I can see with this table
is that you have to remove it before you hit the road – seeing as it uses the gear shifter
here as the front leg. Having experienced Ford’s Mobile Office firsthand,
I think it’s perhaps one of the most interesting accessories I’ve ever seen. In fact, after looking at this I can’t think
that perhaps Ford didn’t take their Mobile Office concept.. far enough. What we have here is a game-changer. The ultimate, bang for your buck office. By thinking outside the box, I’ve hit the
ground running, firing on all cylinders with a best-in-class synergy of mission-critical
deliverables. This is a dynamic, laser-focused space where
I can work smarter, not harder – and one where I’m sitting in the driver’s seat for real
this time. It’s a true come-to-Jesus moment where absolutely
no conversations are taken offline, and all my ducks are in a row. At the end of the day, the takeaway from all
of this is that takeaway is just an arms reach away. And moving forward I’ll be able to move forward
and work pretty much anywhere I like. Through blue sky thinking I’ve a……. excuse
me! Geez that was rough. Oh man. Terribly sorry guys, I don’t know what came
over me. I just started spurting corporate bullshit. Anyway, in all seriousness, I’ve got everything
here that a modern office needs. I’ve got a work table, I’ve got a computer,
I’ve got a phone, a printer, a filing cabinet and an internet connection. Everything I should possibly need to get the
job done. Now my first task of the day here in my fully-mobile
AU Falcon office is to prepare a document detailing the reasons why I think you shouldn’t
purchase an AU Falcon. This is going to take quite a bit of time,
so you best check in with me a bit later on. Hey, how ya goin man? [Yeah good man, how are you] Hey umm, I’m just trying to come up with a
list here of reasons as to why you wouldn’t purchase an AU Falcon. You guys seem to have been doing everything
to possible to try and avoid them, umm, why wouldn’t you buy one? [Man I generally like cars that haven’t been
used as taxis, cos it means they’re not full of human slime.] [And it means they’ve actually got street-cred,
like, I would prefer a Yaris to be honest.] [They’re fast, they’re reliable, they’ve got
street-cred.] [The AU’s are old, and ugly and heavy man.] [Like I don’t know why anyone would want one. Other than you.] Mate, you’re just talkin shit. [Nah I’m not talkin shit man they’re just
boring and old and big] What the fuck are you on about? You guys like straight six engines! [Yes straight-six engines but not that one!] [It doesn’t have a Nissan badge on it!] [It’s not even turbo!] I know it’s not turbocharged, but you guys
could easily slap one on there! [Or stick a Barra in it, that’ll fix it!] You don’t need to put a Barra in it, C’mon! [Of course, you need to put a Barra in it
man!] Ah you’re just talkin shit! Talk to ya later. [It’s old and heavy, like….] You know the Nintendo 64 had so many ground-breaking
games back in the day. I mean, the awe I felt firing Super Mario
64 up for the first time back in 1997 was probably one of the most memorable parts of
my childhood. Alright, time for lunch. So here we are rolling the streets of Brisbane
in our fully-mobile AU Falcon office, and so far there are no issues to report. My ducks are still in a row, and it’s fantastic
to be able to take this office with me wherever I go. In this case, I’m actually going to lunch
– and where might lunch be today? Well, there’s only one answer to that question. I might take this opportunity to see whether
I can actually fit this table while the gear shift selector is in drive… and it looks
like it does work! It’s not as sturdy as it was before, but it
looks like I can actually drive with the table in place. So here we go! Nice little armrest now as well! Now if you can hear my air-conditioning ramping
up a little bit, it’s because it’s 37 degrees Celcius here in Brisbane today. So not pleasant. But it is still nice and cool here in the
AU Falcon office. I’ve got it set to 22 degrees Celcius which
is quite nice. So here we are at our lunch destination. Thank you very much! So the table is paying dividends already,
with a rather convenient cup holder for my 375ml can. Still, with the gear shifter in drive you’ve
gotta be careful. [Oh the Zinger bacon and cheese burger combo?] That’s the one. Thank you! Look at that! Perfect. Now I heard on the radio before that they’re
recommending people get sent home early from work early today, due to just how hot it is
here in Brisbane. So after lunch I might actually go and do
exactly that. The table is a little bit.. little bit slippery! Not ideal! Maybe you could put some kind of anti-slip
coating on there. Lunch is served. Wonder if I’m breaking any laws… what are
the rules with eating lunch in a car? I mean… so long as you’ve got one hand on
the wheel… what’s the difference between smoking a cigarette and eating a chip? If there’s anyone from Queensland Police watching
today… How ya goin? You know what making this video has confirmed
for me? It has confirmed just how awesome this table
accessory is. I mean here I am rolling down the highway
at 100km/h. I’ve got lunch on the table, I’ve got a drink. I’m sitting here in an air-conditioned office
on my way home. I mean it doesn’t get any better than that! So how badly would you like a table like this
in your car? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll
see you next time! [You have one new message] [Man you actually know how much I love your
car right?] [And probably a lot of everything I’m saying
is because I’m jealous because I desperately want one.] [Of course it’s better than a Yaris, of course
it is so much more luxurious and it actually has proper street cred.] [Marty and I both really really like ’em.] [And we’ve been really enjoying your channel
as well man.] [So keep it up, keep up the AU but I would
love to challenge you to a track battle.] [Which is the Mighty Car Mods Yaris VS the
AU because I think that would be epic] [See ya soon]