With the questionable aerodynamic knowledge around in the day, imagine that this privateer was convinced that the panel-van roofline, tapering to a flat surface, was aerodynamically superior to the equivalent sedan.
This concept is a strange one — one that ties into this issue’s aero-themed cover car. We’ve actually run a similar concept — in Issue No. 121, if you’re interested — concerning what would happen if an Australian Chrysler Valiant was built as an aero warrior; but what if Ford Australia did something of the sort?
We’re going to think slightly out of the box for this one. In 1969, the Falcon XW series would have been the latest and greatest, and, while we’re sure that in no universe would Ford Australia have bankrolled such a project, it’s surely not beyond the realms of fancy that a cashed-up privateer might see the allure of racing an Aussie Ford at 200mph in the US. Now, there is a large problem with this, but we’ll address that later …
With the questionable aerodynamic knowledge around in the day, imagine that this privateer was convinced that the panel-van roofline, tapering to a flat surface, was aerodynamically superior to the equivalent sedan — an acceptable starting point, no doubt, and one that would immediately be aerodynamically enhanced with a custom-fabricated sheet-aluminium drag wing. This would be complemented with the usual aluminium aero-enhancements, while the rear bumper would be removed to smooth out the rear end, and those pesky door handles and exterior mirrors would have to be removed.
The real difference would be up front, though. Just as the real-deal aero cars gained a raft of modifications up front, so, too, would this. The precursor to the ‘Concorde’ nose cone made famous by the Mad Max ‘Interceptor’ Falcon, this would comprise a slanting fibreglass nose cone, with the XW grille surround located in the lower valance. The centre opening would feed cold air through the larger radiator, while the driver’s side-light provision would be blanked off and the passenger side would be repurposed as a feed for the external engine-oil cooler.
The factory-style bonnet would hide a custom cowl-induction system operating through the cowl plenum chamber, and, feeding the massive Holley Dominator carburettor sitting on top of the latest and greatest from the US, a Boss 429! It’d have to be backed by an overdriven Toploader four-speed and big nine-inch diff geared for 200mph.
Underneath, the brakes would be allowed to remain standard — after all, how often do you really need to stop on a circular track!? The suspension would be stiffened up, with heavier duty coils up front, extra leaves out back with custom bracketry permitting dual rear shocks, and beefy sway bars at each end.
The interior would be spartan at best, with one Falcon GT–spec bucket seat, a dash filled with VDO gauges, and a real man’s roll cage with zero padding.
The irony of Mr Privateer’s endeavour is that the car could never be homologated for racing, so, while he could hope to ship it over to the US to try to push it to the limit, it’d never be able to see a Nascar race. Still, one can dream …
This article originally appeared in NZV8 issue No. 143. You can grab yourself a print copy or digital copy of the mag below: