Summernats 36: Barra-powered John Goss Special on muddies!

It might upset some purists, but the Corish brothers’ twin-turbo Barra-motivated XB sure has been turning heads at ’Nats 36

Photographers: Shaun Tanner

Shane Corish reckons he and his brother Matt have given their genuine John Goss Special XB the Mad Max treatment, and what better car to do that to than a Falcon hardtop? The pair took possession of the rare Aussie muscle car in November last year, having cooked up a plan to build one of the biggest head-turners at Street Machine Summernats 36.

“It lived in a mate of mine’s barn for about 20 years; he bought it cheap as a parts car for a nice coupe he was building,” Shane said. “I had the idea of doing a twin-turbo Barra for a budget race car for shits and giggles, but then this came along and I thought, ‘That’s the perfect set-up for this car.’ We took the genuine Goss shell and bought an XH ute for the diff, transmission and shifter. We then put a gas Barra in front of that.”

The engine was treated to a basic Barra overhaul, with studs, a girdle, oil pump gears, head gasket and valve springs added to ensure longevity of the green-top mill. A pair of stock NA exhaust manifolds were flipped and had turbo flanges attached, and on went a pair of snails. “They’re cheap turbos, but they’re the best of the cheap ones!” said Shane. “I do a bit of casting and foundry work, and the charge pipes were a prick to get right, because the turbos sit on a bit of a funny angle and it’s a bit of a complex curve, but we got there. I cast them myself with my furnace.”

Shane hopes to make between 500 and 600hp with the combo on methanol, with a dual fuel cell set-up in the boot so pump fuel can be used for cruising.

“Haltech has been really supportive of all our projects, so we’re running an Elite 2500 and their dash,” said Shane. “The self-tuning has been really good. The first proper drive has been a lap of the cruise loop here, and the self-tuning has been fantastic – it makes for a cruiseable car straight away.”

Shane thought a set of mud terrain tyres would suit the desired aesthetic, and while he originally had his heart set on 31×10.5s all ’round, he ended up having to go slightly smaller on the 10-inch rear wheels for guard clearance. “The stance worked out perfectly. We’ve got some lowered springs on the front and the back, and we fluked it a little bit guessing the weight of the engine with the turbos. It came up great.”

It would come as no surprise if the purist brigade took offence to the car, but as Shane explains, the feedback has actually been overwhelmingly positive. “We haven’t cut anything that didn’t need cutting, and we do want to eventually do it up to be a nice street car, but at the moment we’ve gone a bit Mad Max with it; we couldn’t afford the paint and panel! We’re really happy with how it came up.”