Custom 430-cube Falcon XB coupe – INSANE XB

Pas Daskalakis loves Falcon coupes, but he wanted his latest to be absolutely insane - purists be damned


THE ups and downs of project-car life can test our patience, resolve and mental fortitude at the best of times, but Pas Daskalakis wanted his ’74 XB Falcon coupe to be insane right from the word go – hence the number plates it now wears! This hand-built, 700hp streeter represents a nine-year long pursuit of what Pas sees as the ultimate hardtop.

First published in the February 2022 issue of Street Machine

“When you make a decision to build a custom car and change almost everything, there will be challenges, and you quickly become a problem solver,” Pas says. “We have fitted, removed and refitted panels, the running gear and the interior trim over a dozen times to get this car right. But if you surround yourself with a great team of experts, then the challenges become easy and you enjoy building the whole car.”

This is Pas’s third Falcon hardtop, having purchased an XA in ’87 and an XB in three years later. But this XB came along in 2013 after Pas took a lengthy break from cars.

“My first car was an XA GT replica in black,” he explains. “I saw Mad Max at 15 and I immediately wanted a two-door, so I bought one for $2500 the day I got my licence at 16. It was a beast; I bought my freedom with that car and I just wanted to cruise the streets as a kid.

“My second coupe was a total rebuild, but back in the early 90s it was affordable to rebuild a car with a new engine and a great paintjob for around $20K. In the mid-90s I sold the XA and XB to become a responsible married adult, build a few houses, and have a baby boy, Eli.”

Pas got back in the game by finding the perfect project base in just a fortnight (see more, below). Ably assisted by Eli, Pas wasted no time in busting the car down to its undies in preparation for all the mods he’d been dreaming up over his 25 years away from Falcons.

Once Pas’s brother Charlie blasted the shell at his shop, Living Colour, a solid year’s worth of tin-bashing began.

The spoiler on the rear is metal, while the back bumper was tucked 20mm. The custom chin spoiler and tucked front bumper were done for a bit of the ‘Eleanor’ aesthetic, while the front end is now a one-piece unit. Dimple dies were used throughout for a racy style, and Pas put plenty of grey matter into building a bonnet that would fit over the 700hp small-block Ford but also retain the factory GT vibe.

“We used lasers to get the body lines straight and set spacers for all the gapping to be perfect,” he says. “The original Ford panels and bumpers always sit poorly from the factory, with huge gaps.”

Pas was after a big impact with his XB, so a regular glass-smooth paintjob was going to leave his mustard decidedly uncut.To this end, he started thinking outside the rhombus and came up with this wild satin finish. “I had two full-gloss cars and got sick of seeing glossy finishes,” he says. “But no one had a full satin finish!

“With satin, you get only one shot at painting it perfectly; you can’t correct any imperfections,” he continues. “You cannot touch up or buff out anything, so it’s a true straight-off-the-gun finish. Every coat has to be a carbon-copy repeat with no room for error, even though XBs have big panels and a wide body, and getting around a car that size is very difficult.”

Another area where Pas’s XB differs from the norm is in his choice of powerplant. On the face of it, a thumping 700hp, 430ci Dart Windsor sounds like a pretty bang-up street machine donk, but running it aspirated through individual throttlebodies is an unusual touch. “I wanted horsepower but didn’t want to go with the usual blown or turbo engine,” Pas says. “I want to drive this car regularly, so I reached out to PLR Performance Engines and we agreed you could get 700hp with a naturally aspirated engine.

I never wanted to drag or race the car, so this was the best direction.”

Starting with a Dart SHP block, a Scat crank and rod combo were introduced to custom forged RaceTec slugs and a custom Crow wompstick, with CHI 3V heads fitted up top. Sucking 98 premium unleaded, the angry SBF is controlled by a Haltech Elite 2000 ECU, and is kept cool by an Aussie Desert Cooler radiator with twin thermo fans.

“We wanted to buy everything from Australian businesses and support local, especially during COVID times,” says Pas. “I had visualised how I wanted the car to look from the start, and even sketched out designs and bought every car mag I could to get new fresh ideas.”

It sounds like fresh ideas are something Pas is never short of!


PURISTS will be horrified to discover that INSANE XB was actually a super-clean GS coupe with all its digits and a distinctive colour when Pas got hold of it.

“It was a genuine Mulberry Purple, matching-numbers 351 car,” he says. “The body was in good condition and it was a great car to start with. It had very little rust; the body had never been restored so it had all-original paint, and it was kept dry for 20 years in a shed. The floors and chassis were in excellent condition, so I was very lucky to negotiate a good price.”

Though some will sook about Pas building the car he always wanted, he has steadfastly refused temptation to return the XB to another stock Falcon. “I had already had two original coupes. I wanted to challenge myself by totally customising this one and making it look tougher and better than Ford did in the 70s.”

Pas even found resistance to his plan from within his own family! “My brother Charlie thought I was nuts smoothing everything out and adding all the dimples, and he kept telling me to keep its original Mulberry Purple and white interior, as this spec is worth a lot of money now,” he says. “But once I got the grinder and welder out, there was no turning back.

“The build was to be full custom with allnew performance parts, as I always wanted to build a Street Machine-quality car. And I knew with the right skills and people around me, I could achieve it.

“While hardtop prices are climbing sky-high, I will never sell this car.”


Paint: Glasurit custom satin black
Brand: Dart SHP 430ci Windsor
Induction: EFI Hardware ITB
ECU: Haltech Elite 2000
Heads: CHI Ford 3V 225cc
Camshaft: Crow custom
Conrods: Scat H-beam
Pistons: RaceTec custom forged
Crank: Scat 4340 steel
Oil system: Melling oil pump, Moroso sump
Fuel system: 550cc injectors, Bosch 400 fuel pump
Cooling: Aussie Desert Cooler radiator, twin fans
Exhaust: Hurricane headers, twin 3.5in custom exhaust
Ignition: MSD LS2 coil pack
Gearbox: Ford C6
Converter: TCE 350rpm
Diff: 9in Truetrac LSD, Richmond 4.11:1 gears
Front: Rod Shop front end, Viking coil-overs, tube arms, Rod & Custom
steering rack
Rear: CalTracs traction bars and leaf springs, Viking shocks
Brakes: Wilwood discs (f & r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
Rims: Showwheels Forged Series two-piece; 20×8.5 (f), 20×11.5 (r)
Rubber: Michelin Pilot Sport; 245/30R20 (f), 315/35R20 (r)

My brother Charlie Daskalakis at Living Colour for helping and pushing me to finish the car; Fist Full of Steel Custom Garage; Steve and Diamond Daskalakis; Henry Taratoa Upholstery; Daryl Woods at Race Car Engineering; Steve’s Auto Solutions; Todd and Glyn at Howarth’s Sheet Metal; EFI Hardware; Specialty Wheels Melbourne; Matt Mather at Engine Masters; Mike Davis Automotive; Ben at Northside Custom Exhausts; Daniel and his team at Simply Tuning; Col’s Tilt Tray Services; Phil at Prestige Paint & Equipment; Mick at Motorsport Accessories; Dave at Auto Hose Solutions; Jen/Jay & Dunc at The Rock FM New Zealand; Reggie the Rottweiler for the in-car security; last but not least, Monique and Eli Daskalakis for all the free time and support throughout the build