Castlemaine Rod Shop is putting together a mental Falcon XP test mule for its products, that wouldn't be out of place in an elite hall

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

WHY have a boring old catalogue to show off your wares when you can have a fully functioning and completely off-tap street machine that people can see, touch, smell and hear? That’s what the team at Castlemaine Rod Shop (CRS) are doing with this completely mental XP Falcon sedan.

Castlemaine -rod -shop -1“I bought it for a jig car because we wanted to re-jig all our XP engine mount kits,” says Marc Waddington, co-owner of CRS with his brother Heath. “So I put a series of different engines in it, then Bobby Telford found a V10 on a buy, swap and sell hot rod page [on Facebook]. It came out of a 2002 Dodge Ram roll-over. It’s a cast-iron version that they developed the Viper motor from. Then we slapped a couple of XR6 replacement turbos on it.”

Castlemaine -rod -shop -8The V10 is actually an LA-series engine, so it’s basically a V8 with a couple of extra cylinders added to it, but a longer stroke pushes out the capacity to 488ci, or eight litres in the new money. While it’s no wider than a V8, it’s a fair bit longer, so the firewall has been completely reworked. It’s a tight fit to put anything other than a straight-six in an old Falcon, but thanks to the CRS front end, they’ve been able to completely remove the shock towers, which also means there is plenty of room for pipes and turbos.

Castlemaine -rod -shop -12There’s a lot going on with the intake as well, which is another custom-made piece: “The stock intake is a monstrous set-up that nearly touched the bonnet on a Dodge Ram, so we made that cool dual throttlebody set-up on it,” Marc explains. “We hammer-formed up some aluminium – the machine shop milled up two blocks of steel as bucks – and then we got one of the boys to TIG ’em up. We tried to get the runners as equal as we could.”

Castlemaine -rod -shop -10The car is being built with a pro touring look, and now Owen Webb has jumped on board and it’s set to debut at MotorEx 2017 in Sydney. “The old man and Owen are good mates, so they’re planning to set the world on fire with it, they reckon,” Marc says. “It’ll be painted inside and out, but my old man’s the painter, so that’s his problem!”

Castlemaine -rod -shop -6They’ve picked the colour, but that will be kept a secret until the covers come off at MotorEx. What Marc did tell me was that there would be different finishes used, with some satin, some gloss. One thing is certain: They’re going to have a lot of fun painting around all that bar work! Marc’s got simpler desires: “We just want to drive it and go fast!”

Castlemaine -rod -shop -engineThe engine is an 8.0L V10 out of a 2002 Dodge Ram pick-up. It had about 150,000 miles on it, so it’s had a check-over, a quick hone and some new gaskets. A couple of XR6 turbos should liven things up nicely. These engines are only rated at 300hp stock, but that will change.

Castlemaine -rod -shop -14The CRS tubular IFS eliminates the inner fenders completely, leaving plenty of room for, say, a V10 with twin turbos. No airbags either – the car will run Viking coil-overs on all four corners.

Castlemaine -rod -shop -9The interior might not look it, but it’s pretty much finished. All the metalwork will be tidied up and then painted. Marc’s undecided whether to polish or paint the Kirkey race seats.