Adam Francica was a fresh-faced teenager when he first hooked into his home-built XY project, with the goal of transforming a depressed Fairmont into an 11-second street brawler. Adam and long-time mate Con Constantinou (now of Pro Street Metalcraft) started the original build – which they dubbed ‘Pro Street #001’ – while still in high school. They finished it back in 2006, earning them a Top 60 Elite finish at Summernats 20 and a feature in our July ’07 issue.
First published in the November 2023 issue of Street Machine
The next decade was spent showing, racing and enjoying the car, but in 2016, Adam decided on a full rebuild. “The whole concept was to have a pro street car that’s street-legal and all under-bonnet but would still run a good number,” he says. The rebuild started slowly for the first few years but ramped up when COVID lockdowns started.
“With the kids’ sports stopping, there was more time at hand,” Adam explains. “[My kids] Olivia and Dom were a big help during the assembly, and Marcus put in many late nights and weekends throughout the build.”
Adam was now in his 30s with more responsibilities but also more resources at his disposal. “We had a hoist, a workshop and a hell of a lot more tools and resources than the first time around,” he laughs. “Last time we had a home garage and everything was done on jack stands!”
Aside from the Mazda Starry Blue paint, virtually everything on the XY has been re-imagined and re-engineered to a higher standard. The smoothed engine bay, custom sheet-metal boot and undercarriage were all stripped and painted at Ground Level Panel & Paint, where the panel gaps were also finessed.
Body-wise, the Fairmont’s topped off with an original Golde wind-back sunroof, which Adam plucked from an XA coupe in the early 2000s to replace a crappy pop-up unit. “Back then, you were stuck with what second-hand parts you could find, but now Con’s business, Option 10 Sunroofs, has reproduced the complete sunroof with every part brand new,” he says. “We kept the original lid and frame but rebuilt everything else using the new parts he made.”
The exterior GS stripe is a new addition, and the factory black markings were changed from gloss to satin. The dash and steering column had been colour-coded in blue and white, but they’ve now been blacked out to move away from the mid-2000s look. “There was also a lot of chrome around the driveline,” Adam points out. “That was the big thing at the time, but I wanted more of that tough, blacked-out pro street look.”
Con updated the rollcage with a taxi bar and removable intrusion bars before it was also blacked out. He also heavily modified the factory back seat and floorpan to make the full-width base fit between the mini-tubs, and completed the factory vibe by recessing the shifter to accommodate a factory console.
Trick & Mansweto Racing built the 500hp Clevo from the car’s 2006 iteration, and for the new build, Jason Mansweto stepped things up with a wild naturally aspirated Clevor combo. The new mill is based around a World Products Windsor block with a Scat crank and rods and custom Arias pistons for a hefty 451 cubic inches of displacement, while ported CHI 3V Cleveland heads are paired to a matching manifold and Pro Systems carb on top. Pump 98 or VP MS109 drum fuel are sent up by twin Walbro 465 in-tank pumps, which give enough pressure for a potential EFI conversion down the line. Three Aeromotive regulators manage the flow. On top of the 825hp from the Clevor alone, Jason’s tucked a nitrous fogger system under the shaker that’s set up for a 200hp shot!
Al’s Race Glides built a manualised and transbraked reverse-pattern C4 to handle the killer Clevor, pairing it to a Dominator 5500rpm converter. It turns a custom sheet-metal nine-inch built by Con, who changed up the four-link at the same time.
As a proper street-and-strip XY, Wilwood disc brakes feature all ’round. They’re controlled through the factory booster with a vacuum pump to ensure they’re always ready to perform regardless of how the grumpy solid-roller cam is feeling. A Gazzard Bros front end and adjustable rear shocks live underneath, as does an exhaust system that’s more heavily muffled than you might expect for an 825hp ride. “We wanted it to be a genuine street car,” Adam says of the four-muffler, twin 3.5-inch exhaust system. “The whole thing’s V-banded so we can section things out as we need; at any point I can take a section out and put a straight piece in for racing, rather than dumping it underneath.”
The revamped Fairmont appeared at Summernats 35, where it returned to the Elite Hall more than 15 years after its debut. “Since then, we’ve done MotorEx and All Ford Day, and a few little runs in-between – just local stuff,” Adam says. “The plan now is to have it dyno-tuned with the gas and get it ready to rock, and start prepping to race straight away.”
With an extra 325 horses and 100 cubes, and plenty of gas to play with, Adam’s confident the XY’s 11.5-second PB of yore will soon be obliterated. Somewhere in the eights is what he’s thinking now, and his revamped Fairmont should hit that mark without too much fuss.
1971 FORD XY FAIRMONT
|Paint:||Mazda Starry Blue|
|Carb:||Pro Systems 1050cfm|
|Heads & intake:||CHI 3V|
|Crank & rods:||Scat|
|Fuel system:||Twin Walbro 465|
|Cooling:||Custom radiator, EL thermo fans|
|Exhaust:||Custom extractors, 3.5in stainless twin system|
|Gearbox:||Al’s Race Glides C4|
|Torque converter:||Dominator 5500rpm|
|Diff:||Pro Street Metalcraft 9in, Truetrac, 4.3:1 gears, 35-spline axles|
|SUSPENSION & BRAKES|
|Front:||Gazzard Bros, Afco coil-overs|
|Rear:||Four-link, Strange coil-overs|
|Brakes:||Wilwood (f & r)|
|WHEELS & TYRES|
|Rims:||Weld; 17×6 (f), 15×10 (r)|
|Rubber:||Mickey Thompson; 26×6.00R17 (f), 28×12.00R15 (r)|
My wife and three kids Marcus, Olivia and Dominic for continuous support and help to get the car assembled and finished for Summernats; Con at Pro Street Metalcraft and Option 10 Sunroofs for the many late nights, kebabs and high-quality craftsmanship; Jason at Mansweto Racing; Simon and Sebastian at Ground Level Panel & Paint; Paul Zammit for all the wiring; Gary Micallef at Gary’s Motor Trimming.