Falcon GT-HO Phase III Project: Paint and hardware

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Stuart Grant, Guy Allen

Presented by

Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO
Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO Project Falcon GT-HO

Our Ford Phase III GT-HO build gets a stunning vermillion fire paint job and some new hardware

Falcon GT-HO Phase III Project: Paint and hardware
Project Falcon GT-HO

 

Falcon GT-HO Phase III Project: Paint and hardware

THE HO’S NEW CLOTHES

Watching Project HO develop from a paddock find to an almost recognisable car has so far been a real eye-opener. While many of us have had the chance to see cars go through bits and pieces of a rebuild, it’s not often you get to observe every little step along the way.

Once you do, you start to realise just how much work really goes into these things and why a properly done car attracts big dollars. For example, the conditions under which the body was painted would have done a hospital proud, given the attention paid to detail and cleanliness.

Come with us as we walk through transforming the car from boring old primer into its proper colour, and get the car ready to stand up on its own four wheels.

1. Project HO fresh from the panel shop, straight but hardly a thing of beauty. It’s got a rough primer coat to keep the rust at bay.

2. Grand Tourer’s ace painter Matt can spend days on the long process of final body prep, starting with a primer cover of his own. Now he turns to carefully sealing all the body seams with a special preparation. This ensures a good finish when the colour is applied and helps ensure a longer life for the rebuilt body.

3. With the primer on and body sealed, he now gives the car an initial wipe-over with a wet tack cloth to remove the worst of the dust.

4. Now Matt turns to the fiddly job of filling and smoothing any minor imperfections in the body.

5. With the paint booth sealed, and now wearing an air-supply mask to keep out the fumes, Matt gives the door frames a final prime.

6. Now we hit the last stage before the colour, which is giving the car another top-to-tail clean, double-checking the filled-in spots.

7. At last, several weeks after the project started, we get to see the first of several coats of that riotous Vermilliion Fire two-pack paint.

8. One coat down and at least a couple to go. With the booth sealed, Matt just has to wait patiently for the first coat to dry.

9. No-one will ever accuse Project HO of being subtle. The main body is starting to look like a real one, but there’s still plenty of detail work to come.

10. One of the defining features of the XY GT-HO Phase III is that massive bonnet with the two big stripes. Getting this right is crucial, so the work is carefully marked out with pinstriping tape before masking begins.

11. With masking in place, the booth gets sealed again while Matt gives the surface a final prep.

12. This is the make or break moment for the bonnet, when the black stripe paint goes on. Get it wrong and we’ll have to start all over again.

13. It’s easy to forget how much detail work needs to be done, like blacking the vents in this scuttle panel. The doors and boot lid also receive special attention.

14. After an ultra-cautious ride home in the Grand Tourer truck, the HO goes straight up on the hoist to get its underpinnings fitted.

15. No, it's okay. This is the 'before' shot of the diff. All we really want is the housing, which gets stripped, resprayed and fitted with brand new internals.

16. Neil from Grand Tourer puts the final touches on the 3.5 limited-slip diff. Once we’re done, it’s going to have to handle around 400 horses.

17. Unique Cars’ project manager Phil Walker checks out the finned rear drums – a distinctive feature on the HOs.

18. Here’s some of the new front end, including the discs, lower control arms and sway bar rods. Everything to do with steering and suspension has been replaced with quality new gear.

19. Neil at work on the sharp end. The original design isn’t the most sophisticated but can be quite effective if done right with fresh components.

20. Okay, so maybe packing the HO for the big family camping trip is out. This car scores the full double-sized endurance fuel tank, another special HO feature.

21. Good wheels can make or break the look of a car, and we’ve gone for period 7 x 15inch Bathurst Globes, which really suit the bluff lines of the Falcon.

 

Rare Spares top tips: painting the body

1. Preparation is everything when it comes to paint. A clean and sealed surface is crucial.

2. Look for professional sealing and finishing products. They may cost more, but the correct approach to areas like seams will prevent early onset of rust.

3. A sealed and dust-free room is critical, as wet paint is a magnet for airborne grit.

4. Using an original manufacturer tint will enhance the value of the car – the correct colour code is often easily accessible on the vehicle’s ID plate.

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition