Readers got a bit stroppy with AMC about the Bathurst privateers that got left off our Top 25 list last issue. Great to see such passion for the humble privateer. Lots of other feedback on our recent stories.
AMC Reader: Paul Tilley Muscle car: 1969 XW Falcon GT Hometown: Moreton Bay, Queensland
What is it? A Silver Fox, XW Falcon GT, built in September 1969. The car came standard with the 351ci Windsor V8, Top-Loader four-speed manual gearbox, 3.25:1 ratio, 9” diff, 36 gallon tank and black vinyl interior. Only factory option ordered was a Super Fringe push-button radio, whilst dealer options included weather shield, locking petrol cap, wheel arch moulds and a lockdown aerial. Although the interior is basically standard – except for a competition driver’s seat – the car was repainted in 2001 and the engine has been bored and stroked out to 393ci and includes aluminium heads, aftermarket intake manifold, 750cfm DP carby and custom extractors with a dual 3” exhaust system. When did you buy it? I bought the car in late April/early May, 1989 from Sandgate Road Wholesale Cars… a Brisbane dealer who always seemed to have a selection of muscle cars on hand, some of which were there on consignment. Why did you buy it? I had originally planned to buy a Diamond White GT-HO Phase II that I saw at the GT Nationals in Bathurst in 1989, but unfortunately that deal fell through, so I started looking for an alternative. When I found the Silver Fox GT, I loved the colour and the car’s originality… plus the dealer gave me a good trade-in price for my Red Pepper XB GT. What do you know about its life? The car was originally purchased by Jim and Jean Duncan from Coolangatta Motors (soon to become Border Ford) on October 10, 1969. They owned the car for a little over two years – clocking up just 11,000 miles – before trading it in on a new XA GT in 1972. The XW was then bought from Border Ford, by Colin Twine in June, 1972, who owned the car for the next 17 years, before putting it on consignment with Sandgate Road Wholesale Cars, in mid-April 1989. During Colin’s ownership, the car travelled extensively throughout Australia, from far north Queensland, to Western Australia – often with a caravan in tow. (See AMC issue #66, page 88). How does it go? With a little over 500hp and around 520ft/lb of torque, the car has lots of grunt in a straightline and with the original 3.25:1 diff, can hit around 145-150mph. I have also set the suspension up for track work (mostly sprints and hillclimbs), with competition Koni shocks, lowered and stiffer front and rear springs and revised camber and castor settings. The big support brace in the engine bay also helps stiffen up the front end. For track work, however, the car’s only real weak link has always been the brakes, but I will soon be upgrading to a four-piston calliper front disc setup, similar to that used on Group N cars. Any big trips planned? I have never had a problem driving long distances in the car, having driven from Brisbane to Melbourne and Adelaide to attend past GT Nationals events. However, next year I will be driving to Perth to attend the 2017 GT Nationals, which will be my biggest trip in the car yet. Taking the GT across the Nullarbor has been a goal for a number of years, so I am really looking forward to that. Anything you would like to add? I bought my first GT in 1977 – a Reef Green, 1970 XW Falcon GT auto – and have owned a number of other GTs (XY, XA hardtop and two XB sedans) over the years, and have enjoyed them all, whether it be touring around this great country, or competing at track events. This is what they were meant for and I would recommend to all other owners, to get them out of the shed as often as you can, to really appreciate what great cars they are.