RICK Matosevic’s XY Falcon ute ticks all the right boxes for him. Bought as a work vehicle 10 years ago, the pristine GT-style hauler will happily cruise on the street and run solid mid-10s at the track.
“I used to have a Cortina with a V8 in it, but I wanted to step up to something a bit roomier,” Rick said when SM had a yack to him at the Nostalgia Drags last Sunday. “I got the ute for work and it still gets used sometimes when I go out and do quotes. I drive it every week and I race it here [at Sydney] in the track championship and at some of the smaller meetings, and plenty of Wednesday nights, too.”
A regular at Sydney Dragway for the past seven years, Rick drives the ute roughly 25 minutes from his place at Bringelly and runs as fast as is legally allowed all day long.
The naturally aspirated 434-cube Cleveland motor is based on an Arrow block with a steel crank, Crane custom-grind solid-roller cam, CHI 3V heads and a CHI manifold fed by a Pro Systems 1000cfm carby. Behind that is a full manual reverse-pattern C4 with a 4200rpm TCE converter, with a transbrake that gets plugged in on race day. A chrome-moly three-inch tailshaft links up with an aftermarket nine-inch with 31-spline axles and Truetrac centre with 3.7:1 gears. The rear suspension retains the stock Falcon leaf springs with CalTracs traction bars and Viking adjustable coil-over shocks.
The ute is basically as quick as it can be without needing an IHRA-approved rollcage, which Rick says he’s not interested in doing as it would compromise the luxury of the full GT interior, and in any case wouldn’t fit his idea of a true street car. As a result, he races within the car’s capabilities, with a throttle stop keeping it right on the 10.50-second cut-off for the Super Street class.
“The car can go quicker, but in my class I’m limited to running 10.50, so that’s what I’ve set it up for,” he said. “It’s done a 10.31, with wheelspin, and it’s probably got a bit more in it with a few tweaks to the rear suspension. But I don’t want to put a ’cage in it.
“There’s two other guys at the track that race XY utes in the faster classes and they’ve got the full ’cage in them and it’s a really tight squeeze in the cab. Plus, those cars are just race cars; they’re not worth what mine is worth. I’d reduce the value of the car by putting a ’cage in it.”
Dialled to run 10.60 at the Nostalgia Drags, Rick’s streeter ran straight and true. If he hadn’t red-lit (and subsequently broken out) on his quickest pass – a 10.59@125mph – he would’ve likely been among the trophy getters. Not that he seemed too bothered.
“I do all the work on the car myself and I love the challenge of getting it to go fast,” he said. “Today was fun and a couple of people told me our street cars put on the best racing of the day. I think people can easily relate to cars like this.”