You may have gathered by now that Justin Walker is a reasonably capable man when it comes to screwing a car together. While he may have found it challenging at times, he’s the man who turned a rotten and poorly engineered lump of ’60s American steel into an award-winning and head-turning piece of engineering excellence, almost entirely by himself.
So, given the opportunity to build the car he’d most want to park in his garage, here’s a bit of what he’d front up with.
Justin makes no secret of his love of XW Falcons, having owned an XW GT in the past, and determined that his next build would be an XW Falcon ute. We’re looking at a Justin Walker-ized Falcon XW GT ute, and it’s a little wilder than the Melbourne bigwigs in the ’70s would have been able to conceive.
For Justin, stance is everything, and this ute would sit proper. Welding in a Chris Alston rear chassis section, he’d be able to ensure both a slammed stance and suitably large rear rubber. We’re talking classic Simmons FR-series three-piece rims, finished in gloss black, measuring in at 20x12 inches, with matching 18x8-inch units up front.
Filling up the space behind the big hoops would be equally large brakes — and there’d be no need to reinvent the wheel, with a functional and good-looking setup already used on his Galaxie: Wilwood six-piston fronts with 14-inch discs, and Wilwood four-piston rears with 12-inch discs.
You can’t have looks without ‘go’ to match, though, and Justin would have no problem in sorting that side of the equation. Hung off the four-linked rear would be a trusty nine-inch with Strange Engineering third member, Truetrac centre, and 4.11:1 gears. Rather than a Tremec T56 six-speed, as used in the Galaxie, the Falcon would run a super-beefy G-Force GF-5R, to handle the abuse from its radical motor.
Based on an Eliminator Premier block, the big block would be built to rev, with a bulletproof rotating assembly, high-compression ratio, Jon Kaase P51 ‘Wedge’ heads, and twin-carbed tunnel ram through the bonnet. This monster mill would be blacked out, to match the vehicle’s exterior treatment. Matt black paint all round, with all brightwork powder-coated in gloss black, and a gloss red XW GT stripe to highlight it all.
Like Justin’s Galaxie, the blacked-out Falcon would get an interior trimmed in red leather, with bucket seats by TMI Products, an XW GT dash filled with Auto Meter carbon-fibre gauges, and an XW GT steering wheel retrimmed in red leather.
With most people who fronted up with a concept this wild, we’d probably never see it in the flesh, but Justin’s committed to building an XW ute next, and we all know what he’s capable of.
Justin from LVVTA says:
"Chris Alston’s Chassisworks makes some really good gear, so you shouldn’t expect to see too many issues with the rear frame and suspension upgrades. The attachment of the new rear rails to the OE Falcon chassis and floorpan will need a little work to get right though — the rails will need to be suitably attached to ensure that there’s good torsional rigidity and to minimize any chance of fatigue. Chassis connectors might also be a benefit here, depending on how the rails are fitted and how well the body is likely to handle the extra power of the aftermarket big block Ford.
"Working closely with your LVV Certifier will be advantageous, as some custom fabrication will almost certainly be required with the chassis mods. Your diff, wheels and tyres, and other drivetrain components should all be fairly straightforward, and if you follow the various sections of the New Zealand Car Construction Manual, you’ll have no issues at cert time. There are some good options out there for upgrading the front suspension, too, with RRS (Australia) having recently completed the Type Approval of its custom MacPherson-strut independent-front-suspension (IFS) conversion, streamlining the process for anyone who wishes to install it.
"RRS can also supply a power-rack conversion kit that, together with the suspension, will help to transform the road manners from a bump-steering ’70s work ute more into that of a well-mannered late-model performer. There’s not a huge amount of tricky stuff with this one, so just make sure that you’re referring to the applicable sections of the Car Construction Manual, and you’ll be heading in the right direction. We’re big fans of the XW and XY Falcons, especially when they’re tough big block utes!"