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Allen MacFadyen's Ford Falcon XT ute

By Jack Houlihan, 16 Jan 2021 Features

Allen MacFadyen's Ford Falcon XT ute

We caught up with Allen MacFadyen to talk about his life with cars and his current ride, a XT GT tribute ute

ALLEN MacFadyen has spent most of his life buying, selling, breaking and fixing classic Aussie metal around Geelong and beyond. He’s also indoctrinated three sons into the car-mad lifestyle, including Torana racer Scott (SM, May ’11). We caught up with him at his Breakwater workshop for a yarn.

This article was first published in the Street Machine 2020 Yearbook. Photos: Chris Thorogood

So what’s your background, mate?

Cars are our lives. I’ve been in the car trade for 50 years now, starting out as an 18-year-old salesman at Wyres Brothers Holden in Ballarat. After that, I ran South Geelong Autos for 35 years. I’m a self-taught painter and panel beater at our workshop, so that’s how I keep busy when things are quiet.

Allen MacFadyen

No doubt you would’ve had some rockets come through the yard.

I’ve had them all! I think every performance car you could buy came through there. We had all sorts of Monaros and plenty of GT Falcons – which aren’t as quick as people think they are!

Did you keep many for yourselves?

We were in a lucky position being in the trade; if we saw a car in Melbourne or wherever we’d just jump on it and say: ‘Here we go again!’ One of the best cars we had was a Brock VK Director. It was just lightning-fast, like a race car on the road. I’ll always remember taking my son down to Barwon Heads for footy on a Saturday morning and hitting 240km/h on the way. You wouldn’t dare do it now!

Allen MacFadyen cars

How do you keep yourself busy these days?

I got out of the car yard about eight years ago. My son Scotty took it over, so I went down and started restoring some of the cars that were sitting in the workshop. We have a few here now: old Fairlanes, an HK ute, even a two-door LJ Torana. This year hasn’t really changed things for me; I’ve just been working away as usual and the car yard has been busy.

Allen MacFadyen ford falcon ute

Tell us a bit about the XT you’ve got here.

We built this ute 13 or 14 years ago as a GT tribute. It’s got a 351 Windsor in it, which we bought as a brand new block. Eugene at Flowcraft built it for us and did the heads; it’s a tough motor. It’s got a manualised C4 with a 4500rpm stall, and a nine-inch diff with 4.11 gears. It’s a good, quick ute – about twice as fast as the old XW GT I had before that. You can just jump into it and have a bit of fun. I’ve had it facing the wrong way a few times on Australia Day cruises – I’m not much of a steerer! The boys always have a laugh at that.

ford falcon engine bay