Young gun Connor Chiarelli’s XY Falcon

The build of 22-year-old Connor Chiarelli's tough XY was a father-and-son project

Photographers: Jordan Leist

As a young teenager, Connor Chiarelli was right into the burnout scene, dragging his dad along to skid events, going to Motorvation to drool over the cars, and, most importantly, reading Street Machine!

Once he was old enough for his L-plates, Connor was keen to get a cool ride that he could cruise around in when he got his Ps. We reckon this tough XY Falcon more than fits that bill!

How long have you had the XY?

We got the car in 2016 as a father-son project. The original 302 that was in it pretty much cooked the head gasket as soon as we got it. Back then, I didn’t really know much about cars, so my old man organised some guy to put an engine in it.

In 2020, that engine blew a lifter out of the block on George Separovich’s [of Blown Motorsports] dyno.

How did your dad react to that?

He was pretty fed up at that point, but I had really got into cars. I said to him, “Let’s just do another motor.” But he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore, so he just gifted it to me.

What did you do next?

From there, George put me onto Pavtek Performance in Melbourne. We organised to get a 393 Clevo Gold Pro crate motor shipped over to Perth. I bought it as a short block, because I already had CHI 2V heads from the old motor.

George talked me through what I needed, so I got the 850 APD carb and fuel log, as well as the Torque-Power high-rise single-plane manifold. I also chose to go with four-into-one extractors with two-inch primaries rather than the tri-Y pipes, just for that little bit more top end.

I assume all the internals are pretty stout?

It’s got 6.000-inch Scat H-beam rods and a 4340 forged crank, with SRP flat-top pistons, hydraulic-roller lifters, and a custom hydraulic-roller camshaft, which was the one thing I did change instead of the solid cam that Pavtek usually uses.

What does the compression work out to with the flat-tops and 2V heads?

It was quite high, because they’re only a 64cc-chamber head, so it worked out to be 11.65:1. It runs on 98 and made 467hp at 6600rpm on George’s chassis dyno, but they’re rated from Pavtek as 620hp at 7200rpm at the motor.

Did you do any other work on the car while the motor was out?

I was pretty much stripping the whole driveline out in the garage. I had established that the C4 was absolutely riddled with issues; I don’t even know how it was driving. The tailshaft was just the six-cylinder one, and the diff was a BorgWarner, so I had the car up on jack stands, and with help from Mike Roycroft, I ripped the whole lot out.

Then I got a nine-inch shortened by one inch on each side by Final Drive and got an LSD centre with 3.7 gears. While I was doing that, I had Terry at Shift Transmissions do the trans. It also has a 4200rpm high-stall done by Converter Services.

It sounds like you didn’t skimp on anything, but it all must have cost some coin?

I was on second-year apprentice’s wages as an electrician, so every single bit of money I had went straight into this car. I wanted to do it to the highest quality I could, because I didn’t want to have another engine fail.

What about the rest of the car?

I was doing the interior as well. I got a full GT dash, gauges and decals, and had the seats retrimmed and new carpet put in as well. The paint I haven’t done anything to. It’s Surfer Orange, which isn’t a colour you see too often, and it already had the GT stripes on it.

I replaced both of the bumpers and repainted the grille to GT specs with the silver inner and black outer. It had the rear spoiler, which I repainted, but I put the front GTHO spoiler on it. It’s by no means a show car, but it’s pretty good.

For a young bloke, you’re rocking a pretty old-school wheel and tyre combo.

I couldn’t afford the latest fashion of Welds, so I went with the Convo Pros. They’re 15×4 on the front with 175/80R15 tyres, and the rears are 15×8 with 255/60R15 tyres. I’d like to go to some 15×8.5s with a 3.5-inch backspace.

You’ve got the air cleaner sticking out of the bonnet, but it looks like it’s got a cut-out for a shaker scoop.

I can still put the shaker air cleaner on it, and I’ve got some five-slots with redline tyres if I want to make it look more like a factory GT.

Aged around 21 or younger and have a neat ride? Send some pics and info to: Young Gun, Street Machine, Unit 9/3-5 Gilda Court, Mulgrave, Vic 3170, or email high-resolution images (1mb+) to: [email protected].