Falcon XY GT replica 7.3-metre stretch limo

You know you’ve made it when you step onto the red carpet from this magnificently customised XY GT

Photographers: Peter Watkins

You can just look at some cars and see that someone has put in the hard yards. Well this 7.3m XY GT limo has had about three hard yards put into it and each of them was done with painstaking attention to detail. It’s the brainchild of Mal Edgar and Chriss Kounis who wanted something special for their Central Park Limousines business and ended up spending five months of seven days a week to get it to an award-winning standard.

First published in the November 2002 issue of Street Machine

They chose the GT theme to add some attitude to the normally somber limo experience, so the build not only had to incorporate a jaw-dropping show car-style restoration, but needed to be practical.

The donor car was a GS Fairmont they finally found in inland York after they’d rejected 12 unsuitable shells during a four-month search, and then the fun began.

It was stripped back to bare metal then chopped in half 100mm behind the centre pillars. RHS steel lengths were plug welded to the top and bottom chassis rails and then fully welded to the sills to bring it back together 2.6m longer while complying with the ADRs.

The roof was first made from three sections of 1.0mm steel with the middle section simply rolled to follow the longer stock line. Each side section was fabricated in three segments, one for the window frame, one for the rain-gutter, and another which was lined up with the centre section by hand using a hammer and dolly to make sure it was millimetre perfect.

However, it wasn’t coming together the way Chriss and Mal had hoped so they got out the grinders and replaced it all with 1.6mm material using the same painstaking process.

To maintain the XY’s authenticity, they reskinned the sides and extended the tapered line that runs between the guards above the sill. Using a string line between the wheel arches and then drop lines from the window frames they calculated the correct taper so the new skins could be hand formed from sheet steel using a swage.

When it was whole again, it was sent to Ros Dyer of Rosco’s Reco who matched the GT-spec ‘Silver Fox’ paint, then new-old stock sourced by Tony Devlon of Superoo Spares was used to achieve that GT look. Mal and Chriss say his efforts and encyclopaedic knowledge of GTs meant that it is as authentic as possible.

Trimmer Phil Wall at Limrod was given a blank cheque and the brief to keep it real, so he went nuts with enough hide for two GTs and enough left over for a nice sofa. Well, if you’re going to be mooching about in luxury, you need a bit of entertainment and that’s taken care of with an 18 grand Dolby 5.1 surround sound DVD/VCD/CD system.

DBA cross-drilled disks are gripped by XE calipers up front and EA at the rear. In fact, to reduce weight and for ease of maintenance, EA-spec was the choice for the steering and diff, which is driven by a three-piece tailshaft with CV joints instead of noisy uni joints.

Motivation comes from a 351 mild enough to retain limousine manners, but nasty enough to give that raspy Clevo burble. Mal says, “If we could’ve got out of the Top 60 [Motorvation 2002] pavilion we would’ve entered the burnout comp!” 14m heli’s? You better lean across and nicely ask the driver.