Ray Zarb has transformed his XY Falcon 500 into one seriously tough mini-tubbed Falcon GT Phase III tribute

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

FORD’S GTHO Phase III was undoubtedly the King of the Hill for Aussie muscle cars back in the day, commanding a fearsome legend – with price tags to match – pretty much since it first rolled off the Broadmeadows lines. They haven’t got any cheaper in the four decades since, so plenty of people have chosen to build their own tribute to the Blue Oval’s most famous four-door supercar. But Melburnian Ray Zarb decided to inject even more attitude into his.

 From humble beginnings as a neat GT replica, Ray has evolved his car through several builds into the 500hp, mini-tubbed monster it is today. The beauty of this car, however, is that it pays homage to the original JG33-plated GTs and HOs, hiding many of its modifications so well that you couldn’t pick them with a quick glance.

 “It was originally Track Red with a gold stripe, and it was built in three stages. First the interior was completely stripped out and reupholstered, including restoring the GT dash and fitting new carpets and headlining. A restored XY GT rim-blow steering wheel was sourced and the sunroof was restored with new runners and cables to enable it to be fully functional.”

 Bobby and Zoran at Competition Engines assembled a tough 4V-headed 351 Cleveland that actually measures 357 cubes thanks to over-sized Hypertec pistons that also bump the static compression up to 10.6:1. A Pro Systems 780cfm four-barrel gulps bulk air into a high-rise TFC intake manifold, with an Aeroflow fuel rail delivering 98RON go-juice from a high-volume XA GT mechanical fuel pump.On the engine dyno it made 516hp and threw out 448lb-ft of torque to back up the bark.

Check out Ray’s Falcon in the July 2017 issue of Street Machine magazine, on sale now!