XTRA FAT

KILLER LINES, A TOUGH CLEVO AND SWEET STANCE MAKE RICK GAL­LOWAY’S FAL­CON COUPE ONE FAT XB

Street Machine - - Contents - STORY IAIN KELLY PHO­TOS MITCH HEMMING

Killer lines, a tough Clevo and sweet stance make Rick Gal­loway’s Fal­con coupe one FAT XB

THERE WAS A BIT OF A CON­VER­SA­TION AROUND WHETHER TO MOD­IFY IT OR NOT, BUT A GOLD SIX-POT WASN’T IN MY PLANS!

SELLING your pride and joy is never an easy pill to swal­low, and there are count­less sto­ries of peo­ple giv­ing up their bitchin’ V8 tar-burner for a prac­ti­cal-and-bor­ing daily. Mem­o­ries are clung to through dog-eared pho­tos of that one time dad had a killer street ma­chine, and life moves on.

Rick Gal­loway knows this all too well, hav­ing given up his last fat Blue Oval coupe due to fam­ily pres­sures. The good news is, he ended up back in one, which just hap­pens to be a 600hp toughie – built to elite-stan­dards – called FAT XB!

“I’ve al­ways been into Fords, but the last time I owned a Ford coupe was when my son was born 27 years ago,” Rick says. “I had to get rid of the Lan­dau as I had no money and it only had two doors, so I swapped it for a Gemini.”

While that is cause for de­spair, the next coupe Rick put his name on the rego pa­pers for is a dead-set pearler with silken House Of Kolor paint, a stout Clevo, beau­ti­ful trim and a ground-hug­ging stance. But, as with all good Street Ma­chine yarns, it didn’t start this way.

“A mate put me onto this car through Face­book, so I rang the guy, flew to Ade­laide and bought it,” Rick says. “It started life as a gold six-cylin­der, but it was a good, straight car and I wanted a good car to build up.

“There was a bit of a con­ver­sa­tion around whether to mod­ify it or not, but a gold six-pot wasn’t in my plans! I wanted a re­ally nice, tidy, straight car that I could drive, and make it re­ally nice to drive.”

The first step for Rick was to drop the XB off at Pat’s Pro Restos in Beaudesert, Queens­land. Pat has built a name for him­self by putting to­gether some of the Sun­shine State’s coolest street ma­chines, in­clud­ing Ja­son Cooke’s XP Fal­con

(SM, Dec ’16), Peter Hinz’s ’51 Chev, and Mal Seiler’s ’64 Galaxie (SM, Jan ’15). “I gave Pat the brief and handed it over to him,” Rick ex­plains. “It took thou­sands

of hours to build this car, as I be­lieve it is per­fectly gapped – it is def­i­nitely way bet­ter than how Henry built ’em!”

Hav­ing the panel gaps on-point was a cen­tral el­e­ment to the build, but this wasn’t a sim­ple task given pro­duc­tion tol­er­ances for Aussie cars back in the 1970s weren’t ex­actly world-lead­ing.

“I wanted to keep the XB in it and en­hance the style of it; there’s not much that’s not Fal­con,” Rick says. “We did fit bil­let bon­net hinges as they look a lot nicer than the stock ones.”

Once they had the body smoothed and gapped to per­fec­tion, Pat’s team laid down fresh House Of Kolor white on the body, while the stripes run con­trast­ing Gal­axy Grey, along with a Blue Blood red pin­stripe.

“I wanted white right from the start, and I was toss­ing up be­tween solid or metal­lic white, but I’m glad we went solid as it’s a pure white, where the metal­lic isn’t as clean,” Rick says. “I also wanted to do some­thing with stripes that no­body had done, which was in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult. Peo­ple see the coupe in per­son and like it more than in pho­tos.”

De­spite FAT XB be­ing a cruiser, Rick still wanted his big Ford to have plenty of snot when he wanted, so Tony O’con­nor from TOCA Per­for­mance screwed to­gether a tough Cleve­land for him. Al­though it stomps out 611hp, the stout Clevo is still plenty friendly for cruis­ing du­ties ac­cord­ing to Rick. “It’s a mag­nif­i­cent bit of en­gi­neer­ing!” he says. “It ab­so­lutely boo­gies when you want it to, but I can also drive it around on a sum­mer’s day no prob­lems. I got caught for 1.5 hours in Gold Coast traf­fic and it didn’t get hot.”

The en­gine dis­places 383ci thanks to a Scat crank and rods and SRP pis­tons, and Tony also made a cus­tom sump, fit­ted solid Isky lifters and had a cus­tom 251/257 flat-tap­pet cam ground up. The top end of the mo­tor fea­tures ported CHI heads and in­take man­i­fold, with a bil­let BLP Rac­ing Prod­ucts car­bu­ret­tor perched on top, suck­ing fuel from a Robbmc me­chan­i­cal fuel pump.

Be­hind the mo­tor sits a 5200rpm Con­verter Shop torque con­verter and a C4 auto built by Bob Grant. They pass the hurt through a 3.5-inch tail­shaft wear­ing bil­let yokes to an Al­tra 9 nine-inch diff pack­ing 35-spline axles, 3.9 gears and a True­trac cen­tre.

THE BRIEF WAS THAT THIS CAR WILL BE DRIVEN AND I WANTED KILLER GAPS AND LINES. I GOT EX­ACTLY THAT

Ford’s XA-XC coupes are fa­mous for their abil­ity to swal­low gar­gan­tuan tyres un­der the rear, and Rick has some se­ri­ous meats out back, with the 18x11.5 Amer­i­can Leg­end Hav­ocs wrapped in 345mm-wide Mickey Thomp­son skins. Up front the Hav­ocs span 18x7 and run 225/45 tyres, help­ing the coupe turn a darn sight bet­ter than on the stock pizza-cut­ters from ’74!

Al­though the tomb­stone seats are stock, the door pan­els and par­cel tray are cus­tom, all trimmed in red kan­ga­roo leather by Chris Bakker from Elite In­te­ri­ors. Chris also laid down the red Mercedes-benz car­pet.

“After I saw Ja­son Cooke’s XP trimmed in kan­ga­roo leather I knew I wanted that, but I didn’t want to de­vi­ate too far from the Fal­con in­te­rior,” says Rick.

De­spite a last-minute crunch to get the trim done, FAT XB was de­buted to the world at Mo­torex 2017 as one of the highly pres­ti­gious un­veil cars. How­ever, Rick had flown straight back from Europe and missed the cov­ers be­ing whipped off by mere min­utes!

“Show­ing the car doesn’t mean any­thing to me,” Rick says. “The brief was that this car will be driven and I wanted killer gaps and lines. I got ex­actly that and only paid to do things once, which can be a lit­tle un­usual, ap­par­ently!”

It seems like it was worth the near-30-year wait to get that next Fal­con coupe!

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