Ford XA Falcon ute in South Africa

This Falcon ute made it all the way to South Africa, and is about to get a stout 302 Windsor transplant


SEVESHEN Govender’s XA has seen more of the world than most Falcon utes, in the form of a 10,000km transplant to a new continent.

Like the now-infamous ‘Fairmont GT’, South Africa received Falcon utes in knock-down kit form during the 70s, beginning with the XW and ending with the XB. These were assembled at the local Port Elizabeth plant and badged as the Ranchero.

Seveshen bought his ute in 2011 for 4000 Rand ($400 Australian!). The ute needed work, having sat for years and lacking a considerable amount of wiring. After selling his last restoration project, a Mk1 Cortina, Seveshen got to work.

He began by removing the long-dead 351 in favour of some affordable interim power. “I replaced the V8 with a stock Ford 3.0-litre V6 that came out of a Ford Granada, just to get it up and mobile,” Seveshen says.

While cruising the ute with this motor, Seveshen is working busily to assemble a 302 Windsor that he will bolt to a five-speed HiLux gearbox. This donk will run a valvetrain courtesy of Comp Cams, ported and polished heads and Keith Black pistons. He has chosen to match this with a four-barrel Holley, Weiand intake, and TSP electronic distributor, to put down what he predicts will be more than 300hp. “The thrill at the thought of driving my Falcon with this V8 engine is unexplainable,” Seveshen enthuses. “However, I have a bit of a wait to finish it off.”

Modern four-pot Audi discs have replaced the old drum brakes, mated with a BMW E90 booster and master cylinder. Seveshen also decided that the front suspension was beyond worn, importing an entire front end set-up from Australia. “With all that V8 power I can’t afford to not have the Falcon handling as it should, and most importantly stopping!”

Seveshen has also reworked the ute’s interior with BMW seats, a blacked-out dash and headlining, and a custom timber centre console. Externally, matching blackouts accompany the uniquely mixed green paintwork. Also crammed into the ute is a new sound system made up of Alpine and Cerwin-Vega gear.

Seveshen says he is looking forward to finishing off his V8 and dropping it into the ute, and has no regrets around the build. “The end result will be worth every bit of my time and money,” he says. “This is my passion and hobby and it will never die.”