Peter Tofant’s 396-cube XR Falcon

We caught up with Peter Tofant and his angry Clevo V8-powered XR Falcon at last year's Ford-powered Nationals

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic

THE Ford-Powered Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway saw a bunch of tough Henry-motivated machines filling the pits and staging lanes, including Peter Tofant’s sublime XR Falcon. While the exquisite paintwork and angry Clevo V8 make it a stout thing, it’s the story behind this family-loved machine that makes it special.

First published in the February 2022 issue of Street Machine

Tell us a bit about the build of the XR.

I got the car back in 2010 as a shell for $700, and then my dad and I spent the next eight years restoring and building it to what it is now. He took care of the paint and panelwork, and there’s zero bog in it. The blue is an original XR colour, and we had the interior done to match. I’ve restored a lot of these Falcons over the years, but this would have to be the best one we’ve both done.

It sounds like you and your dad have a history with old Falcons?

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been into cars, and Dad is the same. For as long as I can remember, he was working on his or his mates’ cars in the shed, building Holdens, Fords – you name it. We had all the 60s and 70s Fords and Holdens while I was growing up, and my first actual car was an EH. We weren’t just a Ford family by any means, but I just found myself liking them more as I got older, and I started collecting them.

Your dad did an amazing job with the XR’s paint; was that his main area of work?

No, funnily enough! He was a metal finisher for Ford back in the 80s for around four years, but the rest he just learned by working on mates’ cars in the shed and making his craft better. I also fell into working on cars and was a mechanic for 10 years, but now I run an earthmoving business.

What’s the Falc’s running gear?

It’s all been pinched from a mate’s XY Falcon. The engine is a 396ci Cleveland with some AFR heads and a couple of other hot bits. It’s got a C10 trans with a 4500rpm converter, and a nine-inch diff with 4.3:1 gears. So far it’s done a PB of 11.58@115mph, but this is just its second time at the drags since we finished it a couple of years ago.

Does the whole family share the same love for cars that you and your dad do?

Oh, for sure! My son Zakk loves them as much as I did when I was a kid; my daughter’s a bit younger, but she seems to get excited about them too. They’ve both been allocated their own XR from the collection already!

So just how many of these old Fords do you have?

Including this one, I have four XRs, a couple of XYs, two XTs, XWs, and three F100s – so there’s plenty around! I’m currently working on my partner Ashley’s XM Falcon sedan, which is on the rotisserie at the moment. I just kept buying them when they were cheap and building up the collection, and I fixed up a few and sold them off.

What about this here XR? Any future plans for it?

I want to neaten-up the engine bay a bit more and just drive it. We’re always out and about cruising in my white XY sedan, but I think it’s time we started taking this XR out more as well. I’ve been offered good money for it, but it’s the last car my dad and I will build together, so it’s sentimental and I’ll never sell it.