IT’S HARD to walk past Jamie Galea’s drop-dead-gorgeous XW Falcon – it just has a presence about it. Sure, it ticks the big three – paint, wheels and stance – but it’s much more than that. As it draws you in, you start to notice all the little things, like the meticulous attention to detail. It all adds up to create a subtle yet droolworthy ride.
This article was first published in the June 2019 issue of Street Machine
Surprisingly, this is Jamie’s first full-on build – and his first Ford! “My son Jayden made me buy the car,” he says. “I’ve got a pro street LH Torana; it’s already molested and will be a big job to finish. So, I was looking for an LJ to do up in the meantime. Then Jayden came across the XW and insisted we go have a look.”
Forget trying to find this colour on some paint chart. A very patient Brenden Muscat from Auto West Paint Supplies spent hours with Joanne and Jamie mixing and remixing colours until they got MAD XW’s oh-so-sweet hue spot-on. The GT-style sidestripe is a custom-cut vinyl sticker that was spray-painted metallic silver before being applied
By the end of that look, the Galea family were the owners of a 351 Clevo-powered survivor – an ideal father-and-son project. It was an original 40-year-old car with only minor rust. However, as is often the case, after a little repair here, a little repair there, the next thing you know the car was stripped down to its undies and upside down on a rotisserie! Mind you, Jamie openly admits he’s pretty fussy.
“Jayden had a massive input on the design of the car, from the motor to the suspension to the overall look,” Jamie says.
Colour was one battle the boys lost. Mrs Galea – better known as Joanne – was the victor here. “They were looking at old colours like Surfer Orange, but I said: ‘No way,’” Joanne says. “I bought a die-cast XW in that colour to show them how boring it would look. My favourite colour is purple, and I decided that’s the colour it would be.”
Good friend Mark Baldacchino is the man responsible for the brilliant panel-and-paint. He did all the bodywork in his shed, before rolling it into a booth to lay on the purple. While obviously not a factory colour, it almost could be, which is why it suits the car so well. The boys are thankful Jo won out, as they couldn’t be happier with the result.
Under the bonnet, all the unnecessary holes were filled, Ontrak Electrical hid the wiring, and the battery was banished to the boot. Apart from that, all it took was countless hours of smoothing out the panelwork and painstakingly polishing everything polishable. The result is absolutely stunning.
“We’ve kept the original Clevo block,” says Jamie. “I told Adam at Teuma Performance: ‘Go as big as you can and make it sound tough.’”
Starting with a Scat 393ci stroker kit, Teuma added CHI heads and intake, a Holley XP 950cfm carb, SRP flat-top pistons and a healthy solid-roller cam. Pacemaker four-into-one headers and a three-inch custom exhaust system by Wayne Grima at Grima’s Garage expel the burnt gasses. Wayne also set the rear up and helped with ordering the wheels.
The Inner Customs Motor Trimming team worked their magic to create this ultra-sanitary boot set-up
After rolling the Falcon onto the chassis dyno, the beautifully detailed Clevo was indicating around 580-600hp at the flywheel. More than enough to get your attention when you sink the boot.
To send the grunt rearwards, Teuma built a Stage 2 C4, followed by a Truetrac-equipped nine-inch. To get all those horses to the pavement, Mainalign Suspension came up with adjustable XYZ coil-overs for the front, reset leaves out back and fat sway-bars all ’round.
The stout Teuma Performance-fettled 393ci Clevo has been polished within an inch of its life and looks incredible in the sparkling purple engine bay. The 600 horses it unleashes are almost just a bonus!
Schott Mod 5 wheels measuring 19x8 at the front and 20x10 out back are wrapped in 235- and 285-wide treads respectively. The combo looks great and grips even better.
Twin boot-mounted boosters working four-piston Wilwood calipers and 305mm rotors handle the stopping.
On the inside it’s a very white affair – factory off-white to be precise. Gary Coleman helped source a lot of the hard-to-get GT stuff and provided plenty of advice.
Starting with a set of repro door trims, Inner Customs Motor Trimming then re-covered the factory seats in matching material. From there, all the plastic bits that are normally black – the console, dash, pinch welds, kick panels, etc – have been painted matching off-white.
“We even painted the hoodlining,” Jamie says. “After it was fitted, Jo commented that its straight white didn’t match. But both screens were already in – no way we were pulling ’em back out. So the whole car was masked off and Mark painted it in the car!”
The GT-spec interior is based around the original off-white offered in the XW/XYs. Most of the components that are normally black have been painted white – carpet and seatbelts excepted
Jamie happily acknowledges MAD XW would not be finished without a mountain of help from good mates and his family: Joanne, who was immensely helpful and hands-on throughout; Ian Hodder, who organised some of the chromework; and Ray Ray, who (along with Joanne) spent many hours chasing up a never-ending list of parts. Jo also kept the troops well fed and hydrated. For her dedication, she got to turn the wheels for the first time. Young Jayden was next to Jamie throughout the build, while daughter Jessie cheerfully put up with the two-and-a-half years of madness – especially during the push to get it finished for Summernats 32.
Getting it unveiled was a great experience,” says Jamie. “Jayden actually suggested it. Once I saw the paint, I contacted Summernats – and they said yes.”
With this in mind, MAD XW was kept away from prying eyes, with the invitation providing added incentive to finish everything to a full elite standard.
The Falcon certainly made a big impression when the covers finally came off, with the appreciative Summernats crowd giving it a hearty round of applause – along with plenty of compliments. Job well done, guys!
With a few things to tidy up post-Summernats (such as getting the engine dyno-tuned), Jo, Jamie, Jessie and Jayden haven’t racked up many miles yet, but that’s a situation they intend to rectify as soon as possible. No doubt MAD XW will turn every head in sight and earshot. Hope the Galea family are ready for all the attention!
The Auto Meter gauges look factory-fitted, with DC Electric Co in Smithfield modifying the repro GT fascia to accommodate the aftermarket gauges. They were actually a necessity, as the factory oil and temp gauges were providing erratic readings
Oh yeah, Jamie ended up buying an LJ. Once they recover from finishing MAD XW, they’ll get stuck into making it a GTR tribute. No doubt, it too will be a knock-out.
Looking at the impressive dish on the Schott 20x10 billets, you’d be forgiven for thinking MAD XW has been mini-tubbed. “Everyone reckons it must be tubbed,” says Jamie.
“It was just a lot of careful measuring to make them fit the stock guards. I didn’t want to tub it in case I ever want to take it back to a GT tribute.”
1970 FORD XW FALCON
Paint: PPG custom purple
Brand: Ford 393ci Cleveland
Heads: CHI 3V 208cc
Intake: CHI single-plane
Carby: Holley XP 950cfm
Crank: Scat 4340
Pistons: SRP flat-top
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel pump: Holley HP150
Cooling: PWR radiator/Spal 3000cfm
Extractors: Pacemaker 4-into-1
Exhaust: 3in stainless
Gearbox: C4 Stage 2
Tailshaft: 3in one-piece
Diff: 9in, Truetrac, 3.9:1 gears
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front: XYZ coil-overs
Rear: Reset leaf springs, Koni shocks
Master cylinder: Wilwood
Steering wheel: GT rim-blow
Gauges: Auto Meter Ultra-Lite
Shifter: TCI Pro Outlaw
Tunes: Fake AM radio fascia hiding CD/MP3 player
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Schott Mod 5; 19x8 (f), 20x10 (r)
Rubber: 235/35R19 (f), 285/25R20 (r)
Mark Baldacchino; Teuma Performance; Grima’s Garage; Ontrak Auto Electrical; Mainalign Suspension; Inner Customs Motor Trimming; Ricky’s Driveshafts; Gary Coleman; Ray
Ray; Ian Hodder