Irwin Tools giving away unique Ford Falcon Ute

July 23rd, 2009 by NZV8

SBR Irwin Toold Ford Ute

Irwin Industrial Tools is offering one lucky Australian or New Zealand tool user the chance to win a one-of-a-kind Ford Falcon XR6 Ute customised by three-time V8 Supercar Championship winning team, Stone Brothers Racing (SBR).

For the third straight year Irwin will run its ‘Need for Speed’ promotion. The 2009 ‘Need for Speed’ will take place through to 30 September.

The big change for 2009 is that this year’s major prize is an SBR customised XR6 Ford Falcon Ute. ¨¨Anyone who purchases an IRWIN product from participating tool outlets across Australia or New Zealand is eligible to enter the ‘Need for Speed’. Entries can be made at either a point of sale promotion stand or by going on-line at www.irwinracing.com.au

The SBR XR6 Ute will be customised by Stone Brothers Racing and Irwin Racing driver Alex Davison; with a range of special additions that will make the winner stand-out from the crowd. ¨¨The promotion includes two runner-up prizes of $2500 worth of Irwin Tools.

The 2008 ‘Need for Speed’ attracted thousands of entries with 18-year-old electrician Aaron Behiels from Geraldton (Western Australia) winning himself a new XR6 Ute.

“This year’s prize in the ‘Need for Speed’ is certainly something any tradesperson or race fan would love to have in their garage,” said Irwin Managing Director Nick Pritchard. ¨¨”Jimmy and Ross Stone, along with Alex Davison, have been really enthusiastic about this promotion. Without their input we would not have been in a position to offer such an outstanding first prize.

IRWIN Racing driver Alex Davison is delighted to put his name alongside the ‘Need for Speed’. ¨¨”This is a first for SBR and the Falcon XR6 Ute will be a much sought-after prize,” said Davison. ¨¨”I know plenty of people, including all the boys on our race crew, who would really like to have the SBR XR6 Ute in their garage.

For entry details and full terms and conditions of the Irwin Industrial Tools ‘Need for Speed’ go to www.irwinracing.com.au

August issue of NZV8 magazine out now!

July 13th, 2009 by NZV8

NZV8 51 Cover

The August issue of NZV8 has just hit the shelves, so grab your copy today. In this month’s issue our cover car is a wild chopped, tubbed, blown and injected 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, we also feature a highly customised 1950 Studebaker Delivery. We have a full event report from the Castrol Edge Winternationals over the ditch and look at Bluetooth phone kits for your ride. We get charmed by an old school 1963 Ford Zephyr and get up close with a 1971 Dodge Charger packing a 440ci big block. We visit with the crew at AV8 Motorsport to see how they roll and we get under the hood of Vern Muller’s 1977 Ford Falcon Cobra racer. We report back from Round 8 of the Central Muscle Car Series and we still find room to pack in two pull out posters for your garage wall.

All this plus the usual advice and competitions, readers’ rides and technical advice to keep you up to date with all that’s happening on the NZ V8 scene. Pick up a copy now!

Father of the Ford Falcon dies at 93

July 9th, 2009 by NZV8

Ford falcon screen

Former Ford President Robert McNamara passed away earlier this week at the age of 93. McNamara joined Ford way back in 1946 and climbed through the ranks, becoming the General Manager of the Ford Division in 1955.

During McNamara’s controlling period, the Ford brand overtook Chevrolet in U.S. sales for the first time in 22 years. McNamara’s biggest success was the 1960 Ford Falcon, which sold over half a million units in its first year. It was McNamara also made the decision to convert the two seat Thunderbird into the less attractive but more economically viable four-seat version. It was an unpopular decision at the time, but Thunderbird sales increased by four times after the change.

After leaving the Ford Motor Company, McNamara went to Washington and became the Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy. He held the position until 1968. After his work in politics, McNamara was the head of the World Bank for 12 years.

Check out the clip below for a commercial of Ford’s 1960 lineup including the introduction of the Falcon.

IRS on Mustangs for $100

June 24th, 2009 by NZV8

Mustang IRS suspension

Drag racers love it, everyone else hates it; the solid rear axle in even the current generation Ford Mustangs. Although as far as a trailer axle setup goes, the Mustangs handle surprisingly well, IRS would no doubt have increased the cars popularity.

According to research just completed by Motor Trend Magazine the 2005 Mustangs almost went IRS with a Falcon rear subframe setup. Even when it was decided the two cars would not share the same platform, the Falcon system was adapted to suit. But for a cost saving of just $100 US per vehicle, the IRS plan was dropped.

For all of you non drag-racing types that wish the Mustang had an independently suspended rear, this news probably makes you sick to the stomach.

But, it gets worse, more research showed that the current beam axle setup actually costs $98 more to fit than the Falcon unit would have, due to the greater amount of work required to make them handle right.

Ford Australia posts record loss for 2008

June 22nd, 2009 by NZV8

Ford Falcon XR8 FG fq

Last year was a difficult time for automakers worldwide and it’s no surprise that Australian vehicle manufacturers have also been doing it tough with the economic recession and a shrinking local vehicle market.

The crisis, and the sudden desertion of showrooms by consumers, caught out auto manufacturers globally with swollen inventories, little revenue, top-heavy workforces and significant debts. And in the US, two of the Detroit Big Three are now a shell of what they were just one year ago.

The Australian market in 2008, though starting strongly in the first quarter and on target to another record year, slowed to a stumble and was propped up by heavy discounting by the fourth quarter.

Of the local manufacturers, Ford Australia took the heaviest blows, posting a record loss in 2008 of $274.4 million AUS – triple the loss of the preceding year.

Despite the launch of the acclaimed FG Falcon, it was slow to gain traction and Ford sales across all models slumped 7.4 percent in 2008, generating just $3.06 billion AUS for the company last year. Falcon sales in particular were disappointing, with the refreshed model line actually selling six percent fewer cars in 2008 than the outgoing model the year before.

While the Territory has long been a star performer in Ford showrooms, last year its glory run stalled, with the ageing crossover recording 25 percent fewer sales in 2008 than 2007 (and down 37.7 percent more this year).

The position for Ford though may not be as bad as it looks and included, a one-time restructuring cost of $162.18 million, and, thanks to superannuation funds going into reverse, a provision for a further $151.12 million for Ford employees’ defined benefit retirement fund.

A loss is never good news, but Ford’s announcement needs to be considered in the context of a very difficult trading year for all manufacturers. It’s not time to give up yet and things ahead should look a little brighter for Ford Australia.

NZV8 feature car Ford Falcon XW GTHO – going to auction

June 18th, 2009 by NZV8

Ford Falcon GTHO fq

A 1970 Ford Falcon with a prestigious racing history and an estimated price of $385,000 will be auctioned at the Turners Classic and Collectibles Auction this Saturday.

The restored XW GTHO Phase 2 has sparked interest from classic car collectors and the question on everyone’s lips is just how much will it sell for?¨ ¨Todd Hunter, General Manager Sales and Marketing, is expecting a crowd of car collectors and Ford enthusiasts to see the Falcon as well as 40 other lots. ¨ ¨“The Phase 2 was bought New Zealand-new by the late racing driver Ernie Sprague in 1970 and was raced in the South Island saloon events. He sold it to another racer – Pat Monaghan – and its third owner John Gillard also circuit raced the car” says Todd, ¨ ¨The car spent 25 years idle with an Auckland collector and was purchased in 2001 by its current owner who has restored it meticulously to become a collector’s showpiece.¨ The XW GTHO has been winning shows recently and is a feature car in the July 50th Issue of NZV8 magazine (click here to check it out).

The Classic and Collectibles Auction also features a 1961 Chrysler 300G — a beautiful and rare example of a 1960s car with full matching set of numbers that has been re-painted and re-chromed. It has optional six-way electric front seats and is estimated to sell for $74,000.¨ ¨Other cars for auction include a 1972 Holden Torana XUI Racecar and a 1974 Ford Falcon XBGT in Tropicano green with black accents, estimated to sell for $65,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Another lot expected to generate a stir is the 1956 Jaguar Mark 7 with just four previous owners and an estimated value of $27,500. ¨¨Todd says there are plenty of opportunities for people looking to purchase their next restoration project. ¨ ¨“We have an old beauty in a 1972 Morris Marina TC Coupe. It’s got about 50k on the clock and has had the classic ‘only careful lady owner’ since 1972. It would be a great do-up job and has an estimated sale price of $3,500.”

The auction is the third of five Classic and Collectable Auctions for 2009 and will be held at Turners Auctions Penrose this Saturday 20 June at 2:30pm. Viewings will take place on Friday 19 June 9am till 6pm and Saturday from 9am.

The full list of vehicles can be found at www.turners.co.nz

1976 Ford Falcon XB Coupe – Labour Of Love – 36

May 29th, 2009 by NZV8

1976 Ford Falcon XB Coupe 01

Like most Kiwis, Clint Bower has always sat around the TV once a year to watch the monumental motorsport event that is the Bathurst 1000. One of Clint’s earliest memories was sitting in front of that old brown television, watching in awe as the likes of Peter Brock, John Goss and Alan Moffat battled through what many would consider the golden years at Mount Panorama, the mid-1970s.

It was Goss and Moffat with whom the very young Clint was most enamoured, not for their personalities of course, but their weapons of choice, the XA, XB and XC Ford Falcon GT coupes. Ever since those early days Clint has had of a love affair with the big, lardy Falcons, but although he has owned all sorts of other cars since, he never quite got the chance to call one his own. Until eight years ago that is, when he bit the bullet and bought himself a 1976 Ford Falcon XB coupe.

Since then this car has gone through the mother of all restorations, with 99 per cent of the work completed by Clint himself in his New Plymouth garage. It took all of those eight years to complete, and Clint and his Falcon have had some ups and downs. But come this year’s Kumeu Car Show it all became worth it when the Bower family packed their camping gear in the boot, fired up the sultry, smooth Ford and made the trip north. It was there that we first clapped eyes on this work of automotive art, and instantly set up a time and date for a closer look under a full set of noisy, iridescent studio lights.

Got The Looks!

What strikes you about this car upon first sighting it is its clean, smooth aesthetics and super-low stance on the pavement. Neither of these virtues was by any means easy to come by, and they’re the result of hundreds of hours put in by Clint and a few
key helpers.

First off, to achieve that ground-scraping look Clint needed to completely relocate the motor higher in the engine bay using custom mounts, then fabricate an exhaust system that sits so high up into the underbelly of the car, it is only really visible from beneath a hoist. This provides enough ground clearance to make full use of some seriously reset leaves in the back and Pedders springs with Monroe gas shocks in the front.

Being this low, the car now sucks up its deep 18-inch Work Equip wheels into its guards. I’m guessing many of you have never heard of these rollers before, let alone seen them on an Aussie V8. Tha’s because they are of Japanese descent, and more commonly found on hyperactive Nissan, Toyota and Mazda drift cars.

Regarded as one of the lightest, strongest and highest-quality rims built anywhere in the world, these 12-inch-wide rollers are very pricey. So the question must be asked, what made Clint go for a unique set of rims like these? “I had a friend who was building a Mazda RX-7 drift car,” he says. “He managed to pick up the wheels but, as it turns out, they were simply too wide to fit. Someone mentioned to me that he had them sitting in the garage, and of course older Fords have a 5×114.3 stud pattern like many Jappas, so I tried them on for size and it all seemed to work perfectly.” Who’d have thought Jap wheels could look so good on a muscle car?

With road stance covered, we turned our attention to the slick lines of the classically wedge-shaped Falcon body. Getting this just right was a painstaking process for Clint, and many hours were spent in the garage slowly perfecting his beloved machine. Besides removing rust and any other imperfections before painting, Clint also shaved the door handles, aerial and bumper bolts to aid in the slick look he was after. Once that was done, Clint also added Falcon GT flutes, a chin spoiler and, of all things, a Torana bonnet scoop for that extra bit of toughness he was after. A jack of all trades, Clint then fired up the compressor and got to work. He layered the car in primer, then a gorgeous shade of Wild Violet, then a tonne of clear coat to bring out that shine.

Got The Grunt

The Falcon now looks like a million bucks. It also honks along at a fair pace too, thanks to a Ford favourite, the 5752cc (351ci) Cleveland V8.

The motor sitting under Clint’s hood is a fairly serious piece of naturally aspirated iron, simply bristling with the strongest gear available. The 5.7-litre block houses an indestructible 4MA crank, flat-top pistons and shot-peened and polished rods using ARP rod bolts. A high-volume oil pump sitting in a custom enlarged sump lubricates all this, while an Iskey 270-degree Mega cam angrily spins away. The 2V heads bolted on top have also received much attention, benefiting from a full port and polish, plus lifters, springs and retainers from Isky and roller rockers from Yella Terra. All this gear makes for a very tough motor, capable of handling just about as much abuse as Clint can throw at it. Externally, power figures are helped along by a 750 CFM Double Pumper HP Series carb from Holley, which sits atop a Parker Funnel Web intake manifold and pulls air through a large K&N filter. Fuel is provided by a Holley Red pump working with the factory fuel tank, and is kept under control by a Holley regulator. What goes in must come out, which it does very efficiently in this 351’s case, thanks to a set of Pacemaker headers, dumping into a twin pipe exhaust system lifted high up underneath the car. The great thing about this motor is that although it throws serious punches when it comes to power figures, it is also one of the prettiest Clevos we have ever seen in NZV8. Everything under this Falcon’s hood has been painstakingly polished, painted and detailed by Clint to within an inch of its life. It’s a truly beautiful sight. The firewall, strut towers and, well, anything purple has been lovingly smoothed and reshaped to create a flawless, flowing look, while any trace of wiring has now been cleverly hidden away in the right-hand guard. Braided lines throughout finish the tough new look. In terms of power-to-ground, Clint opted for a four-speed top loader manual gearbox, mated to a Yella Terra steel flywheel and Centreforce heavy duty clutch.

Got The Comfort

Finally, no muscle car would be complete without a tough, simple interior. Clint’s is just that, sporting new trim, a pair of XE Fairmont seats, a Momo steering wheel and a few essential gauges from Auto Meter. Simple, smooth and useful, just like the rest of the car.

It has been a long, hard eight years for Clint and his XB Falcon, but it is safe to say the journey has been worth it. Clint certainly things so. “I finally have the car I’ve always wanted ever since I can remember. So sure, it has been a pain in the arse at times, but what car hasn’t? It’s what you might call a labour of love.”

Road-Legal Racers

Ford campaigned its awesome Falcon GT coupes at Bathurst right through the mid-1970s, taking drivers like Alan Moffat and John Goss to multiple victories over that time. After Moffat’s 1971 victory in a Phase III GTHO, Ford announced its intention to campaign an even more brutal version of the car, the Phase IV. This meant the manufacturer would need to sell at least 200 units to the public in order to receive homologation for the race car. But once the press got a good look at just how brutally fast this car would be, they slated it in the papers with dramatic titles like, “160mph supercars on our roads!” Unfortunately for all us motor-heads, plans for the Phase IV were canned soon after, and Moffat had to compete in his old Phase III for ’72, losing out to Brock in his brand new Holden Torana XU-1 GTR.


1976 Ford Falcon XB coupe

Engine: 5752cc (351ci) Cleveland V8, 4MA crank, shot-peened and polished rods, ARP rod bolts, flat-top pistons, high-volume oil pump, JP timing chain, custom-built sump, oil restrictor kit, ported 2V heads, stainless valves, Yella Terra roller rockers, Isky lifters, Isky springs, Isky retainers, Isky 270 Mega cam, Parker Funnel Web intake manifold, 750 CFM Double Pumper HP Series Holley carburettor, K&N air filter, Holley Red fuel pump, Holley regulator, braided fuel lines, Goodridge fittings, Pacemaker headers, twin exhaust system, Flow Master mufflers, de-loomed engine bay, smoothed firewall, Honda Civic alternator, Mitsubishi Mirage power steering pump, 5mm sump plate, relocated engine

Driveline: Four-speed Top Loader trans, Hurst Vertical Gate shifter, rose-jointed linkages, Yella Terra steel flywheel, Centreforce clutch, Ford nine-inch diff, Jack Brace 3.5:1 gears

Brakes: XB discs and callipers

Suspension: Monroe Gas shocks, Pedder front springs, reset rear leaves, aftermarket front and rear sway bars

Wheels/Tyres: 18×10-inch Work Equip front rims, 18×12-inch Work Equip rear rims, 235/40R18 Dunlop front tyres, 315/30R18 rear Yokohama tyres

Exterior: Wild Violet re-spray, Torana bonnet scoop, shaved bumper bolts, shaved door handles, GT flutes, modified rear guards, chin spoiler

Interior: Re-trimmed XE Fairmont seats, new carpet, Momo steering wheel, white gauges, Auto Meter tacho, Auto Meter oil pressure gauge

Performance: Untested

Driver Profile

Clint Bower

Age: 37

Occupation: AA Road Service

Previously owned Cars: Austin A40, 460-powered XB, XB ute, XC wagon, Valiant Charger

Dream car: ’69 Dodge Challenger

Build time: Eight years

Length of ownership: Eight years

Thanks to: Wife and best mate Donna, the kids (Lockie & Tanesha), Blair, Sleepy, Mike, Shane, Andrew, Tidy Trim, Taranaki Motor Reconditioners, Hildred Motors

Story: Peter Kelly | Photos: Quinn Hamill

Win a Love The Beast skateboard and t-shirt signed by Eric Bana

May 27th, 2009 by NZV8

Love the beast comp 003

Love the Beast is the story of Eric Bana’s 25-year obsession with his Ford Falcon XB. This car held together a group of mates who rebuilt it, cared for it, raced it, and ultimately destroyed it by crashing at Targa Tasmania. Follow Bana’s journey as he explains what the car means to him with help from Jeremy Clarkson, Dr Phil McGraw and Jay Leno.

This isn’t just a film for petrolheads; it’s a film that leads to a deeper understanding of why people form attachments to machines - why a car can mean so much to a person.

Love The Beast opens in select cinemas from June 4.

Eric Bana has given us one of eight signed skateboards and t-shirts, and you could get your hands (and feet) on them by answering one simple question:

Where did Eric Bana crash his ‘beast’?

Click here to enter the competition.

Winners will be notified by email. Competition open to New Zealand residents only, and expires 15 June 2009