Falcon Alright! - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Glenn Torrens

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After a few months of weekend work, the ‘Loose Change’ XF Falcon is back on the road

Falcon Alright! - Our Shed
The XF Falcon is back on the road

As many car enthusiasts will agree with a tight smile and a wise nod, sometimes things don’t quite go the way you want them to. That’s why you’re reading this latest chapter of my 1986 XF Ford Falcon resurrection a month later than I’d hoped!

But after a few delays, the car is now back on the road! Happily I hung some NSW club plates on the car just a couple of days ago (as I write this) so for just the second time in my life, I’m bangin’ around in a Ford!

My first Ford was a 1998 EL2 Fairmont Ghia that I bought as a dependable daily about 20 years ago. I found myself a tidy Fairmont Ghia because it was the top-spec model with all the fluffy stuff such as leather trim, climate-control air-con and trip computer. Plus, by EL, Ford was fitting the Tickford-spec 4.0-litre ‘red rocker cover’ higher-output engine from the XR6 to the Ghia. Plus, Falcons coped well on LPG so within a couple of months I’d had a gas system installed for effortless and economical freeway flying. I owned it for six years. 


Under the bonnet is Ford’s mighty 4.1-litre six. It’s basically untouched – but there are a couple of issues that will need attention.

But although that Ghia was the first Ford I owned in my life, it wasn’t the first Ford in my life. That credit goes to a giveaway car I project-managed in my job at Street Machine magazine; Sony Scorcher was an EA Falcon GL that was converted to a two door and engine swapped to a V8 and painted a bright fizzy orange. It was with Scorcher and my Ghia that I gained plenty of specific knowledge of the mechanicals and general respect for Ford Australia’s terrific home-grown cars. Surprisingly, none of my mates’ dads had Falcons when I was growing up; around my way it was all Kingswoods, Commodores and Sigmas.


Under the tatty seat covers, I discovered the front seats to be from an XD Falcon. They’re comfy enough … but I’m hunting for tidy XF buckets. 

Even with some prior knowledge from tinkering with those two Falcons (Scorcher was a total rebuild, right down to a custom-made EFI system) I guess a part of the fun with a car like this is learning something new. But learning something new is, of course a big part of the frustration, too. I’ve resurrected/restored several Commodores in the last five or six years – and have another few as projects ‘on the go’ – so, of course, I am familiar with how they come apart and go back together. But playing with a Ford is a new experience for me, so I’ve been scratching my head a bit!


When working on old cars, it’s great having a terrific ‘old school’ spare parts shop to rely on. Thanks lads! 

There have been a few other challenges too. The very first day I got it back on the road – in the first 40km of driving – it began leaking auto-trans fluid from somewhere, soaking the underside of the car. Damn! So not only am I dealing with a design of car that is new to me, but now I’m dealing with some of the typical issues of an old car that sat in a wreckers for 15 years! As I write this, I’m yet to investigate why the fluid is leaking.

Even with that problem – and as you can see, there are a few other aesthetic details to be attended to – I’m grinning at the fact this Falcon is cruising again.

But it’s not yet finished … Stay tuned for the next exciting episode! 

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