Brent Locatori set out to build a cool streeter. The fact that it's fast enough to get kicked off the track is a bonus.
This article was originally published in the November 2013 issue of Street Machine.
MOST Ford guys love the XY, but I’ve always been into the tough lines of an XD,” West Aussie mechanic Brent Locatori says. Brent was 18 when he bought his XD Fairmont and 11 years later he’s transformed it into a show ’n’ go weapon that’s equally at home posting high-nines down the quarter or out cruising.
“I bought it with a lazy old 351. I drove it like that while I did my apprenticeship but I was always messing around with it, changing manifolds, carbies and heads. I eventually built a tough 393ci Cleveland for it. It ran 11s and it was fun on the street too.”
Brent enjoyed the car in this guise for a while but soon enough decided to take it up a notch: “The plan was to build a high quality car, and it had to be completely streetable.”
First he had a serious chat with good mate Shane Walters, who offered to take care of the panel work. “If Shane wasn’t so keen then the XD wouldn’t be where it is today,” Brent says.
The duo set to work, stripping the machine to a bare shell. There was the usual rust to repair, paint to remove and holes to weld up. Then the plastic covers on the C-pillars were binned; the pillars were plated instead, to achieve a super-smooth yet factory appearance. The rear guards were also pumped to allow room for some big rubber. Brent tackled the engine bay, welding up dozens of holes, and smoothing everything in sight.
Two years later, the pair had the body in primer.
A mild steel four-point rollcage with side intrusion bars was ordered but didn’t quite fit, so Brent and his dad, Tony, trimmed, scalloped, notched and bent the pipework to make it perfect.
Then it was time to decide on colours.
“I thought about black, I looked at maroons, I checked out heaps of dark colours. I just couldn’t make up my mind,” Brent recalls. “Then one day I saw a Mazda 6 driving down the road. I loved the way it looked in the sun. I loved the way it looked darker in the shade. It just looked great!”
Another good mate, Danny De Filippis, got the nod to lay on the Phantom Purple paint. He spent hours blocking and repriming the body to ensure that it was absolutely perfect before it was carted off to a spray booth.
With the body receiving plenty of love, the rest of the fittings needed some attention to keep pace. Brent relentlessly scoured eBay, buying anything that caught his eye and buying new old stock where possible, preferring to stay away from reproduction items. Vinci Chrome took care of the brightwork, repolishing mouldings until they were as good as they could ever be.
With the aesthetics pleasingly sorted, Brent turned his attention on the centrepiece of the entire build — the 460ci Clevor. That’s not a typo — it’s a Windsor-style block with Cleveland-style heads.
“I was planning on dropping the 393ci combo back in but I couldn’t do it. The car was so nice that it deserved something new.”
He knew he wanted big cubes and after plenty of research settled on a World Products Man-o-War 9½in block with Diamond custom 12.5:1 pistons, Total Seal file-back rings, Eagle H-beam rods, Clevite bearings and an Eagle crank.
The top end features CHI Kaase C400 heads matched to a hand-ported CHI manifold topped with a big Holley Dominator 1050HP carb. Harris Engines took care of the machining, and Brent used his own trade skills to assemble it all.
From there, Tony at Ierace Automotive tuned the mill on the engine dyno. The combo made an earthshaking 722hp at 7000rpm and 629lb-ft.
It’s mated to a Performance Automatics transbraked C4, and an Allfast 5000rpm torque converter. Phil from Final Drive whipped up the tailshaft and nine-inch, filling the latter with 31-spline axles, 4.11:1 gears and a full spool centre.
Meanwhile, Drew at Northside Motor Trimmers stitched up the interior in black velour. The factory rear seats were reshaped for extra support, the gauge cluster was trimmed, and Brent’s own ‘Ford Racing’ design was embossed into the door cards.
After five years in the build, the XD was finally ready to enjoy. Although primarily built as a tough cruiser, Brent had to know what it would do down the quarter. After a few shakedown passes and some set-up advice from Allfast’s Simon ‘Gonzo’ Travaglini, he was kicked off the track for running a best time of 9.95@135mph. Not bad for a streeter!
And he’s already musing that a sheet-metal intake, dual carbs, E85 and custom pipes would propel him down the track even faster. Why? Well, Brent screwed together the donk in Tony’s F6 Typhoon and with help from Extreme Ford Performance that churned out 850rwhp, which made Tony the fastest man at the Antilag Racewars (SM, Aug ’13) at 275km/h, and produced a timecard of 9.62@148mph. Can’t let Dad win, hey?