Wayne Calleja’s nine-second TC Cortina

Bought 26 years ago as a daily driver, Wayne's TC Cortina is now a 408-cube Windsor-powered weapon

Photographers: Caprice Photography

“I purchased my Cortina back in 1997 with the intention of using it as my daily driver. My dad and I gave it a quick respray in red, and I then I drove it around while I was on my P-plates until I ran into issues with the transmission and differential.

First published in the December 2023 issue of Street Machine

“This forced me to take the car off the road, but I saw it as an opportunity to transform it, converting it from running a pre-Crossflow 250 and auto combo to a worked 250 Crossflow, four-speed single-rail gearbox and 3.7:1 spooled BorgWarner diff.

“After a while, I got the idea to paint the engine bay, and things escalated from there – I ended up completely stripping the car, selling off the running gear, and embarking on a full restoration project. At the time, I was also building an XD Falcon and decided to install the Windsor engine from it into my Cortina, replacing the Crossflow.

“The four-bolt-mains 408ci Windsor was fitted with AFR 225 Outlaw heads, a custom roller cam, a Super Victor manifold, and a 1050 Dominator carburettor. Michael from ICE Ignition set up an ignition kit for me, and then we took the engine to Pavtek for machining before assembling it at home with the help of my dad.

“We then tubbed the car to accommodate larger tyres (275/60R15) on 15×8.5 Convo Pro wheels, and also added custom exhaust pipes and a six-point rollcage. All the other mods and bodywork were carried out at home, too, before we sent the car off for a fresh coat of paint.

“Once we had the Corty back, I wired it up and installed the fuel system. The motor was then taken back to Pavtek, where it produced 650hp on the engine dyno. The mill is backed by a 5200rpm Dominator converter, a two-speed Powerglide, and a 9in with 4.33:1 gears. So far, the car’s best quarter-mile pass is 9.70@140mph.

“Since then, I’ve equipped the Cortina with Viking rear coil-overs, and we have plans to get it back on the track soon.”