Feature Cars
 
 


1982 Australian Ford Falcon XE UTE

Undoubtedly the greatest reason behind the Mustangs sales successes is its long lived history. People of all ages can recall their favorite model years, and they all share a similar passion for the pony brand and symbol that has become an icon over the past 35 years.

In hindsight the model for success is fairly simple -take a popular model debut and build long-term loyalty by maintaining an exciting and well performing lineup. But how many other Ford models can you think of which have shared similar long term success?

Not many come to mind. The Thunderbird has been abandoned; the Cougar, though the name has been retained, bears no resemblance to its early ancestors. What about the Falcon and Fairlane? Believe it or not, the two popular predecessors to the Mustangs of the '60's are still selling strong to this day, but if you're thinking about running down to the local dealer, you better bring a passport. These cars are about as far from Dearborn as you can get!

Believe it or not, Australia, that vast continent down under and some 18 hours away, is where the Falcon and Fairlanes have ended up. Some you probably remember Mel Gibson, driving a modified mid-70's Aussie Ford XB Falcon, in Mad Max. Ford has actually been selling cars in Australia since the early 1900's, with many US models being slightly altered (right hand drive, etc.) for sale in Australia.

In the '60s the Falcons and Fairlanes were introduced to Australia, and have since become the backbone of the Ford line up in that country. Of course these models have undergone severe evolution, and they too do not quite resemble their ancestors. However what has been genetically preserved is Fords offering of healthy V8 powerplants in some of these models.

When Australian resident Peter Bysterveld sent us a readers ride submission of his 1982 Falcon, we immediately figured it was a typo, must be 1962 we thought. Then we opened the attachment and noticed we had just received our first Australian Ford submission. Very cool! So naturally we contacted Peter to get the scoop on his great looking ride.

Everyone has heard of the infamous "Aussie 351 Cleveland". The cylinder heads from these motors are a sought after item here in the states by guys wanting to build heavy breathing Clevelands, without the low-end sacrifice of the 4V heads.

The 351 Cleveland was only offered for a few years in the US, but in Australia the engine was available as a factory option in many cars through the 80's. Aussie Clevelands have the same basic design as the original Clevelands, but use a thicker block and small block size distributor hole. The Aussie 351's use an open chamber 2V head. (On a side note, the comparable 5.0 engine offered in Australia is known as the 302 Cleveland. It is same 4.00" bore block as the Aussie 351 Cleveland, but uses a 3.00" stroke crank and 6.030" rods. The heads are the closed chamber versions of the Aussie 2V heads.)

The engines originally came with Carter Thermoquad carburetors. Proving that the search for more power spans all continents, Peter immediately yanked the stock intake and carb for a Weiand X-cellerator manifold and 600 Holley.
However in desires to keep up with the times, and also to get the desirable self-tuning and drivability benefits, Peter opted to fab up a EFI intake and convert the engine to the EEC-IV control system. The engine was rebuilt as a long rod 351, using the 6.03" rods from the Aussie 302, dangling from Federal Mogul pistons. The 2V heads got an extensive port job. A Ford Racing cam was thrown in the mix.

The real craftwork came in designing an EFI intake. Remember, this is a Cleveland, no one makes an upper or lower for these engines! Peter took an old single plane Offenhouser "Porto-sonic " intake and plumbed it to accept fuel rails from a truck 351 Windsor motor, and 30lb injectors. The upper intake was fabricated from sheet aluminum, and uses an Edelbrock/BBK 70mm t-body breathing through a 70mm Ford Racing plastic MAF meter. The EEC-IV harness and computer was pirated from a 5.0 equipped '93 Falcon. The electronic distributor is also from a 351W truck, with the drive gear changed to the Cleveland size.

With a EEC tuner to fine tune the fuel maps, the EFI converted 351 has pumped out 281 horse at 5500 rpm and nearly 400 lb.ft. in by 3200 rpms, at the rear wheels mind you!

I think it's time to crack open a Fosters and see if an Australian 351 Cleveland will fit in an overhead compartment! F/M


Peter has customized his '82 Aussie Falcone UTE with '94 front panels and a '96 rear bumper. All panels have been replaced except the roof.The body was finally re-shot with two stage black paint. Interior has been retrimmed with late Fairmont ghia cloth and grey leather. Seats are "Stratos" brand. Wheels are 17x8.5 ROH ZS with Sumitomo 235/45&255/45 HTRZ tyres.
 

After grenading the original differential and Borg Warner four-speed, Peter opted for some stronger drivetrain components. Mods include a nine-inch rear and 3.50:1 gears from a Australian 1974 Fairlane. Gearbox is a wide ratio Toploader with Speco shifter modified to incorporate reverse lockout. Clutch is a standard 11inch F100 type.
 

There she is -Australian 351 Cleveland with custom EFI intake, and EEC-IV conversion. The numbers: 281 HP@5500 and 396 lb.ft @3200 -at the wheels.
Best ET so far is: 14.02 @101 Sixty Foot: 2.23 sec.

"I expect to gain some more hp by retarding the cam slightly as it's been installed too far advanced at six degrees."
 

A little smoke to scare away the Dingoes.....