Peter bought the car 20-odd years ago as a factory-fitted 302 Fairmont GS in Monza Green, and luckily for him it was relatively rust-free. Over the years it has been home to a number of engine packages, including a 351, 383 and 427, as it tore up the street and strip.
When the time came to give the car some cosmetic love, Peter decided that he may as well go all out, so it was put on a rotisserie and not a single nut or bolt was left untouched. A new IFS front was mated to the chassis for a modern-day feel, and the rear end got a complete makeover, including a Strange nine-inch diff housing sporting a 35-spline spool centre with 4.3:1 gears.
The rest of the driveline has been refreshed too, with a Neal Racing Transmissions top-of-the-line Reid case Powerglide equipped with an SDE 6000rpm stall converter.
As for the donk, it’s a 351 Ford unit that’s been massaged out to 440ci, as per the stickers on the front guards, with Holley EFI managing the 800-odd horsepower. Peter hasn’t found a solution to running air cleaners on the Holley units just yet, so special socks are used to keep them clean on the street, and daily oil changes were a must to cope with the dusty roads on the Drag Challenge driving legs.
Coming into DC 2018, Peter’s hopes didn’t extend far beyond just finishing the event, and a mid-nine would’ve been icing on the cake. Although he didn’t quite crack through to that mid-nine, his week was still a huge success, taking out the runner-up spot in the Pacemaker Radial Aspirated class. He consistently ran in the high nines all week, putting down a 9.81@138mph as his PB on the final day at Calder Park.
With these fantastic results in hand, Peter is already looking forward to next year’s DC. “We’ve got a whiteboard up in the shed and we’ve started already planning,” he said. “We learnt a lot this year, so we’re planning to come back next year and go even better.”
One of the changes Peter has already flagged is a new exhaust, because while the car isn’t overly obnoxious on the track, it’s certainly a loud bird around town.
“We’ll do a full three-inch stainless soon that’ll go all the way to the back of the car to try and keep the noise and fumes out of our faces,” he said.
1971 FORD FALCON XY
Class: Pacemaker Radial Aspirated
Engine: 440ci Ford
Transmission: Neal Powerglide
Converter: SDE, 6000rpm stall
Diff: Strange 9in, 4.3:1 gears
Previous PB: Untested
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 9.81@138mph