WE all remember our first cars fondly, but Seth DePiazza will certainly never forget his, as the 19-year-old apprentice panel beater built this killer ’77 XC Fairmont GXL. With a smoothed and body-coloured engine bay, four-linked rear end and mega 20x12in Intro billets out back, Seth's more-door is the perfect P-plate beach cruiser!
First published in the April 2021 issue of Street Machine
What led you to the big-hipped 70s Ford sedan?
I really fell in love with coupes – I have been going to Summernats since I was six or seven and tough coupes really stuck out to me, especially Gary Myers’s XA. I couldn’t afford a coupe, so I started looking for sedans. I think being around my dad’s Fords also helped, as he has had a few, including an XD or XE back in the day that was in the Elite Hall at Summernats and in Street Machine.
Where did you find the XC?
We’d been looking for a Falcon for ages and found this one for sale with a wagon down in Narrandera. There was only a tiny bit of rust in the door and one huge ding in the quarter panel, which we fixed, so I thought we’d tidy it up and get it on the road.
Being a dry car, was it a big build?
We actually built the car completely backwards [laughs]. I started by tidying up the engine bay and then smoothing it; then we fitted the engine and cleaned up the interior. That engine didn’t have any oil pressure, so it got freshened up and painted. Then one of Dad’s mates was selling these Intro billet wheels, so we mini-tubbed it and four-linked it, too.
Your dad runs Kyle’s Conversions and you’re working at Down Town Kustoms, so you must be surrounded by inspiration!
Oh, for sure! I have too many ideas racing around in my head, but I need to stay calm and wait until I can legally do something cool.
Big-inch billets and four-links sounds like a normal day at DTK!
My dream was to tub it and put 20x12s on it, so to make that come true at such a young age is awesome. We got a nine-inch from one of Dad’s mates and had it shortened; then I used Viking coil-overs and a McDonald Brothers four-link kit, because we couldn’t beat it for the price and ease.
What’s under the bonnet?
It’s an ally-headed 250 six from Dad’s XE with a single-rail four-speed manual behind it. We actually only used the manual because we had it, and it really isn’t happy turning the billets and nine-inch! As soon as I’m off my P-plates, I want to put a bigger motor in it.
Being in the trade, did you learn a lot on your own car?
I did most of the engine bay, which was how I learned to do sheet metal, as Dad taught me. We did the tubs after I had more experience doing that type of work at DTK. Bodywise Smash painted it Barossa Red from an AU, and did the doors, guards and bonnet.
What do your mates think? Surely you have the coolest car in the group!
Everyone I drive past seems to love it! Most of my mates are into V6 Commodores, but all my mates, even ones not into cars, love it and are always asking to go out in it. I don’t really want to take it out in case it gets dirty or stone chips.
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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