THIS street machine turns heads, from young boy-racers and low-riders to grey-bearded hot rodders. It has the stance, horsepower and eye-catching colour needed for modern day appeal, while retaining a very traditional look, with the Cragar rims being the only concession to street machining modernity. What’s more impressive is that this car is Aucklander Shane Adlington’s first effort — in fact it’s his very first car!
This article was first published in the May 2005 issue of Street Machine
Shane’s only in his early 20s and his XP has a lot of guys green with envy. When there’s summer cruising to do the female set is equally impressed. Not only is the Falcon Shane’s first car, but he has just bought his second – and it ain’t nothing sensible! It’s a 1930 Model A roadster pick-up, which has been stripped of its fenders and sprayed matt black.
The Falcon was purchased in early 2001 and once it was home little jobs were carried out to get it on the road. In the August 2001 Street Machine Readers’ Cars you’ll see the XP in its as-purchased state. At first Shane drove the Falcon around for six months or so, blowing up gearboxes and diffs.
Shane was pretty proud of his purchase but yearned to do something real slick with it, so one day he put it in the garage and pulled it to pieces. “I knew from the start that it would be a full-on project but initially I didn’t have a clear path to follow,” he says.
Obviously, he got on the right road fairly quickly as the end result is truly outstanding. Then again, how could Shane go wrong with long-time rodders Geoff and Joy Adlington as parents, not to mention the father and son team of Chris and Mark Hornblow as friends. These guys were joined by a raft of other talented Kiwis, including Dave Graham for general fabrication, and Diffs R Us for the set-up of the rear end and the back half of the chassis.
Read next: Restomod 1966 Ford XP Falcon coupe
Shane set about stripping the body back to bare metal by hand. Rob Williams Panelbeaters then carried out the required modifications to sort the KNEE HI stance of this green ground-hugger. This included raising the floors, reforming the trans and driveshaft tunnel and also wheeling up some mini-tubs for the wider rear boots. Somewhere among all this, Shane purchased another XP coupe with a rebuilt eight-inch Ford diff, and Castlemaine Rod Shop dropped spindles, cross members, engine mounts and disc brakes all round.
All the good stuff was swapped into KNEE HI, and Lee at Diffs R Us narrowed the rear end while carrying out all the required chassis modifications. Family friend Kevin Rush was called upon to apply the custom green with gold pearl.
While the paint was being sorted, Shane visited Dave at XR8 Automotive to build the 302 Windsor. With a stock bottom-end, flat-top pistons, and a Demon 625cfm carb above a Weiand intake the little Ford motor really hauls. It’s backed by a shift-kitted Ford C4 auto.
Rather than talk about components, just check out the styling of the engine bay – it’s slick, but stays in keeping with the retro theme. Chris Hornblow was responsible for the engine bay, while Dave Graham fabricated the stainless exhaust system connecting to the Castlemaine headers. The ‘swap-meet special’ tappet covers and late-model Ford air cleaner have been colour-coded to the engine in British Racing Green to contrast with the exterior colour.
Sitting inside, it feels like your butt is going to get road rash — it’s almost like sitting in a kart with a body on. The smoothed and customised dash was fiddled with by Dave Graham and houses a full complement of Auto Meter gauges. The original steering wheel was refurbished by Pearlcraft in Australia and Shane reckons it’s one of the greatest talking points.
Mark and Chris Hornblow did a full rewire, incorporating a killer Panasonic sound system with Sony Xplod speakers and subwoofer. Glen at Papatoetoe Auto Upholsterers (011 649 278 4016) then stitched the black vinyl trim with matching black carpet and grey tweed headliner. Air conditioning is via permanently open windows.
KNEE HI debuted at the ’04 Kumeu Hot Rod and Classic Car Festival — it was finished just hours before the event. From there it was registered and Shane enjoyed some miles in his first car. If this is his first car, we can’t wait to see what’s next.
1966 Ford XP FALCON COUPE
Paint: Custom mix green with gold pearl
Engine: 1968 Ford Mustang 302 Windsor
Induction: Weiand Accelerator Intake, Demon Jr 625cfm
Ignition: Accel electronic
Exhaust: Ceramic coated Castlemaine Rod Shop headers; 2½-inch dual stainless system with Flowmaster mufflers
SUSPENSION & GEARBOX
Gearbox: Ford C4
Diff: Ford eight-inch, narrowed
Suspension: Modified wishbones, Castlemaine spindles, lowered coils (f); leaf springs with reversed eyes, dropped three inches (r); Monroe gas shocks all ’round
Seats: Stock bench, re-skinned in black vinyl
Gauges: Auto Meter
Shifter: B&M Pro Ratchet
Wheel: Pearlcraft refurbished original
WHEELS & BRAKES
Wheels: Cragar Street Stars, 15x6 (f), 15x8 (r)
Tyres: BF Goodrich 195/50 (f), 245/50 (r)
Brakes: Ford ventilated discs, PBR calipers