HAVING laid down a PB of 8.23@168mph, Phil came into the week-long torture test with hopes of nailing a seven and running in the 170mph bracket in the Haltech Radial Blown class.
Under the white coupe’s bonnet is the same Ford SVO Windsor block that FAT383 has been rocking for the past few years, while a ’Glide and PTC 3500rpm converter handle ratio-changing duties and a nine-inch with 3.5 gears lives out back. Phil controls the combo with a FuelTech ECU, running E85 on the track and 98 PULP on the street.
“It is making 1435hp at the hubs on 30psi, which is safe for this running gear,” said Phil during Drag Challenge. “I still have to drive it back to Adelaide next Saturday!”
Full feature: Phil's 1973 XB Falcon coupe - FAT383
Day One proved to be a cracker for Phil, running an 8.51@175mph to set a new PB for the XB’s trap speed. “It felt good, but I pedalled it twice, so I know the seven is there,” he said.
Despite having to shift 4000lb off the line, the Mildura eighth-mile saw Phil run competitive times in the trying weather conditions, with a 5.71@130mph on Day Two and 5.50@131mph on Day Three.
Portland proved to be where the wheels came off the cart for Phil and the big white whale. A 7.07@118mph was all he could make stick, though the real drama occurred after leaving the track on the way back to Calder.
“I hydraulic-locked the motor at a servo leaving town,” Phil said on Day Five. “I pulled a plug and we limped it back to the track, as there was a shed there where we could change the head gasket over. We finished at 12:15am and got into Melbourne at 4:45am this morning.”
Phil’s determination was rewarded with a new PB of 8.18@168mph at Calder on the final day, but the DC veteran knew there was plenty more hiding in the coupe. “I got off it as I went past the timing boards, forgetting the line is beyond them,” he laughed. “I lifted at the seven-second mark and couldn’t get back into it, as the XB gets squirmy when you get back onto it. I know the seven is there, so we’ll go back out and shoot for it again!”
Read next: Drag Challenge 2019 - full results
Unfortunately Phil’s transmission had other ideas, and he wasn’t able to get a red hat this year. Thankfully he still had a personal-best timeslip to hand in, meaning he officially finished the event and picked up Quickest Ford for 2019.
1973 FORD FALCON COUPE
Class: Haltech Radial Blown
Engine: Ford SVO Windsor
Turbo: Precision 7675
Converter: PTC 3500rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Previous PB: 8.23@168mph
Best DC 2019 Pass: 8.18@168mph