LUCKY SEVEN

> FABIAN HUFF’S 1200HP XE ESP FALCON IS CHASING SEVENS AT DRAG CHALLENGE WEEKEND

MARK ARBLASTER

I’VE always had a bit of a soft spot for the XE ESP Falcons; my first WAR car – WAR351 – was an XE ESP, after all. So when we spotted this monster XE, owned by Queenslander

Fabian Huff, we had to find out more. Fabian has surrounded himself with some great help and transformed this former 302/auto combination into a 1200rwhp killer aimed squarely at the seven-second zone on 275 radials.

The car came from Fabian’s stepfather, and was pretty cherry when he got his hands on it. It’s had a number of different combinations, the most recent being a 383ci 4V-headed stroker that ran 10s. But this latest transformation has taken six years, with the goal of making the XE a sevensecond street car, so there was plenty to do.

Much of the work has been performed by Kyle Hopf from 6boost, with Terry Seng from Paramount Performance also playing a prominent role, and Robby Abbott from Abbott Engine Reconditioning and Stuart Henry providing other pieces of the puzzle.

The engine used to run in Stu’s Capri, but after a night at the drags, Kyle convinced Fabian that this was the package for him. The turbocharged 420ci small-block Ford offered all the goods with a Dart block, Scat crank with Eagle H-beam rods and CP pistons, and topped with a set of 3V alloy heads ported by the captain of the Australian drinking team at Hot Rod Drag Week, Robby Abbott. The package was machined by Robby and assembled by Stuart.

It’s a wet-sump deal with four-into-one headers by 6boost and an 82mm turbo (275-legal) that is maxed-out.

Two 50mm Racegates are plumbed in on the hot side, with a generous bar-and-plate intercooler by Matt Rogan feeding a CHI inlet manifold with 16 injectors – eight Bosch 2000cc primaries with 2300cc Moran secondaries. While the Bosch injectors are enough to feed the motor on E85, the second set will come into play if and when the conversion to alcohol is made.

To feed the engine, a belt-driven Waterman pump runs off the front of the motor, fed by a custom rear tank, and it is also T-pieced to an Aeromotive EFI pump that is used to prime the motor. A Weldon rising-rate regulator handles fuel pressure, while a System 1 filter keeps the junk out of the injectors. The engine is controlled by a Holley ECU with Holley smart coils on the ignition side.

As with most EFI deals, there was a bunch of wiring required, which Fabian and Terry took care of, and Fabian also re-pinned the MoTeC wiring loom that came with the motor to make it Holley-compatible.

To get the mill fitted with the existing hot-side plumbing, Fabian had to notch the towers and go to a strut front end with rack-and-pinion steering.

Backing up the mill is a USA-built Keith Neal two-speed Powerglide with a ProTorque converter. The whole rear end has been overhauled by 6boost, with a chrome-moly sheet-metal nine-inch rear housing fitted with 40-spline axles and a floater kit. The centre section is a Strange bolt-through affair, with 3.2:1 pro gears swinging 275 radials.

On the dyno the 420ci mill punched out 1200rwhp on just 22psi.

Fabian is pretty comfortable shooting for the seven-second barrier. “I wanted to own a sevensecond street car and this is what I have built,” he says matter-of-factly. “From here we just need to run the numbers, and I want to get straight into it at Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend. But first we are going to pull the engine and get Robby to fit a Torrington bearing on the thrust side of the crank for good measure. The clock is certainly ticking, but we will get it done.”

Drag Challenge Weekend will have been run and won by the time you read this, so stay tuned to see how Fabian fared.

THE TURBOCHARGED 420CI SMALL-BLOCK FORD USED TO RUN IN STU HENRY’S CAPRI, AND ON THE DYNO IT PUNCHED OUT 1200RWHP ON JUST 22PSI

> ARBY CHAT

OVER THE POND

THE recent Duck-X Promotions Sweet 16 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park saw driver Mark Micke from M&M Transmission and owner Jason Carter continue to amaze the radial world, running a staggering 3.62 seconds over the eighth-mile and a jaw-dropping 214mph in their G-body Malibu. In doing so they claimed the richest payday in racing history, netting over US$100,000 in prize money. The radial war was a nail-biter, with Daniel Pharris running a 3.64 in his Corvette, Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson clocking 3.66 in his blown Camaro and Jeff Sitton’s BAE Camaro running 3.68.

ILL WIND BLOWS SOME GOOD

JOHN Zappia has taken the win over Pro Slammer Championship leader Paul Mouhayet at AIR, with a 3.799 to Mouhayet’s 3.867, after strong crosswinds forced racing to be reduced to eighth-mile for safety reasons. The ‘Crusher’ HQ Monaro is Australia’s quickest Doorslammer, holding the ANDRA national record of 5.693 seconds and the 400 Thunder record of 5.635 seconds. To add to his list of accomplishments, Zap is also a 10-time ANDRA national champion.

DRAG CHALLENGE CONTENDER

SPOTTED recently performing full street duties was the seven-second TC Cortina of Goran Ivanovic. The twin-turbo LS-powered Corty (pictured below) recently ran a 5.11@140mph over the eighth. Goran then cranked a little into it and went 7.96@169mph on an early shut-off on the first full pass.

“He was only into it for 7.56 seconds,” tuner Justin Simpson of Horsepower Solutions said. “It’s gotta go 178-182mph with what it’s got, and to be honest it’s not a mega-dollar set-up. It’s running an old Haltech Platinum ECU and an early LS motor, but the car went 1.25 in the 60ft, so it’s all kinda there. We just need to string it together.”

At the moment the combo is running around 26psi over the finish line, and the Cortina is said to be mega-reliable and a real family car. From where we are sitting, it has the makings of an absolutely killer Drag Challenge package!