AUSTRALIA’S biggest display of Blue Ovals, Geelong’s All Ford Day, has offered a varied spread of impressive vehicles for almost 30 years.
Between old- and new-school Aussie metal, American imports and classic European machines, there’s always something for everyone.
Here’s a selection our favourite cars from this year’s event.
HO Phase Autos brought along several impressive Falcons, including a work-in-progress two-door, but it was PH501 that stole the show. The first-ever Phase 5 Falcon produced by Wayne Draper, this was the hero car for promotional material and magazine stories in the early 80s. Though the car has been sprayed black some time in its 40-year lifespan, the engine bay still retains its original silver paintwork. Current owner Matt Dohle rescued the iconic XD from a shed in western Victoria, still wearing its custom plates and genuine fibreglass bodykit.
Preet Sethi has owned his tough XC streeter for six months. The car currently runs a tunnel-rammed Cleveland with roller rockers and a mild cam, FMX auto and nine-inch diff, and Preet and his wife are saving up for a 7-800hp replacement donk.
Michael Taranto turned his ’56 Ford Victoria into a grumpy cruiser without sacrificing driveability. The 408ci Cleveland is backed by a C10 auto and 35-spline, full-floating rear.
There’s also a two-stage nitrous kit tucked away, providing a 150-shot in both first and top gears. A weekender for Michael’s wife and kids, the car runs mini-tubs and power steering to make life easy.
Shaun Parnis’s TE Cortina has finally hit the road after a five-year build. Though huge power was never the intention, the Ghia hides a force-fed, ex-AU powerplant good for 660hp at the hubs! Jason of Tunnel Vision was instrumental in screwing together the donk and its Garrett GT4094 snail. The car impressed at MotorEx last year, with a tidy engine bay to match the show-quality exterior.
You’re looking at what Peter Fines says will be the world’s quickest FPV Force 6. Number 71 of only 99 cars built, it’s in the process of becoming a low-eight-second Drag Challenge contender.
A fully built Precision-boosted Barra, Powerglide and huge 17-inch slicks are so far in place, though Peter estimates there’s another six months of work before he goes near a drag strip. We’ll undoubtedly be seeing more of this car in the coming months, so stay tuned!
A connoisseur of boxy 80s Falcons, Travis Laurien is another likely addition for Drag Challenge 2020. Travis motored from the Yarra Valley to Geelong as an economy test for his 393-cube XD Falcon, with satisfactory results. “It used about 25 litres of E85,” he reported, “though it’d be better with new diff gears.” Born from a 351 that split a bore at Powercruise, the angry small-block runs a solid flat-tappet cam, dual-plane manifold and Pro Systems Venom VX carb. Travis pilots the sedan to consistent mid-10s at Heathcote Park, limited by the lack of a rollcage.
With just 28km on the clock, Wayne Althaus’s XY ‘Surfer Van’ features attention to detail that few can match. With matching white trim extending through the rear of the van, it’s as close as one can get to a factory GT panel van build.
Built in Werribee over a 12-year period, it will be returning to Toowoomba with Wayne for the Queensland show circuit – with Cooly Rocks On high on the list.
Mitchell Wallace’s wife had a few stipulations for this Windsor-powered XP coupe build: It had to stop, have air conditioning and be able to overtake. Mitchell ticked all three boxes, with 12-inch discs all ’round and a seriously stout 302 up front. Built 20 years ago with a Cobra Jet crank, Keith Black pistons and Toyota T18 rods, the bent-eight is truly rev-happy. Originally assembled to run on avgas, it now sips pump 98 through a 650 Holley. In a car that weighs only 1100kg, 420hp offers more than enough motivation. While Mitchell’s family has owned the car for 40 years, it’s been on the road in its current state since last April.
Brocky’s short-lived affair with Ford gave birth to this rare beast: an EA Falcon S-Pack Brock Edition. Though 500 were planned, only 126 rolled off the production line before the EB V8 took the reins. They received some mechanical fettling, including a high-compression head, tweaked cam, extractors and an apparently Brock-exclusive exhaust system. This five-speed example is relatively untouched, retaining the original wheels and suspension componentry. After a seven-year search, the current owner snapped it up from a GraysOnline auction.
Built and formerly owned by WA’s Tony Smith, Scott Graham’s custom ST4RLIGHT panel van earned pride of place at this year’s show. The XE van runs a 408-cube Cleveland with roller rockers, ICE ignition and a Holley 770 atop a dual-plane air-gap manifold. The van was built in support of the Starlight Foundation, and Tony raised thousands for the charity by cruising it to the 2017 Van Nationals in Port Fairy. The murals were designed by a 17-year-old hospital patient, and sprayed by legendary artist Wayne Harrison over Sunburst paint. A Group C bodykit and old-school bubble windows round out the exterior.
Laurence Vale’s XR van endured a hard life as a burnout car before being retired to the show circuit – Laurence says he got sick of fixing the quarter panels! The van runs a 400ci Windsor donk stuffed with a solid-roller cam, good for 600hp. The paint is an FG Falcon colour, applied six years ago.