Nathan Giunco’s JETFTR XE Ford Falcon

Nathan Giunco's 14-year journey building his XE Falcon culminated in a Summernats 34 unveiling and some unexpected tinware

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

This bright white XE could be a case study in the concept of ‘less is more’. From a distance, you might label it as a fairly standard 80s Falcon whose springs had had an altercation with an angle grinder. But there are so many beautifully executed modifications and details hidden just below the surface that the Summernats judges awarded it 2nd Top Interior and gave it a coveted spot in the Top 20 at ’Nats 34.

First published in the April 2022 issue of Street Machine

As it turns out, White XEs are close to owner Nathan Giunco’s heart. “When I was a kid, the family car was a white XE GL,” he reveals. “I used to race go-karts; we would road-trip all over NSW in the XE towing a kart trailer to races and competing as a family.”

It stands to reason, then, that when Nathan came across this XE in a car lot in Wagga Wagga when he was a first-year apprentice, he just had to have it. “It was a white GL with a 351 Clevo and Top Loader,” he says. “I had a lot of fun with it for a few years and got into trouble in it every so often!”

Nathan was all set to build up a different blue XE and had the Clevo driveline ready to drop into it when a mate took him for a squirt in his newly finished Barra-powered XF. “That was it – all my plans changed,” he laughs. “I sold the blue car to put a turbo Barra six in the white one and do it properly.”

The killer end result didn’t come about overnight – you’re looking at the fruits of 14 years of hard work and many hours travelling between Nathan’s home in Wagga and Sydney to work on the XE.

Good things rarely come easily, and the first shop he entrusted with major custom fabrication left him disappointed. His enthusiasm deflated like a punctured tyre, Nathan tucked the XE away in a corner for a few years before some mates introduced him to Paul Sant of ProFlo Performance.

“I always intended to build the car to this level, but it wasn’t until I met people like the ProFlo team that I realised it was actually achievable,” Nathan says. Paul and the crew got stuck in to the XE, cutting out everything from the parcel shelf downwards and replaced it with tidy tubs and flat boot floor.

The braced nine-inch housing is filled with a Strange centre, spool and 35-spline Moser axles and swings from a custom triangulated four link. There’s also a parachute mount for when Nathan gives up the super-sano show car lifestyle and punts the XE down the quarter.

It wasn’t just the stern that was introduced to the scrap bin – Nathan had ProFlo turf everything between the front guards too! In place of the original Falcon sheet metal and suspension, a complete McDonald Brothers front clip keeps the XE just off the tarmac, while the Barra is surrounded by acres of smooth white steel. Even the rad support received a haircut to bring it down to the same height as everything else.

The sea of white helps draw the eye to the reason Nathan began this build more than a decade ago: a top-shelf example of Ford’s ubiquitous Barra inline six. We featured this beauty in SM before the XE was finished (Mill of the Month, Dec ’19), and it looks just as intriguing now as it did then.

Nathan bought a brand-new block from Ford and the ProFlo crew stuffed it full of parts from the Atomic Racing catalogue, including a billet standard-stroke crank, billet main caps, girdle, oil pump and timing components.

Forged CP slug swing off Argo rods, and the block was grout-filled to the Welch plugs for extra stability. The ports were given a tickle and the head was filled with Atomic valvetrain bits, while ignition is entrusted to a set of R35 GT-R coils in a Platinum Racing Products mount.

The custom Hypertune plenum sports 12 2400cc injectors to ensure there’s always enough fuel to match the massive amounts of air the gigantic Precision hairdryer is capable of supplying.

Propping up the turbo and feeding it post-combustion dinosaurs is a gorgeous six-runner custom ProFlo manifold, and a four-inch dump whisks the spent gases away through a couple of mufflers to quieten the roar.

Just how much snot does this very shiny six make? “Not a lot at the moment; we only put a tune in it to idle it around the Summernats pavilion!” Nathan laughs.

Rest assured, though, the combo will make well over 1000 neddies at the rubber once the wick’s turned up, and Nathan’s got his heart set on an eight-second timeslip.

With the driveline and underpinnings sorted out, Nathan knew exactly where to turn to for some seriously straight bodywork; his dad Elio, a retired panel tapper, is a bit of a dab hand with sheet metal. “I always wanted Dad to do the panelwork,” he says. “It’s perfect; it gets lots of compliments about how straight it is.”

After several months of hard yakka on the body, the car was lined up for a date with the spray booth. Nathan turned to the team at 2SUS Custom Resprays for the jam job, and the XE was promptly drenched in a custom PPG pearl white that really suits the 80s Falc’s stark lines.

Darren and the Stitched Up Custom Trim team are responsible for the award-winning interior. While it looks kind of standard at a quick glance, the number of original parts left in the cabin is an ant’s undies away from being nought. “I wanted to go for a slightly Ringbrothers feel but have it still look like an XE, and Darren gave me the perfect interior,” says Nathan. It’s got to be pretty perfect to pick up that ’Nats 2nd Top Interior trophy!

The whole car is a testament to perseverance and using the right people for the job, and Nathan’s ecstatic with the result.

“It’s a big part of my life, though it took a lot more out of me than I expected,” he says. “It was surreal to be asked to unveil it at Summernats surrounded by my friends and family. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”


Paint: PPG custom pearl white
Engine: Ford Barra straight-six
Crank: Atomic
Rods: Argo
Pistons: CP
Cams: Atomic
Valves: Atomic 
Valve springs: Atomic
Rockers: Atomic
Lifters: Atomic
Intake: Hypertune
ECU: FuelTech FT600
Injectors: 12 x 2400cc
Turbo: Precision Pro Mod 88mm
Wastegate: Precision 
Blow-off valve: Precision
Oil pump: Atomic
Fuel pump: Twin Aeromotive Eliminator
Cooling: Shaun’s Custom Alloy
Exhaust: 4in single system
Gearbox: Turbo 400
Shifter: M&M
Converter: TCE 4500rpm
Tailshaft: Ricky’s Drive Shafts chrome-moly
Diff: 9in
Front: McDonald Bros double A-arm, QA1 coil-overs
Rear: Triangulated four-link, Strange coil-overs
Brakes: Wilwood discs; six-piston calipers (f), four-piston calipers (r)
Rims: Weld V-Series 18×6 (f), Weld S76 17×12 (r)
Rubber: Mickey Thompson; 26x6R18 (f), 28×12.5R17 (r)


I owe everything to Dad for his endless help, Mum for her help, and my brother who was always there for support; Paul and Charlie Sant and the team at ProFlo Performance; Darren and the team at Stitched Up Custom Trim; Basser and the team at 2SUS Custom Resprays; Mitch at Benzin Motorsports; Mark Sant at Ontrak Auto Electrical; Brenton at Concept Machine Works; Craig Smith for help transporting the car; Atomic Performance Products; Al’s Race Glides; Shaun’s Custom Alloy; Pat Fitzpatrick at Pat’s Tyre Service; Steve Limberger; my extended family and mates for supporting me throughout the build