THERE might be faster XYs, there might be finer XYs, but there are few tougher than this one! I know that’s a bold statement, but the guttural howl of the 8/71 huffer and whining Gilmer blower drive, combined with the thunderous bellow of nearly 1000 horses erupting through the three-inch exhaust, would surely make anyone stop and gape at this Falcon as it rumbles on by. Whipped into shape by Roy and Frank Velardi and the team at Sydney’s V Resto Garage, this Ford cuts an imposing figure, to say the least.
This article was first published in the September 2019 issue of Street Machine
Despite the insanity of the engine combo, it was built to be a driver. It starts easily, can handle traffic, doesn’t baulk at corners and doesn’t overheat even on hot days
Before going any further, let’s deal with the elephant poking out the bonnet. It’s a 438ci World Products Man O’War tall-deck block with World Products heads, Edelbrock intake, a Blower Shop 8/71 pump and genuine JBR carbonfibre hat – all fed by an in-hat EFI set-up from Joe Blo Speed Shop.
About the only way to get this XY sitting any lower would be to chop the floor out and raise it up – as it sits, this is one belly-scraping Falcon
The imposing mill was initially screwed together by noted US engine builder Rick Watters. When first dropped into the Aussie four-door, it sported an alloy Big & Ugly hat and a thick plate sandwiched between that and the blower, with side-mounted EFI injectors. With this set-up, the hat pretty much sat at roof height; oddly enough, this was deemed a tad too ostentatious for the street.
Read more: 604-cube big-block 1971 Ford XY Falcon
Joe Schembri of Joe Blo Speed Shop came to the rescue. He considerably reduced the overall height by swapping to a shorter carbonfibre hat and eliminating the sandwich plate. Joe’s trick EFI set-up mounts eight downward-facing Bosch injectors up in the guts of the hat. It’s a very neat arrangement.
With the original rebuild kicking off more than 10 years ago, the crew at V Resto Garage completed the lion’s share of the work in the past 18 months, including painting, driveline, plumbing and assembly
The Holley ECU was dialled-in in the US, and once Angelo Cali from V Resto Garage finished off the full rewire and the car was running, Dale from Castle Hill Performance backed it up onto their dyno to perfect the tune. It starts off the key on first kick, and, for what it is, behaves itself quite impressively out on the road.
Blocking off the hat’s two outermost doors is key to the Falcon’s commendable street manners, as the two inner butterflies are more than capable on their own of flowing enough air to feed the 934hp mill.
Rounding out the driveline is a 1000hp-capable C4 by Al’s Race Glides, while out back, Smithfield Diff & Gearbox loaded a slightly narrowed nine-inch with Bosnjak Engineering two-piece 31-spline axles and a 4.11:1 Truetrac centre. Linking these two is a Ricky’s Drive Shafts 3.5-inch chrome-moly tailshaft.
V Resto Garage sectioned the 36-gallon fuel tank to install baffles to fight fuel slosh, while adding provision to accommodate the Aeromotive in-tank EFI pump
To stop the Falcon from spearing uncontrollably into the shrubbery, it’s equipped with an all-Wilwood brake system. Hefty 330mm rotors reside at each corner clamped by six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers aft.
Give it some pedal and the Nitto NT01 R-spec tyres grip up and heave the Falcon down the road. And unlike drag-style tyres, they’re epic under brakes and in the twisty stuff
The Bathurst Globe-style wheels are pretty special. Sold through Roy at V Resto Garage, they started life as a set of one-piece 19x8s, but for the rears, AA Welding carefully cut the centres out and welded them into wider nine-inch hoops. The fat 19x9s are wrapped in 285-wide rubber, which was about the widest that could be squeezed under the stock hindquarters with factory leaf springs.
The tyres are also pretty schmick. They’re Nitto’s super-grippy NT01 – R-spec circuit-style treads that are designed for maximum stopping and cornering. A great choice for anybody looking to do track days, they provide slick-like levels of grip, yet are much longer-wearing and have enough tread to make them (barely) street-legal.
The EFI wiring and fuel lines go in through the rear of the JBR hat – the original injector hoses are just there for looks. V Resto Garage cut the hole and fabricated the bonnet surround to look like a factory shaker surround. Although capable of considerably more, the TBS 8/71 billet blower is only pushing 5-6psi of boost. On E85, that equates to 934 effortless ponies
A rebuild on this XY initially kicked off more than 10 years ago. The donor car was actually an old SM feature car; GRACIE (as she was called back then) appeared in the Oct/Nov 1995 issue. Progress on the build had been on and off for years: “Paul [owner/customer] was keen to get it done, and so were we,” says Roy from V Resto.
Along the way, Peter from John Street Smash had done a great job of completing all the bodywork, but there was a lot more work to be done. “It suffered from the 1980s ‘chrome the lot’ build philosophy,” Roy says.
V Resto Garage got stuck into getting the body ready for paint and organising the rest of the driveline, as well as tracking down a mountain of GT gear, with Gary Coleman in Sydney proving to be an invaluable source. All the factory moulds were retained, which V Resto Garage fettled back into shape before being repolished or rechromed. In-house spray painter, Joe Painter (we kid you not!) laid on the deeper-than-deep PPG Jet Black, to which First-Stripes then added the iconic GT stripes.
The cabin is wall-to-wall XY GT – even the Super Fringe radio and single speaker in the centre of the dash works
Inside it’s pure XY GT, including a genuine Ford wind-back sunroof. Very few deviations from stock have been made; there’s no ratchet shifter (V Resto Garage adapted a factory shifter) and no aftermarket gauges strewn everywhere – the reproduction GTHO 8000rpm tacho and 140mph (225km/h) speedo is more than up to the task. Underneath is the same – stock, stock, stock. With Pedders supplying new bushes, springs, shocks and ball joints, this XY now drives mighty fine.
This in-your-face beast is far from Paul’s first XY; he’s owned a number of them, including the car that became John Saad’s FAT XY (SM, Nov ’17). Paul is now looking into his next build. Details are scant at this time; however, given his passion for the colour black and low ride height, it’s a good bet these will again be distinguishing features. If his current weapon is anything to go by, I for one can’t wait – bring it on!
V RESTO GARAGE
1971 FORD XY FALCON
Paint: PPG Jet Black
Brand: World Products 438ci
Heads: World Products
Inlet manifold: Edelbrock
Blower: The Blower Shop billet 8/71
EFI: Joe Blo Speed Shop
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel system: Aeromotive in-tank
Cooling: XY GT; 16in and 10in Spal fans
Headers: Custom by ProFlo
Exhaust: Mandrel-bent 3in
Gearbox: Al’s Race Glides C4
Converter: 8in Dominator, 3000rpm stall
Diff: Full-floating 9in, 4.11:1 Truetrac, 31-spline
Tailshaft: 3.5in chrome-moly
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Springs & shocks: Pedders (f & r)
Steering: XY GT 16:1
Brakes: Wilwood 330mm rotors and six-piston calipers (f), Wilwood 330mm rotors and four-piston calipers (r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Bathurst Globe-style; 18x8 (f), 18x9 (r)
Rubber: Nitto NT01; 225/35R19 (f), 285/30R19 (r)
Roy and Frank Velardi, Joe Painter and Angelo Cali at V Resto Garage; John Agazzi at CWD and VP Racing Fuels; Peter at John Street Smash; Nick at Turbo Mufflers; Ralph and Anthony at Smithfield Diff & Gearbox; Al’s Race Glides; AA Welding; Ricky’s Drive Shafts; Paul Sant at ProFlo; Tan (interior); Mark at Pedders; Scotty at Rocket Industries; Damien at First-Stripes; Joe Schembri at Joe Blo Speed Shop; Frank Marchetta (headliner & assembly)