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616hp 1998 Ford EL Falcon sleeper

By Tas McMillan | Photos: Nathan Jacobs, 15 May 2020 Features

616hp 1998 Ford EL Falcon sleeper

Maurice D'Alberti's EL Falcon is a 616hp tribute to his little boy Adam, who passed away in 2018

THIS Galaxy Blue EL may look pretty damn snoozy, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye – about 460kW (616hp) at the treads, for a start!

This article was first published in the April 2020 issue of Street Machine

Ford EL Falcon

The EL was just a bog-stock barbecue-powered GLi when Maurice D’Alberti took it off his dad’s hands and used it as a daily for several years. He’s no Blue Oval devotee either: “I love HK Monaros, and my four-year-old son Adam would come with me in the EL all over Victoria picking up parts for the one we were building together,” he says.

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Ford EL Falcon rear

The duco is the original Galaxy Blue laid on at the Ford plant, though it was treated to a full correction and ceramic protection by Ange Stancati at Pro Gloss Detail. The wheels are the original FTRs, wearing Mickey Thompsons on the rear for some semblance of grip when Maurice plants the boot. Maurice added the headlight and bonnet protectors to further disguise the EL’s true potential

Tragically, Adam was diagnosed with leukaemia in June 2017, and passed away on 2 April the following year. “He went into the Royal Children’s Hospital for a blood test and never left,” Maurice says. “I sold the Monaro and spent every single day with him. Adam loved the EL because we did most of our driving together in it, and so we built it to help me deal with what I now deal with on a daily basis. When he passed away, I just couldn’t sell it, so a few of the boys said: ‘If you’re going to keep it, we might as well make it quick.’”

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Adam D'Alberti

Adam’s seat hasn’t left the EL since it was fitted, and Maurice will be keeping it there. “Tony from Race-Tronix worked around it when he wired the car,” says Maurice. “No matter where I go or what car I’m in, I’ll always have a seat for Adam”

Marc Di Fabio from Northern EFI & Mechanical was the man behind the build; he approached several local people and companies with Maurice’s plight and his plan to build the monster EL. Everyone responded with offers of free parts or labour, and Maurice is eternally grateful for their support. “A lot of these guys had never met us, but they heard Adam’s story and wanted to help a grieving father,” he says.

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Ford Falcon EL engine bay

The engine is the original one that was slotted into the ’bay on the Ford production line, though the only standard components left are the head and block. Forged pistons and H-beam rods swing from a steel crank, while up the top a custom-ground Crow cam sends orders to Manley valves. Mounted to a 6boost manifold is a Garrett GTX42 spinny thing that pushes 19psi of pressurised air down the four-litre’s throat. Charge cooling is handled by a 100mm-thick Aeroflow intercooler, and a billet Tunnel Vision plenum and Plazmaman throttlebody control air distribution. LS2 coil packs provide the sparks, and a MicroTech ECU handles the hard decisions.

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Ford EL Falcon engine bay

Gases that were sauropods a few million years ago exit the engine via the GTX’s 1.01 AR exhaust housing and the custom four-inch dump pipe and exhaust.

Ford EL Falcon exhaust

The stock BTR auto was never going to hold up to the kind of abuse the mill now dishes out, so Andrew and Con at Preston Automatics & Differentials treated it to a serious rebuild and TCE provided a 3700rpm converter to suit. The BorgWarner diff also copped a Truetrac centre and billet axles to make sure the power doesn’t go anywhere but the pavement.

Ford EL Falcon interior

Inside, the EL is almost exactly as it left Broadmeadows in ’98, albeit with a few extra clocks to help Maurice keep a close eye on the driveline. E-series trainspotters will notice a few Fairmont parts like the door trims, centre console lid and shifter surround: “My brother and uncle were working for Ford when Dad bought it, so it got some Fairmont bits on the assembly line,” says Maurice

Though it hasn’t seen the strip yet, the EL has had spent plenty of time on the road; Maurice has racked up 1500km since it was completed in mid-December. He’s confident of a high nine in its current form, and there are plans to bump the boost up to 35psi and a swap to a diet of corn juice.

Ford EL Falcon gauges

The EL is a rolling tribute to Adam and the support of friends and strangers alike. “I’ll take any opportunity I get to tell Adam’s story and keep his spirit alive,” Maurice says. “He loved watching Fullboost videos and the sounds of the turbo cars. I told him that maybe we’d build a turbo car one day – this car is his.”

Ford EL Falcon onroad

ADAM D’ALBERTI
1998 EL FALCON

ENGINE
Type: Ford SOHC
Capacity: 4.0L
Cam: Crow custom
Intake: Tunnel Vision
Turbo: Garrett GTX42
Exhaust: 6boost manifold
ECU: MicroTech
Power: 460rwkW

DRIVELINE
Gearbox: BTR
Diff: BorgWarner, Truetrac

SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Suspension: Standard
Brakes: Standard

WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: FTR 16x7 (f & r)
Rubber: 225/50/16 (f), MT ET Street 255/60/16 (r)

Maurice would like to thank the following for their generosity
and support:
My son Adam, for being every loving father’s dream come true
My Room Children’s Cancer Charity
Steve Righetti
Northern EFI & Mechanical
Preston Automatics & Differentials
Kanaris Engines
Race-Tronix Auto Electrical
Classic & Custom Exhaust Factory
Venom Exhaust Works
TCE Torque Converters
Tunnel Vision
Tuners Edge
MicroTech ECU and Anthony Rodrigues
David Moore and Silvio
Ange Stancati at Pro Gloss Detail
Street Machine for the opportunity to keep the spirit of my son alive
Autobarn Epping

Got a car that looks mild, but goes wild? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Sleepers, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: streetmachine@bauer-media.com.au.

 

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