1982 Australian Ford Falcon XE UTE
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
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
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.
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
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.
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