20 Muscle Maniac
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.