THESE days, if you want to make big power you simply bolt a turbocharger onto just about any engine you like, press the page-up key on your computer and bam – you’ve got 1000hp. Replicating that four-digit number with an old-school aspirated carburettor engine isn’t as simple, but with the right parts and people involved you can make it happen.
Rob Cirillo has been mucking around with big-block Ford V8s for more than 20 years. Back in 1994 he finished the build of his genuine ’68 XT Falcon GT, filled with 460 cubic inches of 625hp big-block goodness, along with massive tubs and all the fruit. These days you wouldn’t dare cut up a genuine GT, but back then Rob picked the car up for a measly $4000 because no one else wanted it.
Rob raced and cruised the car for a number of years and eventually ran 10.80 at Calder Park; it was a bloody quick street car back in the day. Easternats 2005 was the last time the car ran; Rob then sold the driveline out of it and spent the next 14 years focusing on other areas of life while the Falcon sat in hibernation in the garage.
Recently Rob got the itch again and decided to scratch it by getting in touch with Con Sagiaris at Pro Race Engines to get the Falcon back on the road. The brief was simple: an old-school, 800-900hp aspirated big-block street-and-race engine. So Con screwed together a 547ci SVO big-block with a Scat crank, Compstar rods, Diamond Pistons and Trick Flow A460 heads and intake manifold. It’s quite a racy engine, so the compression is a sky-high 14.5:1; this is a big-block that loves to rev!
We saw the motor on the engine dyno at Adicted Performance, where Con and Danko Knezevic got it all tuned up before it goes into Rob’s Falcon. First they started on Roo16 fuel, which saw the combo crank out a massive 1005hp and 786ft-lb of torque. Then Con and Danko switched over to a Pro Systems 1250cfm E85 carb and straight away it was pretty much on par with the Roo16 fuel. After hooking up the vacuum pump it picked up around 30hp to bring the total to a seriously impressive 1028hp@7400rpm and 799.9ft-lb@6100rpm.
Rob’s only goal with the new motor is to run a single-digit time down the quarter-mile, and we reckon he’ll have no dramas doing that with over 1000hp under his right foot! He couldn’t believe how well the new motor came up and is hanging to get it back in the car.