Owner: Dave Little
Engine: 302 Windsor
Trans: 3 speed C4
Diff: Compact Fairlane
A man and a car on a collision course. It's like Dave and his
sensational XK Falcon V8 are in some kind of a time warp
and fate always had them headed for each other from day one.
How spooky ? Well, how about the fact that the original
owner died in September 1964, only a couple of days before
David was born ? And how about this - the day after David
was born, the ute, with just 44,000 miles on the clock, was
locked away in a shed.
It gets even more spooky. Twenty seven years later, Dave
saw an ad in the Trading Post for the ute, almost like it had
been put aside for him. He couldn't believe his eyes.
Advertised for the second week, it looked too good to be
true; " XK Falcon ute. No rust, No dents, 44,000 miles,
Books, Toolkit, $1500."
Dreamworld ? Yep. Dave rang anyway, only to be told he was
caller number 67 and the ute hadn't yet sold because the first caller
had staked his claim, saying he would be down on the first weekend
to pick it up, sight unseen. Dave left his number, anyway. " I
absolutely spewed all weekend about how I had missed out on such
an incredible buy," he says. " I couldn't sleep, thinking about it."
But that's when the wierd in this story of destiny started to get really
wierd. The first guy who said he'd buy the ute turned up, offered the
bloke $1450, and was told in no uncertain terms to piss off. " So the
bloke marched inside, pulled out his list of callers about the ute, and
for some reason started at the bottom of the page," Dave says.
So Dave's enquiry, which had been last on the list, was now on top ! Yep, Dave was the person the seller called. Dave
was polishing a car right then but, hey, this is fate you don't mess with. Temora was an eight hour drive from his home in
the NSW Blue Mountains so Dave downed his polishing cloth and started driving.
" What the ad didn't say was that the car was under 2 inches of rock hard clay and dirt because it was only a three
sided shed," Dave says. " But underneath it all, the car was just incredible. There was a little bit of rust in the tailgate, but
that was it." Dave gladly coughed up the $1500, which pleased the old bloke no end. Then as he was leaving, Dave
noticed the calender, it was a couple of days after Dave's birthday in 1990 - and 27 years to the day since the old
Falcon was parked in the shed!.
Anyway, that's how Dave got his hands on the ute. The build came together like
good old fate was still smiling on this time-travelling duo. Buzzing with his good
fortune, Dave boasted to anyone who'd listen that he'd show the ute at the 1991
All Ford Day. Ha! He eventually debuted it seven years later !.
The meticulous rebuild included a particle blast back to bare metal and lead
wiping of the rear quarter panels. "The presses weren't real good in 1961,"
Dave says. All the original panels were retained, along with the original chrome,
bench seat and steering wheel.
Seemed like 27 years under a couple of inched of clay preserved everything.
Everything else is new. Like the classic 302ci V8 Windsor small block grunter
built by race boat guru Peter Wynne, sucking it's guts full of fuel through a 650
Holley atop a Weiand manifold and custom headers feeding to a 2 1/4-inch
exhaust. Behind the V8 mill is a modified C4 automatic and 2500rpm
convertor, Hurst shifter, balanced heavy duty tailshaft and a diff from a
compact Fairlane. And no doubt contributing greatly to the utes contemporary
handling and road feel are 17-inch CSA five-stars wearing 215/45 Dunlops.
Dave says that to keep it legal, safe and reliable, the ute's underbody was
condiderably stiffened and strengthened with added crossmembers.
The front end is also new with a robust, well engineered mix of XY
Falcon upper arms, XP Falcon lowers and ZH Fairlane stub axles; a
combo designed to eliminate bump steer and tyre scrub with fatter
rubber. Brake calipers are also ex-fairlane, clamping a set of DBA
Sport cross-drilled rotors. Gas shocks and a 30mm sway bar add
to the driving pleasure. And, because he's serious about clocking
highway miles and show appearances, Dave's installed a huge 120
litre fuel tank. "It drives like a new Fairlane," he says proudly. We're
sure the suits at Ford would love to hear that !
Needless to say, Dave's fateful ute turned plenty of heads at its first show appearance. The same thing happend when
he drove it into the big Meguire's judging Pavillion at Summernats 12 in January. "I entered it in the Elite class, when it
really should have been in the Street because it's a genuine streeter," Dave says about his first Summernats. "But I will
know next time," he adds. A wise move or is that just tempting fate ? We shall see.
Story: Chris Gable
Photos: Thomas Wielecki
Feature used with thanks to Street Machine