Everyone – car people or not – will have indelible memories of times spent in and around the family car. For the Taylor clan, that car was this 1970 ZC Fairlane. Its history with the family stretches back some 33 years, when current owner Will Taylor’s dad, Rob, purchased the big more-door Ford.
First published in the June 2023 issue of Street Machine
“I was born in Victoria, and when I was only a young fella, I remember going out with Dad to view a few cars,” Will says. “Dad ended up buying a genuine T-code ZC Fairlane from a director at Ford in Victoria; we still have the original books for it!”
As with many now-collectable classics, back then the used Ford was pressed into duty as an ordinary streeter, which is how many of Will’s precious memories were made. “After transporting all of us to Queensland, it was used as the family car for many years, driving us kids to the beach, school and doing the shopping runs, before dad finally decided to start its first restoration process,” he says.
“Unfortunately, the bodywork ended up in court to be sorted out, and the rebuild on the original 351 Windsor also ended badly with a dodgy machine shop going bust. Fair to say that Dad had had enough, and after his back injury at work, that was it. The ZC was essentially finished, but it did require more work and reassembly, so it sat for years in the shed.”
Will didn’t give up on the car though, continually hassling his dad to work on it. “I had spent my entire childhood and teenage years working on this car over and over again; it’s safe to say I know every nut and bolt,” he says. “The car was eventually finished and just driven on the odd occasion, and this went on for many years until I purchased it from my father in 2017. I had always planned on buying the car from Dad, but not so soon, so I quickly sold the Camaro I had at the time to make room in my shed.”
Some may question why you’d shift an iconic muscle car in favour of a luxury four-door, but for Will, this Henry has irreplaceable family history tied to it. Plus, it is a real-deal 351 example!
“It looked like it does today, except it had big chrome wheels on it – they were first to go,” say Will.
The mild 351 Windsor, C4 and factory nine-inch were next on the chopping block. Today, the big rig puts out over 1100hp at the hubs courtesy of a turbo 427ci small-block Ford drinking E85, which Will built at home in his wife’s salon.
“All the calculators predict a mid-high eight and 160mph, so we will see how accurate those predictions are”
The Windsor-based, 9.5in-deck-height Dart block is filled with a Scat crank, JE slugs and Oliver rods, while a custom-spec Camtech hydraulic-roller bumpstick swings 246/252 on a 112 lobe separation angle, working the valves in the AFR Renegade heads. An 88/103mm VS Racing T6 snail blows into a Wilson 105mm throttlebody on an Edelbrock Super Victor single-plane manifold set up for port EFI, which is controlled by a MegaSquirt ECU.
After a bunch of road tuning with Will’s mate Rob Mead, the Lime Frost ZC ended up strapped to the Western Suburbs Mechanical hub dyno. Limited to 22psi thanks to the wastegate springs, the big dawg still made over 1100hp at the hubs – nearly double its previous best.
“I had previously done a quick boost upgrade for the original motor, and some help from some great mates saw the car make just shy of 600rwhp, good enough for the 4100lb sled to do a 10.90@127mph,” Will explains. “We did some testing after the new motor was run in but before the new diff was installed, and with a bit of pedalling, we saw it do 137mph. All the calculators predict a mid-high eight and 160mph, so we will see how accurate those predictions are!”
Helping with these eight-second goals is the new rear end. The ZC has been mini-tubbed to squeeze 295/50R15 radials under the bum, with a fabricated nine-inch now handling tractive effort. Built off a Mood Motorsports fabricated housing, it runs full floaters, billet 35-spline axles, Truetrac LSD, Strange centre and 3.25:1 gears. It is held in place with Gazzard Brothers split mono-leaves and sliders, giving the car a righteous stance but without compromising its street manners.
“I recently attended a car festival where the ZC participated in a poker run through the Sunshine Coast hinterland, loaded up with my wife and our four kids,” says Will. “It did over 100km in total, in the middle of the day, with no issues and no worries!
“My wife and kids love it, always egging me on, and I have a lot to thank my wife for. She let me spend long nights in the shed and copious amounts of money building this beauty, but it’s definitely been worth it. She has actually asked to start racing it, so let’s see what happens from here!”
It sounds like the Fairlane’s memory-making duties are a long way from being done. And we’re sure Rob Taylor is glad he didn’t get rid of it all those years ago.
Cracking the codes
Hang around serious Ford fiends for any length of time and you’ll hear all about codes – A-code, K-code, T-code and more. These were part of the alphanumeric inscriptions on a car’s build and VIN plates, with the letters denoting its engine spec.
Having a T-code ZC Fairlane meant you scored the luxurious long-boy sedan with the full-fruit 351 Windsor from the XW GT. Not all 351 Fairlanes had the T-code designation, however; ZH Fairlanes, for example, used a K-code from May to June 1976 to designate a 351, before switching back to T-code from July ’76 onwards.
When it comes to ’65-’67 Mustangs, the K-code is what many trainspotters look for, as it denoted a high-performance 289 package. It represented less than one per cent of Mustang production in that era, so a K-code Muzzy’s rarity and improved specs will give you serious bragging rights at the local cruise-in.
Later on, big-block Mustangs used Q-, R-, S-, W-, and Z-code designations to differentiate between 390 GT, 427ci, 428ci and Boss 429ci beasties.
1970 FORD ZC FAIRLANE
|Ford Lime Frost Metallic
|427ci Dart Windsor
|VS Racing 88/103mm T6
|Wilson 105mm throttlebody, NXTGEN billet elbow, Edelbrock Super Victor single-plane manifold, two Turbosmart 50mm ProGates
|AFR Renegade alloy
|Camtech custom 246/252-112 hydraulic-roller
|Melling high-volume pump, Milodon low-profile sump
|Injector Dynamics 1300cc injectors, Carter high-volume lift-pump, three Walbro pumps, Radium surge tank, Aeroflow 80L fuel cell
|Ford three-core radiator with twin fans
|KEAS Powerglide auto
|Mood Motorsports 9in, Strange centre, 35-spline axles, Truetrac LSD, Race Products full-floater, Motive 3.25:1 gears
|SUSPENSION & BRAKES
|King Springs, Moroso Comp Engineering adjustable shocks
|Gazzard Brothers split mono-sliders, Moroso Comp Engineering adjustable shocks, Gazzard Brothers traction bars
|Wilwood discs (f & r)
|WHEELS & TYRES
|BelaK Industries Series 2; 17×4.5 (f), 15×10 (r)
|Nankang SP-7 165/70R17 (f), Nankang NS-2R 295/50R15 (street) or Mickey Thompson Radial Pro 275/60R15 (track) (r)
My wife Ashleigh and kids Axel, Tigalilly, Arabella and Jasper; Jason Smith, Rob Mead, Cameron Chircop, James Hannaford and Blake Reichel in the ‘All the Excuses’ group; my dad Rob Taylor; Jakob Sakowski at SAKAZ Customs; Mark Sakowski at SAKAZ Panel & Paint; Darren Mood at Mood Motorsports; Scott Cortina at Gazzard Brothers; Craig Long at LongBoost Performance Parts; Terry Scott at inurZONE; Paul and Jamie at KEAS Transmissions; Viren Singh at VS Racing; Rob Novak at Definition Motorsport; Damian Borroto at BelaK Industries; Terry Evans at Detailing By Terry; Jamie McCarthy at Race Products; Andrew Murfin at Muscle Car Tyres; Competition Engines; PLR; RCE Performance Warehouse; IBRP; Western Suburbs Mechanical; Tommy Craig; Tim Ayton; Jake Astwood; Luke Harper; Justin Smith; Nathan Samulski; Sketch Coleman; Massey Bridges; Will Wallace; Cody Ryals; Paul Graham