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
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
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!