Australian muscle cars work better with nitroA 1977 Ford Falcon XC is a rare sight these days but one with over 900 horse power and nitro is even rarer.
It's a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, and by that I mean it's still being able to be driven around like a normal car. But it's got that mental aspect as well if you wanna go ski yourself or give your mates a laugh. And I've taken plenty of people for a round in it. They get out of it, and they're just like, aw ****, that is just off its face. I also, I look at it like a bit of an antidepressant. So I've had a bad, stressful day at work, I go out and play with the car, why don't you take it for a drive? And all that stuff's a whole different world. [UNKNOWN] You know it's escapism I suppose. [MUSIC] The car runs [UNKNOWN] In the region of around 700 horsepower and then there's 175 shot of nitrous on top of that. So if you're on the button, you'd be sort of 850 horsepower, maybe not on a good day if it's nice and cold on the interstates don't have to wake you up. Burning dinosaurs is sort of part of earning an Australian muscle car. It eats tires. I get about four [UNKNOWN] two months in the fronts and that's obviously down to my heavy right foot. [SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO] I first saw the XC Ford that I own now back in the mid to late 90s. I was working as a marine technician. There was an apprentice there, fellow called Chris Brower [MUSIC] Who bought this car and back then it was chocolate brown, or it's technical name is walnut [UNKNOWN]. And Chris drive that Ram for a number of years. And then it was involved in a grass fire. And he was at a BNS ball, which is in Australia, bachelor [UNKNOWN] ball and you drink copious amounts of rum and Go do doughnuts in a big grass paddock, and sort of lay our eyes around. We parked the car up and, went off to have a few rums, and came back and the car was on fire. So it had obviously caught fire from the exhaust on the grass, and it burned the car up to the hip line and burnt out the engine bay and the grill was melted, and the carpets were all burnt inside. That was sort of it for the car. It was then parked in the shed and we proceeded to part it our basically. Sold the engine and sold the dash and all the various bits and pieces of it. Then I ended up buying the car off of him for the pricey sum of $200. Then proceeded to get it repainted up to the hip line and Search for [UNKNOWN] parts and find another engine, and just accumulate bits over a number of years. And then get it back on the road. So I drove it around in that guise for awhile, and then proceeded to start modifying it. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] You'd say it's a 400 Cleveland engine that's been striked to 434 cubic inches. It's got CHI heads on it, it's got custom extractors, it's got a high rise [UNKNOWN] manifold. I've recently put fuel injection on it. It's got a [UNKNOWN] serpentine belt system on it. It's got a 175 horse power and a nitrous oxide system on it. It's got a four-eight stock converter in it, which allows you build the horsepower up before you actually launch the car. It's got mouser sensors, mouser axles, got a detroit locker, it runs 411 diff gears. And again, that's just to really get that power down. So it's not fast, about 140 mile per hour fast It gets there in ten seconds, and that's the rush. [NOISE] [BLANK_AUDIO] [INAUDIBLE] If you ask me to define what makes an Australian muscle car a Australian muscle, I suppose to somebody American. It was very much a case of how can we better in the end to their game in a degree. And I think the fact there's a lot of We've got a lot of history with Australian racing and just trying to make the best out of not a lot of resource. The Americans back in the 60s and 70s had huge amounts of corporate budget whereas in the Australian market it was much more limited. So there was that we'll make something out of nothing attitude. A lot of the go fast parts that come out of Australia are now being adopted back into the American market because we've, to a degree, done better at a lot of those components. [MUSIC] When the XC was launched in Australia in 1976 there was. A bit of a mixed camp really. Nick say he was the last of that model run and what they were trying to do is they were trying to compete for that European market. So a lot of the advertising, a lot of the pitches back in 1976 were an Australian car with a European feel. So they used plush velour interiors By guy from sport dashes. By a guy from airscoops, what they were finding is people didn't really accept the XC and there was fuel scare coming in. Australia had just released 27A which is a design rule on the emissions piece and what that did was it strangled horsepower in the cars. Yeah, I sold about 150,000 units, which is fairly low production in the whole scheme of things. People were waiting for the XD to come out, which was one of the cars that had been showed at the motor shows prior that this is the future and they were plastic bumpers. They're very squared, quite angular. And that was the real European push. People who were gonna buy a car, just to basically [UNKNOWN]. And now, there's a bit of a resurgence on the [UNKNOWN] cuz people have realized that they're a low volume. That they would [UNKNOWN] current bumpers. They were last of that muscle car, that 70s muscle car that Thought I went into the [INAUDIBLE] became even more strained for horsepower and more plain. When I take the XC for a drive as opposed to just my normal daily cars. It's quite a visceral thing you've got smell, you've got vibration. You've got noise. You've got more power than you can use on the road. So people ask me how it handled with the car. It's got skinny front tires on it. It's one large 560- 15s on the front. It's got 275 60 15s on the back. I sort of look at and the stance of the car, it sort of squats down in the back a bit. And the front's a little bit proud and again it's designed that way. So you transfer the weight to the back when you're doing a launch. And of course what that does when draw up near the end of the road. Is it gives it a, I'd say a bit of a wily feel. But the car does tend to sort of float down the road. Especially under high acceleration. Because that front being, the front's being lifted [INAUDIBLE] Try to transfer that weight though. [SOUND] What it does do though, is it makes it fairly [UNKNOWN] happy. It doesn't take much to get the car wet or dry, and do a little bit of a slide or a little bit of a power run. And that sort of Brings this, yes, this big smile to your face. [MUSIC] Its just that a little world that you sort of cocoon yourself in and its the 1970s technology combined with cutting edge technology. Its my youth It's growing up. It's memories of rebuilding the car. It's making good friends, all associated with that car. I've had people offer to buy the car often. And it's not for sale. Yeah, it's one of those things that I see as a bit of an heirloom. My daughter loves it. And she's eight years of age now, so by the time she's old enough to drive who knows what sort of format the car will be in. I hate to say that at some point it may even be an electric vehicle, you wouldn't know. The petrolhead in me sort of slaps myself in the face when I say that. [LAUGH]