WE CAME across Brad Mason while up at the inaugural Northern Nats near Cairns, and were impressed by his tough XB Falcon ute as it tore up the burnout pad. Having sold his previous street machines to fund his small business and young family, the budget-built ute is his latest toy.

Sweet XB, whatís in it?

Itís currently running a 351 and Top Loader. It was originally a six-cylinder car that I found in a backyard with barely any rust in it, so I tidied up all the bodywork and XXXplicit Refinishing in Townsville did the paint for me. I had the 351 and Top Loader sitting in the shed from a previous project, so I ended up putting that in the ute. It didnít last too long though; I put a hole through the block and smashed a piston while doing a burnout at Northern Nats. I just got a new set of pistons and valves, so Iíll have her patched up soon.

Was this your first time skidding the car?

Northern Nats was the first time doing a burnout with that engine combo, and it went bang. I took the XB to the Charter Towers burnout comp a few months before, and Iím hoping to have the motor fixed in time for Tropical Meltdown. I didnít really build it to be a skid car; itís more of a street cruiser but I donít mind throwing it around every now and then.

How did you get into cars?

When I was a teenager my brother-in-law had a í71 Valiant Charger that was in bits sitting in his shed. He worked up in Darwin so never had any time to work on the car himself, so I decided I would try and buy it off him and fix it up. As a young bloke pretty much all of my time and money went into this Valiant, and once it was done I drove it around for a few years then sold it for an XB coupe. And it all just snowballed from there. I probably shouldnít have, but I sold the coupe a few years ago to fund my small business.

With a family on the way, the toys had to go. You know how it is!

What did you think of the Northern Nats?

It was fantastic! The turn-out was great and I had an awesome time, even with that mechanical drama. Iíll definitely be back again next year.

Maybe in another car though.

Another car?

Yeah, Iíve got a Capri that I want to build as a drag car. Iíve got a 393 bottom end and I want to do a blower set-up Ė weíll have to see what the Ďbossí says. Iíve got to thank my partner Tayla Little for putting up with me and all the cars. s

Itís running a 351 and Top Loader, but I put a hole through the block and smashed a piston doing a burnout at Northern Nats