WHILE it might look like it is ready to head down to the local farmers’ market, Shane Neumann’s XF Falcon ute packs a big, Barra-powered punch. Having run a pre-Drag Challenge PB of firstname.lastname@example.org, the sky-blue commercial might not have been in contention for the Outright win, but Shane still gave other competitors in the Haltech Radial Blown class a fright at Drag Challenge 2018.
The bullbar and canopy give the ute a bit of a sleeper look, and Shane wouldn’t have it any other way. “My dad bought this car new in 1990 and I wanted to keep it looking exactly how he had it,” he said. “It was one of the last 4.1-litre sixes with a three-on-the-tree, and it was his work hack until he gave it to me about five years ago. I used it as a bit of a runaround vehicle when my other cars were off the road, until I decided I wanted to put a new engine in it.”
‘Barra the world’ has become one of the most common phrases on the internet today, and it was one that Shane couldn’t ignore. “I was going to put a Windsor V8 in it, but everyone else was doing Barra turbo sixes, so that’s the way I went.”
Shane’s four-litre six has scored Mahle pistons, H-beam rods, PAC springs, and a whopping GTX45 Garrett snail hanging off the side of the DOHC head. With a Haltech Elite 2500 ECU and a gut-load of E85 on board, Shane was hoping to run a couple of mid-nines over the week and have a great time doing it.
“I’m stoked; I’m so happy to run that 9.0,” said Shane, who had a couple of special guests in the stands watching him send the blue commercial. “Mum and Dad came for the day on Thursday,” he said. “Dad had never seen it run and he’s pretty impressed, that’s for sure. He couldn’t believe how well it goes!”
Shane was also pleased with how well the Barra ute racked up the kilometres on the road legs. “It was pretty good to drive, to be honest,” he said. “I have Car Builders insulation all through it, so it was pretty good on the road. Our trailer probably weighed 700kg; having not done Drag Challenge before we wanted to bring everything with us, but we didn’t need it!
“Hopefully next year we’ll be chasing high-eights. I want to check the exhaust gas temps in each port, plus I want to rip the motor out and have a go over it. I also need to play around with the rear suspension just to refine it.”
1990 FORD XF FALCON UTE
Class: Haltech Radial Blown
Engine: Ford Barra
Turbo: Garrett GTX45
Transmission: TH400, transbraked
Converter: TCE 4500rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Previous PB: 9.80@150mph
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 9.03@152mph