STRAW­BER­RIES AND CREAM

THIS EX­QUIS­ITE XM FUTURA WAS A CASE OF JUST DESSERTS FOR TERRY BRAD­BURY AFTER 22 YEARS OF HARD YAKKA

Street Machine - - Contents - Story TAS MCMIL­LAN

Terry Brad­bury toiled away at this XM sedan for 22 long years. It’s pretty sharp as a re­sult!

CLICHES tend to be­come so be­cause they ring true, and in the case of this gor­geous XM, the ap­pro­pri­ate one is: ‘good things take time’. A build time of two decades makes this a pretty long-term project! Terry Brad­bury is the man re­spon­si­ble for this stun­ning ma­chine, though he’ll be the first to tell you about all the peo­ple who’ve helped him along the way.

HENREY started life as a stock ’64 XM Futura, and after be­ing handed down through a fam­ily it wound up in the back­yard of a wrecker, where Terry dis­cov­ered it. “I used to do a lot of Va­ri­ety Bashes for char­i­ties, and I needed a heater box for an XR ute I was build­ing as a Bash car,” the Wodonga lo­cal ex­plains. “When I saw the XM I knew it was too good to let it rust into the ground, so I told the bloke: ‘I can’t just pull the heater out of that; I’ll buy the whole car!’ It was just beau­ti­ful; I’ve never had to re­place a panel and the floor’s still orig­i­nal.”

Over the next few years, work on the XM was in­ter­rupted by build­ing a house and start­ing a busi­ness. In between the events of nor­mal life, Terry sent the car down to the late, great Craig Brewer at Pro Pipes & Race Cars for an at­ti­tude up­grade. Craig split the rear tubs and added 120mm to their width so they could ac­cept the 275/60 ET Streets Terry wanted to run. The chas­sis brac­ing, thicker trans-tun­nel sheet metal, four-link and fab­ri­cated nine-inch were all Craig’s work as well. Terry speaks very highly of Craig and his skills: “Most peo­ple don’t even no­tice that it’s tubbed.”

The front end has also been heav­ily re­in­forced to han­dle the weight of the Wind­sor that Terry had planned. Terry’s good mate Bruce ‘Cobba’ Fox, who was killed in a mo­tor­bike ac­ci­dent be­fore HENREY hit the road, was re­spon­si­ble for all the hard graft in the en­gine bay. The ra­di­a­tor sup­port, tow­ers, fire­wall and floor are all tied to­gether with ex­tra brac­ing, and the fire­wall was re­placed with 3mm sheet and moved 22mm aft. Keen eyes will no­tice the lack of the sig­na­ture early-fal­con fire­wall brace – it’s not nec­es­sary when the rest of the chas­sis is now far stiffer than fac­tory.

The main rea­son for all the brac­ing work around the body can be found un­der the bon­net. Terry had North Vic En­gines build a mild 351 Wind­sor with Vic­tor Jr heads and a mod­est cam, topped with an Edel­brock carby and MSD Ready-to-run dizzy. Tall-deck Wind­sors aren’t ex­actly mam­moth en­gines, but squeez­ing one between the tow­ers of the svelte XM called for some head-scratch­ing when it came to build­ing the pipes. Bob Smith from Bob’s Ex­haust knocked up a set of head­ers that Terry hap­pily de­scribes as a work of art. “The num­ber-three pipe had to come up to clear the steer­ing box, so I asked him to make the left-hand side look the same,” he says. The head­ers were Hpc-coated and dump into a twin 2.5-inch sys­tem with Red­back muf­flers.

Terry’s ex­pe­ri­ence with the first panel shop he en­trusted the XM to was one he’d rather for­get. “This so-called painter had it for seven months,” he says. “When I picked it up it was ab­so­lutely hor­ren­dous – the guards were dif­fer­ent shades, the quar­ters were pushed in, the rear doors didn’t shut, and there were runs in the dash. I reckon it had fallen off the ro­tis­serie.” Thank­fully, the guys at Al­donga Dent Doc­tor came to the res­cue, but they had to strip it back and start from scratch to re­pair all the dam­age to the rear. Fi­nally, Danny Bakes laid down lib­eral amounts of cus­tom candy red and Frozen White.

De­spite the show-spec paint and body­work, HENREY was al­ways des­tined to be a driver. With that in mind, Terry con­sulted an en­gi­neer from the be­gin­ning of the project,

THE XM WAS TOO GOOD TO LET IT RUST INTO THE GROUND, SO I TOLD THE BLOKE: ‘I CAN’T JUST PULL THE HEATER OUT OF THAT; I’LL BUY THE WHOLE CAR!’ I’VE NEVER HAD TO RE­PLACE A PANEL AND THE FLOOR’S STILL ORIG­I­NAL

KEEN EYES WILL NO­TICE THE LACK OF THE SIG­NA­TURE EARLY FAL­CON FIRE­WALL BRACE – IT’S NOT NEC­ES­SARY WHEN THE REST OF THE CHAS­SIS IS NOW FAR STIFFER THAN FAC­TORY

and made sure that all the work was ticked off to make it safe for the street. “He wanted seat­belts, two-speed wipers, disc brakes, a flex test – the usual stuff,” he says. “The one thing I haven’t done yet is a col­lapsi­ble steer­ing col­umn, but I have to pull the en­gine out to re­place it. I fit­ted a stan­dard col­umn just to get it go­ing with a week un­til Sum­mer­nats.”

For Terry, ’Nats 31 was the re­al­i­sa­tion of a life­long dream – HENREY was awarded a place in the Top 60. “It was the first time I’d ever driven it and it was an ab­so­lute buzz!” he says. As for turn­ing those big tyres in anger, Terry wouldn’t mind punt­ing the XM down the quar­ter-mile, but he doesn’t have any pre­dic­tions or ex­pec­ta­tions of its per­for­mance. For now, he’s fo­cus­ing on the fin­ish­ing touches and mak­ing it road-le­gal. “It goes all right!” Terry says. We bet it does.

Pho­tos CHRIS THORO­GOOD

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