THE C6 SMASHED ITS CASING ON THE MO­TOR­WAY ON THE NEXT TEST, SPEW­ING TRANS­MIS­SION FLUID AND METAL FRAG­MENTS ACROSS ALL LANES

NZV8 - - 1967 GALAXIE XL -

With the work­shop be­ing on the other side of town, An­drew en­listed the help of his brother, Chris, to make sure that they made the most of the lim­ited hours they had each night to work on the car. Mean­while, the com­pleted en­gine was run up on the Marsh Mo­tor­sport en­gine dyno, where it pushed out an im­pres­sive 538hp and 560lb·ft — not a bad set of num­bers at all, let alone for some­one who had not long cel­e­brated his 21st birth­day! Get­ting the en­gine into the car was pretty straight­for­ward, thanks to the old 390 hav­ing the same en­gine mounts; it was just a mat­ter of a few small wiring changes and bolt­ing up the C6 trans. The first short test drive didn’t quite go as planned, though: while An­drew was stoked with the power, he was left dras­ti­cally un­der­whelmed when it came to push­ing the brake pedal. “Af­ter fig­ur­ing lack of vacuum would be the cul­prit, on ac­count of the big cam, the car got a vacuum reservoir but it wasn’t enough. Go­ing fast was im­por­tant, but the two-tonne car needed to stop, too, so I then found a 12V vacuum pump unit and ran the en­gine in,” he states of the predica­ment. Think­ing the prob­lems were a thing of the past, An­drew got a rude re­al­ity shock when the C6 smashed its casing on the mo­tor­way on the next test, spew­ing trans­mis­sion fluid and metal frag­ments across all lanes. As if that wasn’t enough to ruin An­drew’s day, just to top it all off, the dam­age re­sulted in an un­der­body fire. Dis­heart­ened that he’d now need to spend months sav­ing be­fore he could make the most of the freshly fit­ted en­gine, An­drew pushed the car aside while he worked out what to do next. Again, Segedins ended up pro­vid­ing the so­lu­tion by sup­ply­ing a new street/strip trans from TCI along with bil­let drive­shaft yokes. While the fire ne­ces­si­tated some un­der­body fixes, such as coat­ing the head­ers, An­drew also took the chance to have Lee at Diffs R Us drop in some new rear springs and ad­justable Spohn Per­for­mance rear arms. Third time lucky! How­ever, this time the brakes were even worse than An­drew re­called, so it was back to the shed once more.

“Af­ter read­ing up on Hy­dro­boost hy­draulic brake boosters, I bought one from Sum­mit Rac­ing to fit an S10 pickup. A bit of mod­i­fi­ca­tion was in­volved, but I mar­ried it to a Wil­wood master cylin­der and it now stops like a V8 su­per­car,” An­drew en­thuses — and yes, that’s with the stock rear drums still in place. De­spite tak­ing part in plenty of cruis­ing and street events such as Beach Hop, An­drew found that the 20-inch wheels the car had al­ways run just weren’t do­ing it for him any more. The car needed a tougher per­sona to match the big power it was now pack­ing. Yet an­other swipe of the credit card at Segedins saw the so­lu­tion: 15x6-inch and 15x8-inch Weld Rac­ing Draglites wrapped in Mickey Thomp­son rub­ber. Now, 10 years af­ter his love af­fair with the big Galaxie be­gan, An­drew’s claim­ing that it’s close to fin­ished. He is well aware of the strain his af­fair’s put on those around him. His mum’s long been tasked with stor­ing the car, due to its sheer size and the lack of suit­ably large garages, while his girl­friend, Court­ney, and mates have all had to put up with all his fi­nances and time be­ing spent un­der the hood in­stead of with them. Through the searches for var­i­ous parts for the car, An­drew’s made a num­ber of on­line ac­quain­tances, many of who have do­nated parts to the build sim­ply for the cost of freight; for that, and the sup­port he’s had lo­cally, he’s ever grate­ful. He’s also grate­ful that the car is now run­ning flaw­lessly. To date, it’s only run a few quar­ter-mile passes, so he ad­mits that there’s still room for im­prove­ment — al­though how long the 28-spline axles will put up with try­ing to get the two-tonne ma­chine off the line quickly is yet to be seen.

AN­DREW LOUGHEED

OC­CU­PA­TION: Dig­ger op­er­a­tor / Fore­man

PRE­VI­OUSLY OWNED CARS: Hilux Surf mud­der, Mk2 Es­cort dirt track car

DREAM CAR: Any­thing with an SOHC 427

WHY THE GALAXIE? Great shape and some­thing dif­fer­ent

BUILD TIME: 10 years LENGTH OF OWN­ER­SHIP: 10 years

AN­DREW THANKS: Shane and the boys at Segedins Auto Spares, Do­min­ion Road; John and the team at Mag­num Au­to­mo­tive; Marsh Mo­tor­sport; Lee at Diffs R Us; Rob­bie McKenna from XR Au­to­mo­tive; Pa­trick and Hugh Heeney; my mum and dad; my brother, Chris; and, of course, my girl­friend, Court­ney

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