JOHN SAAD’S XY FALCON STREET CAR IS A MOUNTAIN-MOTORED MONSTER!
John Saad’s street-driven XY Falcon combines elite-level build quality with a 1354hp Sonny’s mountain motor!
JOHN Saad wanted a streetable car that had 1000hp naturally aspirated. “No blowers, no turbos,” he says. And that’s exactly what FAT XY is. With an engine bay filled to the brink with a massive 673ci Sonny Leonard, hemi-headed bigblock Ford, this gorgeous black XY GT tribute exceeded John’s requirements with a bona fide 1354 98-octane-friendly horses. If you think 1354hp is stout, you’ll be blown away by the fact that John actually had the engine detuned to make that power.
Us-based Pro Stock/pro Mod gurus Sonny’s Racing Engines originally built the Hemiheaded mountain motor for an Aussie drag racer who was looking to run sixes on C16. Unfortunately, the enormous mill was never fitted to a car and sat about languishing. John’s brother George was aware of its existence, and approached the owner about selling it. Although it wasn’t actually for sale at the time, a deal was struck.
Unfortunately, with its alloy rods, sky-high compression and Mount Everest cam, the angry full-race engine was never going to be happy on the street. So it was packed into a crate and shipped back across the Pacific, to Sonny’s shop in Lynchburg, Virginia. They stripped and completely rebuilt it with different rods, pistons and a more streetable version of Sonny’s special 60mm camshafts.
The foundation for this extreme Ford is the aftermarket cast-iron Premier block by Eliminator Performance Products. Based on the factory 429/460ci (385-series) block, it has been significantly lightened by LSM Systems Engineering, who whittled around 32kg out of it. The casting features special high-flow water jackets to help the keep monster cool, along with a raised cam bore to clear the hefty Carrillo billet-steel rods and whopping 4.843-inch Bryant billet crank. If you punch the crank’s stroke along with the Diamond forged pistons’ 4.703-inch diameter into an engine capacity calculator, you’ll get a whopping 673ci!
The enormous hemispherical cylinder heads are just as capacious. They’re Sonny’s own design and have ports that look big enough to fit your fist into. The exotic heads are bridged by a mammoth sheet-metal intake manifold, topped with a pair of Holley’s legendary 1250cfm Dominators. Despite being nearly 60ci smaller than Sonny’s 729-cube Extreme Pump Gas Ford big-block, this donk is lineball power-wise thanks to extensive CNC head work. Sonny’s Racing Engines is so happy with how it turned out, there’s a pic of FAT XY’S engine bay on the company’s website.
As photographer Thorogood has noted, the sheer scale of the engine is epic – which is what you need when creating a 1000+hp, naturally aspirated street mill. And it didn’t stop there. While Sonny’s signature forwardfacing, belt-driven (off the front of the cam) dizzy stayed, the drag-spec wet-sump set-up was swapped for a Moroso four-stage drysump system. This ensures vital oil pressure is maintained whenever John mashes the loud pedal for intervals somewhat longer than six seconds.
“Todd at Sonny’s was massively helpful,” John says. “It was a scary proposition to stick the big-dollar engine in a wooden to box and send if off. But Todd looked after everything and made sure everything was right and it came back spot-on.”
FAT XY’S 1000hp-safe driveline includes an Al’s Race Glides TH400 complete with Reid case and billet internals. After dynoing the engine, Sonny’s sent all the specs to Neal Chance, who pieced together one of his bulletproof converters. Continuing rearwards, you’ll find a four-inch Mark Williams chromemoly tailshaft and 40-spline Mark Williams diff with a sheet-metal housing by Red at Craft Diffs.
As dominant as that hemi-headed big-block is, the rest of FAT XY is similarly grand. Michael
UNLIKE MOST PROJECTS THAT START OUT AS BASKET CASES, FAT XY WAS BORN FROM A VERY TIDY PHASE III TRIBUTE, WHICH HAD BEEN BUILT WITH A NUMBER OF GENUINE PARTS
“As well as all the companies that were involved, my brothers Nick, Michael and George along with mates Rob, TJ and Shadi pretty much built the whole car for me,” John says. “They did so much, I cannot thank them enough”