Building a race car is something that I have dreamed about for as long as I could remember, nearly every weekend I'm watching motorsport whether it's on TV or down at our local tracks. Unfortunately, apart from a little bit of karting in my early 20's I never quite got myself a drive and didn't quite know how to either. A couple years ago I conceded that being a professional driver is probably not in my foreseeable future but I still wanted to have some fun out on the race track, That's where my trusty old XF Fairmont Ghia came into the story, I have had it for about 12 years and I've only ever driven it once, It originally belonged to my Uncle Garry and I had always loved it there's just something about this big square shaped body styling that I always loved, sadly my Uncle passed in 2004 and the XF was left to my cousin who drove it for a bit and then on my 16th birthday he gave me the keys, something that ill never forget and will always be grateful for. I originally planned on giving the car a bit of a rebirth for when I got my licence, unfortunately I only managed to really pull it apart and let it sit but I'm glad I did because my plan for it now is so much better then I had ever originally had, turning it into a track car is something I am very excited to do.
One of the biggest problems I found was if I was to race the XF what category could I race in, it really didn't fit into any as I really wanted to run a V8 but the XF never came from factory with a V8 so it made it quite difficult, I stumbled across a class called VicV8s on Facebook and it was perfect for when I eventually do want to race the car the rules are not strict at all and pretty much allow for anything that is a V8.
Although at first I really wanted to build my own interpretation of a Group A XF Falcon I've kinda gone the way of a bit of a NASCAR theme, the car is rolling on NASCAR Basset Racing wheels wrapped with HOOSIER full slick rubber, there will be a few small touches on the XF that will give it that NASCAR vibe but it'll all be subtle enough not to make the car look kinda dorky.
As i've never owned or even driven a race car before I sourced a 6 point bolt in cage from AGI Rollcages, I went with bolt in just in case I found racing not to suit me and the XF, although I think there is slim to no chance we wont love the track!
The quality of the cage easily met my expectations and i'd highly recommend AGI to anyone they have a huge range of bolt in and weld in cages for most makes and models and are priced quite fairly.
Once the cage was in I really started to get motivated and excited, it really started to feel like I had a race car.
The Momo Corse steering wheel was the perfect fit for this era of car, my cousin Beau had it on his 1980 Mazda 626 and gave it to me for this build.
With some fresh paint inside the roll cage all fitted and a Velo GP90 seat the inside of the car really started to take shape and I couldnt be happier with the look so far.
The bolt in cage goes together quite easily and looks and feels quite strong, we have plans to develop the car and keep recreating it as we go so eventually we will go a weld in tower to tower roll cage but for now the bolt in is perfect for what we want to do.
The front end of the car has been fully rebuilt, we are running Koni Red adjustable shocks and custom K Mac springs, every bush, joint and control arm is brand new, also most of the front end has been stitch welded to help stiffen everything up.
I rather lazily cut the radiator support out to remove the engine years ago, Id now like to come up with a setup that made the middle section of the radiator support easily removable while also being structurally strong and rigid, I think it would make life easier for working on the car at the track and even back at home.
Majority of the body work on the shell is done, on the drivers side we had a small amount of rust in the quarter panel that we have now repaired and one small dent in the sill panel that we still need to attend to, luckily my dad is a panel beater and a really good one to!
I love this photo, it starts to give people a small view of the finished image in my head that I cant wait for people to see I think it'll be pretty cool and I hope everyone loves it.
Doing a build blog is something I've considered doing since I started building the XF, when it comes to writing I probably should have paid more attention while I was at school but just like the XF I will develop and learn over the process of this blog, I have so much cool plans that I can't wait for you all to see and enjoy so make sure you check in and see what we are up to!