After eight years, two paint jobs, three interiors and countless motor combinations, Brendan Patrick is finally satisfied with his XR. For now, at least.
The XR has the prestigious honour of being the first Aussie Falcon to be offered with a V8 engine. Of course, the 200hp 289ci Windsor it came out with is nowhere near as impressive as the 397ci SVO block residing in the engine bay of Brendan Patrick’s TUF XR Ford Fairmont.
Another honour bestowed on the XR Falcon was winning the Wheels Car of the Year award, the second year running for Ford ” the first being with the XP Falcon.
The XR was Aussie designed (don’t hold that against it) but was still based on the American Falcons and inspired by the American Mustangs. Having a very different appearance to previous Falcons, the XR has a long nose and short tail with a distinctive kick-up at the back of the rear doors, known as the ‘Coke Bottle’ hip.
Brendan got into classic cars in the early ’90s, and his first V8 was a tidy XT Falcon. Moving on from that he had a few XD Falcons until the ’60s beckoned to him again, and he purchased his first XR, which he “played around with” for a while.
In 2002 an XR Fairmont came up on Trade Me. It sparked a plan in Brendan’s mind to buy it and use it as a donor for his current ride. As we all know the best plans can run amok, and upon purchasing the XR Fairmont rolling body, Brendan decided it was too good to hack up. He abruptly sold the Falcon in favour of the Fairmont.
A quick repaint was on the agenda for the new purchase, and when he found a young fella to do it for him as a cashy it seemed too good to be true ” which, of course, it was. On return from holiday, expecting to see a beautifully painted new car, Brendan was less than impressed. To put it nicely, the job was very average. Since Brendan had already paid up front and the guy was nowhere to be seen, he was gutted. Brendan decided that the paint job would have to do for the time being, and set about getting a mild 302 Windsor and four-speed manual built for it. Unfortunately, the newly built motor only lasted 500km before the crank tried to escape through the block.