FOR centuries, people the world over have sought balance. A balanced diet; a good work-life balance; even the elusive, perfect balance of Vegemite and butter on toast. One kind of balance that eludes many car enthusiasts is the balance between the cars you own and the cars you actually want. It’s the ultimate unicorn: A perfect mix of street car, show car and muscle car? It’s unheard of! Well, until now.
This article was first published in the April 2019 issue of Street Machine
Love ’em or hate ’em, you just can’t deny the presence of a wide FR in a deep tub. OLDSCL is reportedly the first XW in Australia to wear 22in wheels all ’round. You can thank some clever sectioning and stretching of the guards for the complete absence of unruly tyre-to-body relations
The owner of this 1970 XW Ford Falcon had only a few requirements when he delivered it to Frank and Roy Velardi at V Resto Garage in Western Sydney. “The car rolled in as a soda-blasted shell on the Simmons rims, but nothing else. The owner basically wanted our advice on what to do with the car; he was after a balance of looks, muscle and driveability,” says Roy Velardi. “He had seen our work on our Facebook page and wanted to see how we could take his car to the next level.
No wonky moulds or chrome bumpers here. The V Resto Garage boys have triple-checked everything – twice. Metal, chrome and plastics were fitted and tweaked in harmony to achieve the best fit possible
“He was definitely not after a trailer-queen build. This was meant to be a show-quality car that you could take out every day if you wanted to. It had to have power, style, sit low, and have air con! We made sure that we kept a classic look while adding a lot of custom touches that set this car apart on closer inspection.”
The XW’s doors, bonnet and boot received the same treatment of being cut and reapplied in place. The work was painstakingly done to ensure the panel gaps on OLDSCL were millimetre-perfect
V Resto Garage is well known for its expertise in preparing classic Fords in all flavours – race, street, concours. Although they have dabbled in several other makes and models, the Velardi brothers hold the 70s era of Falcon close to their hearts, as they both own and drive immaculate examples themselves. Additionally, Roy was a long-time editor of Street Fords magazine, solidifying his status as a Blue Oval boffin. Over a span of two years, the Velardis took this XW from a blank canvas to the masterpiece you see today.
The X-dub went back to bare metal and there is very minimal filler under that unmistakeable PPG Surfer Orange paint. The metalwork under the duco is what you dreamed your panel guy had the time to do. Door and panel edges were welded and trimmed, and door skins were cut and reapplied in place, all to achieve millimetre-perfect gaps all around. The plastic and chrome trim pieces also had the same treatment, and were measured and trimmed with the same precision to ensure every piece on the XW’s body was gun-barrel straight. The car was reassembled in bare metal along with the moulds and trims to triple-check all panels for fitment.
The firewall was originally fabricated flat to accommodate a small-block Ford and trans combo, but a choice was made mid-build to go big-block, so the firewall was modified again with a raised tunnel, added chassis connectors and new engine plates by Chris at CS Engineering. The Surfer Orange continues into the engine bay, with satin black and raw machined alloy providing a welcome contrast.
A custom 70L fuel cell in the boot by JT Performance keeps this orange beast juiced up to the gills. No corn-juice trickery here; the 514ci big-block makes all the power from pump 98. Running on premium unleaded also ensures OLDSCL can cruise anywhere without worry
OLDSCL is powered by a strong 514ci Ford big-block, built by John Agazzi from VP Racing Fuels Australia. It features a bulletproof package of AFR heads, JE pistons and rings, Comp rockers, Scat crank and conrods, Manley valves and a modified Moroso sump. A pair of APD 1050 billet carburettors and a custom sheet-metal manifold by Hogan’s Racing Manifolds handle intake duties. Fumes and noise come courtesy of custom ceramic-coated, mandrel-bent two-inch headers by CS Engineering and a dual three-inch exhaust system.
Six-pot Wilwood stoppers at the front matched with four-pots at the rear ensure the orange rush doesn’t get orange crushed
Putting the power to the wheels is a Turbo 400 by Al’s Race Glides and a tough Ford nine-inch with an alloy centre and 35-spline axles from Strange. Mating these two items is a 3.5-inch tailshaft by Ricky’s Drive Shafts. A custom 70-litre fuel cell in the boot by JT Performance provides the magic 98-octane juice that gets this whole package pushing 714hp at the crank – just the right amount of boogie for that weekend grocery run with the kids.
Peek-a-boo. OLDSCL keeps it old-school with twin APD 1050 billet carbs out the bonnet – the tip of a devastating iceberg of Aussie-bred power
After getting OLDSCL on the hoist – and mopping up the puddles of drool induced by the absolute cleanliness of the underbody – you will notice some trick suspension goodies created by Cain at Xtreme Fabworx. The rear is a custom four-link suspension set-up with Strange shocks, and custom wheel tubs house the massive 22×12 Simmons FRs. The boot floor is all custom too, along with the side and rear filler panels.
Check out the attention to detail, typified by the gloss on the firewall. This car has show-quality paint where the sun don’t shine
The XW has 22-inch wheels fitted to all four corners, with the guards carefully sectioned and stretched to accommodate them. A custom IFS system also helps fit these monstrous FRs, with rack-and-pinion steering from a Holden VL making sure it all plays nice from lock to lock. Custom guard liners were also made, just in case you doubted the remarkable attention to detail.
Take your shoes off before you enter, please. The fresh black carpet and vinyl are a classic combination, and in this case are done so well it feels like it just rolled off the Ford production line
The interior is presented in classic XW fashion, with simple but effective black vinyl and all the right period-correct trim and badges, albeit with the addition of Auto Meter gauges. The dash has been customised as well; you will see an extra gauge in the usual wiper control spot. If you’re wondering why there isn’t a big air con compressor system in the engine bay, that’s because it is an electric unit, hiding under the rear parcel shelf. Sneaky. It works well too, getting the inside temp down to a frosty 1°C!
This centre console is a lesson on how to look vintage and modern at the same time. From the shifter to the air conditioning system, this is like automotive gentrification
The OLDSCL plates may refer to the era of classic Aussie muscle this car belongs to, but it’s just as accurate a description of the kind of workmanship and sheer elbow grease that went into making this project such a resounding success for both owner and workshop. We’re not sure if there is a more well-rounded XW on the streets today. Viva V Resto Garage!
V RESTO GARAGE – CUSTOMER CAR
1970 FORD FALCON
Paint: PPG Surfer Orange
Brand: 514ci Ford big-block
Induction: Twin APD 1050 billet carburettors
Camshaft: Comp mechanical-roller
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel system: Custom 70L fuel cell and Aeromotive pump
Cooling: Shaun’s Custom Alloy radiator with twin 14in electric fans
Exhaust: Custom mandrel-bent 2in headers and 3in dual system with mufflers
Ignition: MSD Grid with MSD crank trigger
Gearbox: Turbo 400 by Al’s Race Glides
Converter: 5000rpm by Phil Soderstrom
Diff: Ford 9in with bracing, Strange alloy centre, 35-spline Strange axles, 3.89:1 ratio
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front: QA1 shocks, IFS double wishbone-and-arm suspension, Holden VL rack-and-pinion steering
Rear: Strange shocks, custom four-link rear suspension, rear Panhard rod
Brakes: Wilwood six-pot disc brakes (f), Wilwood four-pot disc brakes (r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Simmons FR; 22×8 (f), 22×12 (r)
Rubber: 225/25R22 (f), 335/30R22 (r)
Frank Velardi, Roy Velardi and Angelo Cali for all their help and guidance during the build; Chris from Motorsport Connections for the brake lines and plumbing the entire car with braided lines and alloy fittings; Nick from Turbo Exhaust Centre for the tailpipes; John Agazzi from VP Racing Fuels for the engine build; Frank Marchetta for installing the wind-back sunroof, headliner and panelwork; Gerto’s Metal Polishing; Peters Windscreens; Tempe Tyres for the custom Simmons wheels; Rocket Industries; Gary Coleman for XW parts; Ford Muscle Parts for various XW and GT parts