Street Machine

JAMES MACKIE

> KNOX, VICTORIA

- STORY KIAN HEAGNEY

WHILE James Mackie is mostly known on the internet for his sacrilegio­us, Ls-swapped XY Falcon drift car, XYYNOT (SM, Oct ’16), his XT GT tribute dubbed ‘Cecil’ is the perfect response to any haters and a favourite for his kids.

You’ve got a few old Fords in your fleet. What started your love affair with chrome-bumpered Falcons?

I remember as a kid I fell in love with an XY GT, and I always watched Bathurst and stuff. My first Falcon like this was an XW Fairmont, but I’m not biased – my first car was a 253 VH SL/E; I’ve owned a VT Clubsport; I’ve got an S13 Silvia; I recently sold a VW Beetle; and both my XY Falcon drift car and ‘Patsy’ the XT Falcon wagon daily driver are Ls-swapped.

Tell us a bit more about Cecil.

Cecil is a 1968 XT Falcon GT replica I got around six-and-a-half years ago. I found out about it through work. I think it was built in the late 80s, and to me it’s a perfect 80s street machine. It’s got a full XT GT interior with a hotted-up Windsor, Top Loader ’box and an 8¾-inch diff. At one point it had nitrous on it and allegedly ran 10s with the Top Loader on gas, but I’ve never raced it. For me it’s the pinnacle car – it gets looks every time you roll into a car show, but it’s also a bit of a pig to drive. The clutch almost makes me throw my back out. It’s got 15x10s on the back and you know it’s an old Falcon when you drive it, but I still love the thing.

Was Cecil also a good way to keep the Ford purists happy?

Cecil has always been the best comeback I have when people try to get up me about my other two Ls-swapped Falcons. They’ll try and tell me I’ve ruined a classic and all that, and then I just drop Cecil on them and it shuts them up pretty quick.

How do your kids like the cars?

The kids definitely love the cars just as much as I do. A while back I got the reveal photos of the new livery on XYYNOT done with my daughter Indie, so for the photoshoot with Cecil I got the photos done with my son Ryder. Ryder loves the cars so much that when I pick him up from daycare on Tuesdays, if I don’t bring Cecil or Patsy, he gets very upset because he knows that’s the day I pick him up in a special car!

They love going for rides in them and Ryder is always out with me in the garage working on them, moving around jacks and helping me out.

Do you have any future plans for Cecil?

Unfortunat­ely, not long after these photos were taken, Cecil was sold. It’s something I never thought I would do, but the time has come for us to buy a house, so sadly I’ve had to let him go. I’ve still got the drift car and Patsy, so I’ve got enough old Falcons to keep me entertaine­d. I know I’ll regret selling this one, though!

Looking ahead to when the house and all that is in the bag, are there any other cars or projects on your radar?

I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got so far, but one day I’d love an XR GT. I wouldn’t want a full-on XY GTHO even if I could afford one, because I like to use my cars. I document all my builds on my Youtube channel now, XYYNOT Drifting, so anything I get in the future will end up on there.

What do you do for a crust?

I’m a plumber, so because I travel around a lot it’s how I came across Cecil and some of my other cars. Sometimes I literally have shit days, so coming home to the cars and kids always makes it a bit easier.

 ?? PHOTOS SHAWN MCCANN ??
PHOTOS SHAWN MCCANN
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