Thanks to the gas crisis of the mid-'70s, while we were struggling with a shortage of new horsepower-packing street machines from the Big Three, our counterparts in the Land Down Under were treated to some awesome new rides from FoMoCo of Australia, including the Cleveland-powered Falcon.
The Aussies have always been big on road racing, which is the origin of the Falcon XB-GT. These were factory-designed race cars built for the sole purpose of kicking some Holden butt. Reed Herman of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is an American who took early notice of these cars, but he also understood the unfortunate red tape he would have to endure in order to obtain one. So he waited.
Rolling stock consists of American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs with P245/45R16s up front and a
Many years later, the Australian Ford Falcon reached an age that enabled Reed to import one onto American soil with little, if any, resistance from the Feds. Shortly thereafter, he found just the '75 he wanted. His original intention was to simply restore it, but that idea quickly took a back seat. The car is now the only Australian Falcon in the United States with a big-block conversion. Granted, it's not a real XB-GT (only 123 '75 XB-GTs were built), however, Reed has gone to great lengths to create an ultra-cool street machine that's very similar to the Aussie original.
The sheer rarity of the Falcon makes it attractive to most collectors, but for Reed, it's all about aesthetics, heritage, and building a bird of a different feather.
Based on an iron '69 block, the original 429ci big-block has been punched out to displace
No, the photo is not backwards. This is a true righthand-drive Falcon just as it came off
Reed emphasized that the XB-GT paint scheme is just as it would have been from FoMoCo of A
Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: An Australian Falcon is a far cry from the typical street machines. Any particular reason you wanted to build one?
Reed Herman: I think the Australian Falcon combines the best styling cues from all the American Fords of that era. Plus, it's just my personality. I always like to have something different and cool, but in this instance, I had to go to Australia to get it.
CC: How difficult was it to register a righthand-drive car in the U.S.?
RH: Quite easy. Anything over 25 years old is both EPA and DOT exempt, meaning you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.
CC: Did it take long to acclimate to righthand drive?
RH: That's the number one question people ask. It's not that different--you're only two feet over in the car. Put it this way, you either get used to it, or else you'll constantly run into things. But really, it's not as weird as some people think.
CC: How tricky was it to fit the massive 335s out back?
RH: Pretty easy. The wheelwell is huge from the factory, and I didn't even have to roll the fender lips.
Car: '75 Australian Ford Falcon XB-GT
Owner: Reed Herman, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Engine: 429ci big-block
Heads:Aluminum Edelbrock Performer RPM, 2.19/1.76-inch intake/exhaust valves, 1.7:1 Crane Cams roller rockers
Induction: Edelbrock Performer RPM with Holley Pro series 950-cfm carb
Camshaft: Comp Cams solid-roller, 256/266 degrees duration at 0.050-inch lift, 0.580/0.615-inch lift
Transmission: Ford C6, B&M 10-inch 2,500-stall converter
Rearend: Ford 9-inch, Currie 3.70:1 gears, 31-spline axles
Front suspension: Stock with boxed/braced Shelby control arm modifications, Pro-Motorsports Negative Wedge kit, Global West urethane bushings, KYB shocks
Rear suspension: Branda leaf spring with Global West road-race shackle kit and Del-A-Lum bushings, KYB shocks
Brakes: '71 Mustang calipers with 11-inch cross-drilled discs, front; Cadillac calipers with Lincoln Mark VII 11-inch discs, rear
Wheels and tires: 16x8 American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs with P245/45R16 Dunlap SPs, front; 17x11 American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs with P335/35R17 Dunlap SPs, rear
Body mods: Factory Ford Racing chin spoiler, rear wing, '73 XA Falcon taillights
Paint: Ford Cobalt Blue by The Paint Genie in Hopkins, Minnesota, with Silver stripes by Pinnacle Signs and Graphics in St. Paul
Cost to Build: $58,000