Top 20, 1400hp Barra-powered XE Fairmont Ghia

Twin brothers Younan and Eddie Khazi set out to showcase their talents with this critically acclaimed Barra turbo XE Ghia build

Share
Photographers: Ben Hosking

It’s said that twins often share an intrinsic understanding of one another that leads to a special bond, and that’s certainly true of Sydney brothers Younan and Eddie Khazi. The pair are joined at the hip, and given Younan is a panel beater and Eddie a painter, they make a pretty formidable team whether they’re repairing cars at work, or churning out epic custom builds in the shed at home.

First published in the April 2024 issue of Street Machine

Perhaps compounding their bond is the fact Younan is hearing-impaired, and often relies on Eddie to help him communicate. “We’ve always worked together, from when we were apprentices through to owning our own shop, then selling the business and continuing to work together in the industry,” Eddie says. “We’ve always been inseparable, and when one of us is having a rough day, the other one props him up. We are one another’s backbone; we’re a great team.”

This utterly stunning XE Fairmont Ghia stands as testament to that. The pair had a shared vision for the car, then worked their arses off to make it happen. They’ve got priors when it comes to building tough XEs, too – their last one, known as WRNING, was a proper toughie with a screaming tunnel-rammed Clevo, but this car is next-level.

“We wanted to build a car that would showcase what we could do,” Eddie says. “We purchased the Ghia five years ago and started building it. We didn’t really want a show car, but we have always wanted to have a car unveiled at Summernats. It was coming together nicely, and we thought we could maybe get it there.

Owen Webb came and looked at the car and said he’d like to unveil it at Summernats 36, so we committed to finishing it and worked on it constantly after-hours for seven days a week. We’re our own biggest critics and we thought there was plenty of room for improvement, but we’re fussy with our work; we took other people’s advice, and the car ended up at that level.”

The XE is a genuine Fairmont Ghia, so the brothers decided on a pseudo-factory theme, curating OEM styling elements and tweaking them to their tastes. That all started with the colour.

“I wanted to keep it the original Satellite Brown, and I had to get it specially made in water-based paint, as there was no code or formula for it,” Eddie says. “I’ve been painting water for the last 13 years, and it’s new technology; it’s the way to go.”

Younan naturally tackled the bodywork before Eddie sorted the paint, but while the pair were blocking the car back, inspiration struck for one of the car’s central features. The plan initially called for Ghia pinstripes, but it occurred to the boys that an S-Pack style stripe could work. “Younan and I have an S-Pack as well, and they would be a pretty basic car without that stripe. These car manufacturers had a lot of talented designers involved, and they don’t often get this stuff wrong, so we went with an original style S-Pack stripe, but with a Ghia symbol instead of the S applied on the quarter panel, and it worked well.”

Eddie has a strong interest in the lowrider scene, and that influence led to the variegated gold leaf being integrated into the stripe. Custom paint guru Kyle at Smith Concepts runs courses on the technique involved, and Eddie had Kyle teach him with the XE as their canvas. “Kyle is amazing; he has class and style and he’s very creative,” Eddie says. “It was great to spend that time with him.”

The twins believe it’s difficult to go wrong with an OEM-style interior, and that’s especially true when you’re talking ESP trim. The cabin was decked out in Sierra Tan by Stitch It Up Car Interiors, with a B&M shifter, Haltech iC-7 dash and rollcage all neatly integrated into a cockpit that’s otherwise 80s-spec.

She’s a bit of a hottie too, with a Barra on board packing an estimated 1300rwhp. “It’s a combo that was recommended by Jason at Tunnel Vision in Melbourne,” Eddie explains. “I met him for the first time in Sydney when he ran a seven in his car, and I was blown away by it. I approached him and purchased an inlet manifold off him, and he helped me throughout, spoke with my engine builder Mark Xuereb, and told us what parts to use.”

Those parts include a Spool billet crank, Nitto V2 rods and SPS pistons, topped with a BF cylinder head with Supertech Valves, Kelford cams and PAC springs. The turbo manifold is from CRG and wears a Precision 86/85 turbo, while the Tunnel Vision inlet manifold distributes the boost. A Haltech 2500 ECU calls the shots, while the fire is lit by a set of Haltech coils. The Powerglide transmission is loaded with a PTC converter, and out back you’ll find a 35-spline nine-inch with an Eaton Truetrac. The boys have their sights set on bottom eights, and may add some spray down the track to spice things up even further.

Empire Mechanical lent a hand in the final stages of assembly, setting up the engine and transmission plumbing. After months of burning the candle at both ends, Eddie and Younan finished the car in the nick of time to slide it into the trailer and head to Street Machine Summernats 36, but they weren’t prepared for how well-received the car would be.

“Summernats blew my brother and me away,” Eddie says. “We’d only ever been spectators, and our first time as entrants after being in the industry for years was a great feeling. Having the car unveiled was nerve-wracking for us both, but once the cover came off it was great. We had a lot of great feedback: people randomly coming up and saying that it was their favourite car there, or that they weren’t a Ford guy but they loved the car.

“I was lost for words, and I knew it meant so much to my brother. He even brought an interpreter to Summernats because he wanted to know word-for-word what was happening as it happened. Our family and friends came down to support us, and it just felt like a great achievement. We weren’t there to clean up in the awards, but the feedback was amazing. You have to congratulate everyone who has a car in that hall – it’s not an easy thing. Everyone has to overcome adversity to build a car to that standard; everyone has a story.”

The brothers may not have set out to win any awards, but that didn’t stop the XE from claiming 2nd Special Effects Finish Paint, landing in the Top 20 and scoring a Meguiar’s Superstars invite – not bad going for a car built at home in the shed by the blokes who own it.

“We’ll do MotorEx next, then the Hot Rod and Custom Auto Expo, All Ford Day and the Killer Rides show in Wollongong,” Eddie says. “After that, we’ll get everything right and roadworthy with the car, have it properly engineered and enjoy it on the street, and take it to a couple of drag racing events and just have some fun with it.”

Yep, there’s a set of Welds shod with drag radials and a parachute mount waiting in the wings. And by the time they get around to running the car down the ’strip, Eddie and Younan will very likely have built themselves a fully engineered street car with Summernats Top 20 credentials that runs low eights down the quarter. What an epic car to have in the shed!

YOUNAN & EDDIE KHAZI
1982 FORD XE FAIRMONT GHIA

Paint:PPG Envirobase Satellite Brown
ENGINE
Brand:4.0l Ford Barra
Induction:Tunnel Vision inlet manifold, Bosch fly-by-wire throttle body
ECU:Haltech Elite 2500
Turbo:Precision 86/85
Head:BF Falcon, Supertech valves, PAC valve springs
Camshafts:Kelford
Conrods:Nitto V2
Pistons:SPS
Crank:Spool billet knife-edge
Oil pump:Atomic
Fuel system:Waterman pump
Cooling:Custom radiator
Exhaust:CRG turbo manifold, custom stainless system
Ignition:Haltech coils
TRANSMISSION
Gearbox:Powerglide
Converter:PTC
Diff:9in, Eaton Truetrac, 35-spline axles
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front:Gazzard Bros coil-overs
Rear:Triangulated four-link, Viking coil-overs
Brakes:Wilwood; 355mm discs and six-piston calipers (f), four-piston calipers (r)
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims:Showwheels Nitro 2, 22×8 (f), 22×12 (r)
Rubber:225/30R22 (f), 315/25R22 (r)

THANKS
Tania and Sandra; family and friends; Parramatta Smash Repairs; Mark Xuereb; James at ESR Prestige; T&J Smash Repairs; Dents R Us; Smith Concepts; Elite Reflections Auto Detailing; Hypertune; Birrong Automotive; Empire Mechanical Racing; Stitch It Up Car Interiors; Jake Masini and family; The Render Garage; Mick Dukic for the fab work; Performance Exhaust Centre; Motorsport Solutions; Danny’s Moulding Restorations & Polishing; Showwheels; Wetherill Park Towing; PPG; Jason at Tunnel Vision; OZDEX Automotive; True Prestige Electrical; Mick (YEABRA); Jigz; Long Street Mechanical.

Comments