Scotty Rowell’s ZD Ford Fairlane

It has been a big couple of years for Scotty Rowell’s heavy-hitting Fairlane!

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

WHEN we featured Scotty’s bright, blinking green ZD in the June 2013 issue of SM, it was fresh from landing a spot in the Elite Top 60 at Summernats 26.

In total, the big Fairlane has raked in a total of 19 awards, including a couple of dyno comps. Scott is yet to put the car down the quarter, but it is being used as the family Sunday drive car – when it is not appearing at shows, that is! Here’s the complete story of how the car was built:


Scott Rowell set out to achieve three precise and completely quantifiable objectives when building his clinically clean ZD Fairlane. “I wanted to land in the Summernats Top 60, score a feature in Street Machine and run a 10-second pass,” he explained. With the first two goals in the bag and the Moroso power/speed calculator indicating a theoretical 10.60@125mph courtesy of a 630hp Clevo, it’s all coming up roses so far.

As a young bloke, Scott had a ZC Fairlane that he loved, but he couldn’t afford to do the body restoration it needed on his apprentice’s wages and it eventually died a sad and rusty death. “Then one day I spotted this ZD, which was clean, tidy and rust-free with an original 130,000 miles on the clock, in the local shopping centre car park,” he recalled. “It turned out it was owned by a local businessman I knew from drag racing with my uncle and dad. He wasn’t driving it very much, and as luck would have it his wife was angling for a new leather lounge suite, so I bought it from him for $3800, lowered it into the weeds, fitted whitewalls and just drove the wheels off it for a few years.”

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Then, as we’re so used to hearing, Scott parked it in the shed one day to “repair some little rust bubbles in the doors and tidy her up a bit”. That was seven years back.

It was a typical build in that life’s demands such as work and family commitments meant progress ebbed and flowed as the car came on and off the backburner. Also typically, broken promises from chassis guys (the car was originally going to be tubbed) and panel shops meant lengthy delays and alterations to the grand plan.

“The original panel shop I had it at promised me the world and delivered nothing, but Jake, Gratiano and Adriano from Moro and Dooly Smash Repairs turned that all around and completed the bodywork,” said Scott. The custom-mixed PPG Deltron ‘Crisp Green’ paint set the standard for the rest of the build early on. “The paint came up incredibly well, so from that point on everything that went onto the car had to be as good if not better,” said Scott. “Every nut and bolt is either stainless-steel or zinc plated, all the stainless trim was restored to better than new condition and just about every other component was painted in two-pac or powder coated.


That Clevo we referred to earlier looks every bit as neat nestled in the beautifully presented engine bay, but it does far more than just look pretty. Scott and his buddies Graham Burt and Danny Gigs got the ball rolling, with the clearancing, final assembly and dyno tuning handled by Frank and Lou at Dandy Engines. Scott was impressed by the way they did business: “I can honestly say that this was one of the best customer-service experiences I’ve ever had,” said Scott. “The engine was built and dynoed by the deadline and made the number they promised.”

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It’s a stout offering measuring in at 393ci, ultimately worth 630hp on the Dandy dyno. With a Scat crank and rods teaming up with SRP slugs and CHI 225 heads, a healthy COMP Cams mechanical roller operates the valves and a 950cfm Pro Series carb meters the air/fuel mix via a CHI single-plane manifold. It’s backed by a tough ATS Automatics-built C10, fully manualised with a billet input shaft and servos and a 4200rpm TCE converter, likely to be stepped up to a brute 5600rpm item for the track. The nine-inch rear is also suitably toughened by way of a Strange nodular centre, Moser 31-spline billet axles, a billet yolk and full spool.


Suspension wise it’s an all-Pedders affair, with Pedders six-cylinder coils and drag-spec 90/10 shocks up front, and Pedders-reset leaf springs with 50/50 shocks on the rear. The braking system is Falcon, with XF front discs, ED rears and an XB GT master cylinder to suit the four-wheel disc configuration.

The cabin refurb was conducted by Dantrim in Bendigo, styled after the factory muscle cars of the era in GT basket weave and saddle vinyl. In mint condition, standard-issue hardware is everywhere you look, unless of course you’re copping a squiz the TCI Outlaw shifter and AutoMeter Ultralite dials.

So, when does Scott plan to tick that third and final objective off the list? “I’m itching to race it!” he said with a wry grin. “I have a lot of mates who are into racing and they’re putting a lot of pressure on me to get it down the track, but it won’t be until next year. It’s still too shiny at the moment! I have been driving it a bit and I did a wedding in it recently, so it’s done some street driving, but once it’s done the rounds of the show scene I’ll definitely start racing it and driving it a lot more, and taking it to events like Powercruise.”

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Colour: Crisp Green


Brand: 393ci Cleveland

Inlet: CHI inlet manifold

Carb: Custom-built 950 Pro Systems carb

Heads: CHI 225 heads, Ferrea valves, Isky springs

Camshaft: Comp Cams mechanical roller

Conrods: Scat

Pistons: SRP forged

Crank: Scat 4340

Oil pump: Melling, modified

Sump: ASR Drag Comp

Fuel system: Magnafuel QuickStar 300 pump

Cooling: Aussie Desert Cooler alloy radiator, twin thermos

Exhaust: Pacemaker 17/8in 4-into-1 headers, twin 3in exhaust system

Ignition: MSD Pro Billet, HVC coil and 6AL2


Gearbox: C10, fully manualised, billet input shaft, billet servos

Converter: TCE 4200rpm

Diff: 9in, Moser 31-spline axles, Strange nodular centre, full spool, 4.33:1 gears


Springs: Pedders six-cylinder (f), Reset leaf springs (r)

Shocks: Pedders 90/10 (f), Pedders 50/50 (r)

Brakes: XF discs, XF calipers (f), ED discs, ED alloy calipers(r)

Master Cylinder: XB GT


Rims: Weld Rodlite 15x6in (f) 15x8in (r)

Rubber: 215/60-15 (f) 255/60-15 (r)


My wife Tareena and boys Cooper and Spencer, my dad and brother.

Ange for all his late-night help, Paulie for kicking me along at the end, Adam and Terri at ATS Automatics Bendigo, Frank and Lou at Dandy Engines, Rick Christensen for wiring the car over New Year and many close friends who lent a hand prior to Summernats, Moro and Dooly Smash Repairs Bendigo, Lien Ritche at RAR, Trev at Pestige Panels, Paul at Precision Brakes, Lefty for his TIG work, Adrian at Dantrim Bendigo, Grant and BJ at Pedders Bendigo, Benny Mansfield for his body detailing, Simon Aldridge at Stainless Repairs Maryborough, Danny Gigs, Graham Burt, Craig Kidd, Nathan at PPC Coatings, Autobarn Bendigo, Gino at Bendigo Dashboards