Ford XE Fairmont Ghia – reader’s car of the week

Sam Attard's XE Fairmont Ghia


“I LOVE XEs, as my brother had an XE ESP when he got his Ps back in 1998. 1980s cars are the shiz! I bought my XE in 2014 off a lad who had to sell it because of impending fatherhood.

This article on Sam’s XE Fairmont was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Street Machine

It was originally a six-cylinder but he’d put a 351 in it. Two weeks after I got it, it felt groggy so I was taking it to get a tune-up when the engine went boom! The motor had to get completely rebuilt, and one thing led to another: ‘Let’s paint the bay, maybe fix some dents, and how about we do this?’

Next minute, the car’s fully stripped back and I’m going custom white paint with a cleaned-up engine bay. The engine is a 351 with alloy heads, air-gap manifold, hydraulic Comp cams, Holley 750 Ultra HP carby with Pacey extractors. It made 440hp at the fly. The gearbox is a manualised C10 with a TCI ratchet shifter, while the diff is a 3.9:1 Truetrac LSD. Brakes are standard XE with slotted and dimpled discs, and the car rolls on 20-inch US Mags Rambler rims – I was sick of seeing FRs on all X-series Falcons).

Paint is custom straight-cut white with gloss-black bars and inserts. The engine is currently getting an upgrade due to a faulty cam lobe, with solid cams and stronger lifters and rockers. I’m hoping to push the 500hp mark, but we will find out in a few weeks. The bloke who built the engine, Johnny, was a good family friend and over the journey of this build we have become really good mates; I treat him like a brother and he treats my car better than his own!”