20 Mus­cle Ma­niac

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

This edi­tion Mus­cle Ma­niac James Cock­ing­ton dis­cov­ers a six-cylin­der Jack Brab­ham XW Fal­con and John Har­vey’s speed­car. And in­tro­duc­ing the page 23 girl. Theme song: Michael Sem­bello’s ‘Ma­niac’ from Flash­dance.

AMC #24’s cover from 2006 fea­tured the limited edi­tion Brab­ham-Ford Fal­cons sold by the Jack Brab­ham Ford deal­er­ship in Bankstown.

These cars were built by the Barry Sharp High Per­for­mance Di­vi­sion, based in a work­shop un­der the main show­room.

The ar­ti­cle sug­gested that as many as fifty XY Fal­cons were built and sold. Un­til re­cently it was thought that only one sur­vives, plus a replica of the XY race car which was pre­pared and driven by Barry Sharp.

In 2006 Steve Delissa owned both those cars (he has since sold the race replica) but Stir­ling Arthur, owner of Gas Wheels in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast, says that there is one other Brab­ham Ford and he has it. “Mine ap­pears to be a very rare car,” he writes. For a start his is an XW, not an XY. Ac­cord­ing to Delissa, who knew the late Barry Sharp, only one XW Brab­ham Fal­con was built. It’s thought it was used as a dis­play car to gen­er­ate in­ter­est for the up­com­ing XY spe­cials.

This XW is also some­thing spe­cial. It’s a 221ci (3.6-litre) six, rather than a V8.

Stir­ling Arthur thinks this must be what saved it from be­ing con­verted into a replica GT-HO, the likely fate of all the other Brab­ham Fords.

Stir­ling’s Fal­con has one-off Brab­ham badg­ing and side trims and was sold through the Jack Brab­ham Ford deal­er­ship in the trade­mark twotone colours – with op­tions like a heater box, disc-brake front end, stain­less steel trim, bon­net em­blem and split­ters.

When Stir­ling found it, the car had been off the road for 15 to 20 years. When the orig­i­nal owner died it was then stored out­side for many years.

“The paint is not orig­i­nal, but is the same Starlight Blue colour as what is un­der­neath,” says Stir­ling. “It has only had min­i­mum me­chan­i­cal re­pairs re­quired to get it back on the road. It looks OK in pics but is still pretty rough… but that’s how I like ’em!

“And yes,” he says, “I do drive it reg­u­larly.”

Stir­ling met up with Sir Jack re­cently, and he was only too happy to sign some bits and pieces from the car.

“He asked for some pics too, al­though I’m not sure he re­mem­bers too much about the Ford Spe­cial pro­gram. It seems it was mostly Sharpie who sorted it.”

An­other unique Ford spe­cial sur­vives.

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