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© 2018 Australian National Euroa Shine And Shine

IT’S BIG, BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL!

June 4, 2018

Alan Olle’s 1972 XA Ford Fairmont GS at Bathurst

 

Although this immaculate XA Fairmont GS Coupe of Alan Olle will make its first appearance at the Australian National Show and Shine Euroa this year, Alan and the car are certainly no strangers to Motor Shows.

Boasting first place at All Ford Day in 2017 for Best XA – XC Hardtop and runner up in 2018, it was also judged the Best XA Coupe at the Hardtop Anniversary at Bathurst 2017, and has taken home a host of other silverware including a Shannons sponsors award at Showcars Melbourne in St. Kilda, a Top Ten award at Bushrodders Picnic at Yea and a people’s choice award at Keilor Rotary car show.

The car’s original owner had created something of a different image around the 1980s theme, with some classic additions for that era including a TV, Bar, and other 80’s “must have” features, with the big hardtop at that time being Christened “Black Magic”.

After Alan obtained the car in 1984 it spent some time on the road before it was confined to the garage until he started a complete restoration program in February 2014. This included a strip down to a “nuts and bolts” stage, and after a strenuous two-and-a-half year project the Onyx Black Fairmont emerged as a completely different car.

The big Ford’s specifications now include a factory original 351ci (5.8 litre) V8, coupled to a 4 speed top-loader manual transmission, delivering power to a 9inch diff with a 3:1 ratio. It sports an original GS Rally Pack, making it just about as up-market, yet original, as was desirable.

The rally pack option includes the GS sweeping side stripes, GT instrumentation, The GT steering wheel, Stereo/ Radio tape player, (Solid-state 8 track stereo/radio combination with 4 speaker  system), and cloth seat trim option.

 

Engine modifications included a balanced & blueprinted bottom end, 302 quenched chamber heads CNC machined to relieve combustion chambers fitted with 4v valves & ported. The cam is hydraulic flat tappet by Crow Cams. Inlet manifold is Edelbrock RPM Air Gap with 750cfm Quick Fuel Carby, and a modified electronic distributor.

The engine has been dyno tuned and delivers 425 horsepower (317 kW.) at the flywheel with approximately 425 ft. lbs (576 Nm) of torque.

 

Wheels are factory 12 slotters that were fitted with 15" rims: Fronts 15 x 8" and the rears are 15 x 10". Tyres are Mastercraft Avenger GT's, fronts are 245/60R15 and the rears are 295/50R15.

 

Alan said: “Again the selection of the wheels was to keep authenticity with what was original but to add some appeal to the overall rebuild. The tyres were selected for the raised white lettering, which was a big hit back in that era and something that I thought would cap off the overall look that I was trying to achieve”.

During the restoration process, factory power steering was added. A limited slip diff. was included as part of the original specifications. The car was also lowered 2" not only to improve the handling of the car but also improve its stance as well.

 

Alan said: “My thought process on restoring this car was to do it as original as possible but make some slight alterations to make it more appealing. If I was to go into a Ford showroom back in 1972 and ordered one of these vehicles, how would I have ordered it then?"

“I wanted the motor to be reliable and also a good club cruising car so decided not go too radical with the engine but just subtle changes to improve it a bit.”

“I only have to please one person at the end of the day. And I must say that I am very pleased with the final outcome.”

That project was completed on 7th October 2016. The timing of this is very significant in two very special ways. It was the exact date Ford Australia shut down its Australian operation and also this car was built in October 1972, so it was 44 years ago - almost to the day - that the car was produced at the Broadmeadows factory.

The XA was one of many Fords which attended the Ford closure on that sad but historic day.

Although some of Alan’s friends have chosen to refer to the car as “The Beast”, Alan has been somewhat cautious of this label, not wishing to hijack the name of Eric Bana’s famous Coupe.

We agree. It’s too beautiful to be “Beastly!”

.. Ray Read

 

 

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