1200rwhp, rear-mounted twin-turbo XD Fairmont Ghia

Jono Calautti’s XD has broken engines and hearts to become a 1200rwhp stomper


In August 2016, a fella named Jono Calautti drove his XD onto the Young Guns page of Street Machine. His Heron White streeter won lots of attention with its ruler-straight lines, fat ROH Modenas and one of the most sanitary engine bays we’ve ever seen in an 80s Falcon. “Let’s just say I’ve got a new combo in the works with more cubes,” he said back then. We’ve since learned he was really about to quadruple the power output!

First published in the May 2024 issue of Street Machine

Jono has been into cars since day-dot – thanks largely to his dad taking him to car shows in his XT GT – and after getting his licence he went on the hunt for something rowdy. “My old man found the XD sitting in the back of a suspension shop in Perth,” Jono says. “It had nitrous and apparently ran 10s, so I just had to have it!” Soon after, while chucking laps with a pack of mates, the oil pickup fell off the Clevo and it died an ignoble death. Jono tore into the XD, and 14 months later it was back on the road with the same 351/C4/9in driveline, albeit suitably refreshed and sitting in a schmicko engine bay.

310hp at the treads didn’t tickle Jono’s pickle for long, and a week spent in Josh Lopreiato’s ballistic VZ Clubby at Drag Challenge 2017 left him craving a substantial oomph upgrade. A 427-cube, Dart-based Windsor built for boost came up for sale, so Jono jumped on it and gleefully blew the XD apart again. “I wanted to go twin-turbo, but I’d just done all the engine bay work and didn’t want to cut it all up,” he says. “Steve [Lundy, of Lundy Race Fabrication] suggested we chop out the boot floor and mount them there.”

It’s not every day you see a Fairmont with a pair of hairdryers tucked under the bum, but Jono was as keen as curry, so Dom at Prestige Exhaust knocked up a pair of stubby extractors to suit the tall-deck Windsor. Steve took care of the rest of the hot-side fabrication, and managed to package everything so you’d never know the XD has more plumbing underneath it than the average nuclear reactor.

Now that the exhaust had somewhere to go, Alistair of Lurch’s Custom Fabrications was tasked with filling in any gaps that required aluminium. Compressed air from the twin BorgWarner turbos is pumped up through the boot floor and into a 3000hp-rated Chiselled Performance water-to-air cooler stuffed under the parcel shelf, before heading back under the car for its final trip to the Windsor’s inlet ports. The C4 was given the flick in favour of a tough Powerglide from LSX Powertrain, sporting all the good bits like a Reid case and transbrake, all driven by a 10.5in TCE converter. A carbonfibre tailshaft from The Driveshaft Shop carries power rearwards to the 9in the XD was bought with all those years ago, though Final Drive Engineering replaced the guts with 35-spline axles, 3.7 gears and a Truetrac centre.

Jono then handed the Fairmont over to good mate Jeff Johnson at Power Management Solutions. After a faulty coil was diagnosed and binned, the 427 punched out 1200hp at the hubs on E85. A pair of radials soon found their way under the guards and Jono headed to Barbagallo for a successful evening of annihilating competitors at the roll-racing, but on the way home a final dalliance with the throttle saw a rod escape through the sump.

The 427 was toast, but Jono didn’t let that little setback stop him. Jeff happened to know of a tasty 416-cube Windsor built by FordStrokers in America that had recently become available, so Jono did the deal and ripped the XD apart once more.

18 months, lots of work and several nervous oil-changes later, the Fairmont was back on Jeff’s dyno to find out how healthy the new combo was. “After putting this much money and work into two engines, it was the most nerve-wracking day of my life,” Jono admits. “It turned out to be the easiest dyno session I’ve ever witnessed – we were done in an hour and it made 1315rwhp on 23psi!”

Jono’s fiery, youthful drive to own a mean drag car has mellowed somewhat with time, and now that the XD is finished, he’s overjoyed with the thought of simply owning an overpowered streeter.

“When I was younger, drag racing was the be-all and end-all, but now I’m just happy that the car’s running and I can enjoy it on a Sunday with my mates,” he says.

“I’d like to go roll racing again and get an event under my belt, though.” Perhaps the racing bug hasn’t stopped biting just yet!


Paint:Heron White
Brand:416ci Dart Iron Eagle Windsor
Induction:Edelbrock Super Victor intake, Accufab 105mm throttlebody
ECU:Holley Dominator
Turbos:BorgWarner SXE369
Heads:Trickflow 240cc Hi-Port, Ferrea stainless valves, PAC springs
Cam:Custom Comp Cams hydraulic-roller
Crank:Callies Magnum
Sump:Toca Performance
Fuel System:2x Walbro 525lph pumps, Holley 160lb injectors
Ignition:GM LS2 coils
Converter:TCE 10.5in
Tailshaft:The Driveshaft Shop carbonfibre
Diff:9in, 35-spline axles, 3.7 gears, Truetrac
Springs:Lovells (f), Gazzard Bros (r)
Shocks:Bilstein (f), Koni (r)
Brakes:Wilwood discs (f), Ford discs (r)
Rims:ROH Modena; 19×8 (f), 19×10 (r)
Rubber:Nexen 235/35R19 (f), Nitto 305/30R19 (r)

Jeff Johnson at Power Management Solutions – this car couldn’t be what it is without him; Alistair Gordon for the alloy work; Steve Lundy for the TIG goodness; Amon at ANI Auto Electrics for wiring the Holley to a motorsport level; Ryan Lazarakis for helping with the bonnet and any extras; Lorenzo Gullotto for general fab work and ordering parts; Dom at Prestige Exhausts for doing a killer job on the headers; Street Rides for the paint work; Phil at Final Drive Engineering; Dave Shuggski for helping with the intake and Windsor knowledge; my dad Rob and mum Gina for all their help early on; my partner Rachael for always pushing me to get the car running; all my mates that help drink beers with me and make the car do what it was designed to do.