THE road to creating perfect dream machines usually isn’t a smooth one. Cars tend to throw all kinds of inconceivable curveballs at us, even as we plead for the physical, emotional and financial bleeding to cease. But the upside to this is that continued perseverance usually results in a much better product than was originally planned, and that could certainly be said for Jeremy Spiteri and his ultra-tough XY Falcon GS.
This article was first published in the December 2020 issue of Street Machine. Photos: Will Horner
Jeremy got his hands on the car around six years ago in fairly good condition and still running a humble 302. “I actually wanted a Capri, but my cousin’s husband had an XY in good nick, so I ended up with that,” he says.
Jeremy shoved the 302 aside for a Dart Windsor massaged out to 440 cubes, and soon found he was having issues with adhesion. “I was struggling for traction,” he says with a laugh. “So I sent the car to Con at Pro Street Metalcraft to get the rear end done.”
The rear-end renovation was fairly extensive; Pro Street fitted a neat pair of tubs, relocated the leaf springs to be inboard of the chassis, moved the shocks, and fitted MotorFab traction bars and sliders to keep the XY running straight and true. As well as traction, Jeremy was chasing a tough new look for the XY, so the rear arches were widened to accommodate big rubber.
“I loved the tubbed look with big wheels,” he says. “Once I decided to get the rear end sorted I really wanted that super-tough pro street look.” Sitting underneath the massaged rear arches is a pair of beefy 15x10 Weld AlumaStars wearing 29x12.5 Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro radials.
With the rear bodywork massaged, it was in need of a lick of paint. Phil Xerri from Phil’s Body Repairs was approached, and originally the intentions were to just give the rear quarters a quick blow-over, since the car was mostly together by that point. But that isn’t how Phil operates. “I could see blistering under the paint in the rear quarters, and I know that with old cars like this that’s never a good sign,” says Phil. With a bit of gentle persuasion, Phil convinced Jeremy to do the car justice. “If I was going to do it, it was going to be done right, so we stripped it back to nothing,” Phil says.
Read next: Ford Falcon XY GTHO odyssey around Australia
What Jeremy had thought to be a nearly finished car was relieved of every nut and bolt and jammed onto a rotisserie for the overhaul. “The car was mostly in good nick, but we did keep finding rust under old repairs and in the pillars, which surprised Jeremy at first,” says Phil, who spent a solid five months getting the bodywork up to his standards. “Once we got further into it, Jeremy basically palmed the build off to me,” he says. “I know lots of good guys in this business, so I guided him through the process to make sure the car was built properly.”
As for the driveline, that was largely sorted before the car was pulled apart the second time. The mill is a Dart Windsor built by Jenkins Performance Engines, punched out to 445ci. On the menu is Scat crank and rods, JE custom pistons and a custom-grind Comp Cams stick specced for high-revving aspirated fun. The top end uses AFR 225 CNC-ported heads, a custom-made tunnel-ram intake manifold and a pair of Quick Fuel 850 carbs feeding the whole deal with PULP 98. The donk churned out 780hp at 7300rpm on the engine dyno, a properly gnarly number from an aspo SBF. Behind the Windsor is a Ford C10 ’box with billet internals and a 5000rpm TCE convAerter sending power to a nine-inch diff.
Once the bodywork was completed, the driveline was slammed in and Phil organised to have the car wired, plumbed and the re-trimmed interior fitted before he took care of the final assembly. The fit and finish is well and truly up there, and Jeremy is stoked with how everything turned out. “I trusted Phil with the build and he really delivered,” he says. “The car looks like it’s on steroids now!”
“I could see the potential in the car from the beginning,” adds Phil. “And Jeremy was just so easy to deal with, so it made the build easy.”
At the time of writing, the XY has been on the road for around three months, and both Jeremy and Phil concur it’s a pretty wild thing on the street. “It drives super-straight. It’s pretty nuts, actually – but it does drive straight,” says Jeremy.
Phil has also taken it for a burl, and it didn’t take long for the car to make an impression. “I’ve been in and driven a lot of high-end cars, and this thing is certainly up there,” he says.
The car will probably make some passes down the drag strip at some point, but for now Jeremy just wants to enjoy it. “It’s turned out better than I could have ever imagined, and I really do have to thank Phil for that,” he says. “It’s just such a tough-looking pro streeter, which is exactly what I was after.”
1970 FORD XY FALCON GS
Paint: PPG Deltron
Type: 445ci Dart Windsor
Induction: Tunnel ram
Carbies: Quick Fuel 850
Heads: AFR CNC 225
Camshaft: Comp Cams custom-grind
Pistons: JE custom
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel system: Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump
Cooling: Alloy radiator, twin thermo fans
Exhaust: Twin 3.5in mild steel
Gearbox: Ford C10
Converter: TCE 5000rpm
Diff: 9in, 35-spline, 3.9:1 gears
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front: Lowered V8 springs
Rear: Motor Fab springs, Strange adjustable shocks
Brakes: Wilwood four-piston (f & r)
Master cylinder: Standard
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Weld AlumaStar; 17x6 (f), 15x10 (r)
Rubber: M/T 26x6 (f), M/T Sportsman Pro 29x12.5 (r)
Con and Pro Street Metalcraft for fabrication; Paul Zammit for wiring; Andrew Watson at Motorsport Solutions for plumbing; Chris Irvin at CJ’s Autoworx; Phil Xerri at Phil’s Body Repairs for body, paintwork and basically the entire build; Al’s Race Glides for the transmission; Daniel at Unique Marine & Auto Upholstery for the trim work; Jenkins Performance for the engine