TMHE sad reality is that most of us will never have the means to build a 600-plus horsepower XY GT replica, so it’s a pretty sweet deal that Nulon is giving one away. We’ve followed the build closely over the course of the past nine months, and now that the car is complete, it’s time to show it to you in all its glory.
Beautifully finished in Track Red with full GT warpaint and rolling on Globe wheels, the car presents from the outside as a nicely executed concours resto, but beneath the hallowed shaker scoop lurks a 630hp BK Race Engines-built Clevo stroker, with the handling and braking upgrades to match.
Nulon’s motorsport and event manager Chris Dawe project-managed the build, and as he tells it, the idea to embark on the project came about in quite an organic way. “For a few years we’d been telling other people’s stories from within the modified car scene through our Born This Way video series, but we were itching to create and tell a story of our own,” Chris says. “Being an Australian company, we knew we had to build an iconic Aussie muscle car, and there’s none more iconic than an XY Falcon.”
The starting point for the build was a bench seatequipped, six-pot Falcon 500 in Spring Frost paint. It was a running, driving car and looked to be a real gem, but once it was stripped by the guys at Redsun Motorsport, a trip to the blasters unearthed some shoddy prior repairs and a whole lot of rust.
The team at Spray Fever rose to the challenge, tackling the rust repairs, hammering the body straight and coating it in PPG Track Red paint. Meanwhile, the Nulon team were busy nutting out the finer details of the powertrain.
“We wanted to pay homage to a classic Aussie car, but it had to reflect our business, too,” Chris explains. “Our focus is around making the bestperforming oils, so while the car looks dead stock, we wanted to make sure it had a tough motor.”
Enter Bill Kaglatzis of BK Race Engines, who was tasked with piecing together a Cleveland V8 that was nice and driveable, but still offered up enough herbs to keep a smile on the lucky new owner’s dial. It displaces 408ci and is dripping with quality componentry, from the Scat rotating assembly to the custom BK Racing camshaft, CHI 3V heads and intake, ICE ignition and billet APD 950cfm carburettor. It’s proven to be worth 634hp on BK’s dyno – serious numbers for a perfectly streetable pump-fuel engine.
Rounding out the driveline is a reconditioned Top Loader four-slot manual with a heavy-duty clutch, and the obligatory nine-inch diff with reconditioned XY drums. The front brakes have been treated to an upgrade from RRS, with healthily proportioned 297mm discs and twin-piston PBR calipers, which fit neatly inside the aforementioned Globe wheels. The front suspension benefits from the addition of an RRS coil-over conversion, improving both ride and handling and equipping the car with plenty of adjustability.
ENGINE BAY : The BK Race Engines-built 408ci Clevo stroker is plenty tough at 634hp, but surprisingly smooth and responsive down low. It’s extremely easy to drive, even with the manual gearbox in stop-start Sydney traffic
INTERIOR: Welcome to 1970. Unique Marine & Auto Upholstery did a stellar job of re-trimming the interior and adorning the cabin with GT-spec hardware. Sitting in the genuine GT driver’s seat, gripping the woodrimmed steering wheel and peering out over the shaker immediately conjures thoughts of the iconic image from Wheels magazine’s 1971 yarn, ‘HO Down The Hume’
EXTERIOR: The team at Nulon wanted the XY to have an authentic look that belied its performance capabilities, and to that end they’ve certainly been successful. 15x8in Bathurst Globes wearing 215/65/15 BF Goodrich Silvertown Redline radials are an inspired choice
WE WERE fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to take the XY for its first proper drive, and while the team is still working on applying some finishing touches and ironing out a few bugs, we’re happy to report that the car feels great from behind the wheel.
We were particularly impressed with the engine. For a 630hp, naturally aspirated small-block to exhibit such impeccable road manners and low-rpm urgency speaks volumes for the work of Bill and the team at BK Race Engines. It didn’t sound half bad, either.
Ever mindful of the fact that we were driving someone else’s car, we didn’t give the XY a hard time, and it was only a short drive. But we can assure you that whoever ends up with the car parked in the garage is going to be one happy camper.
Where the interior was concerned, it had to be a faithful reproduction of an original XY GT cabin. Daniel at Unique Marine & Auto Upholstery is a self-confessed GT nut, and he did an exquisite job of the re-trim, successfully recreating an OEM feel inside the car. It’s been a no-expense-spared process, and a tough ask to comprehensively rebuild and transform the car from a tired stocker into a mintcondition GT tribute in such a tight timeframe. “Normally these builds take three or four years, so it was important to partner with the right people,” says Chris. “We got the car off to paint and panel as quickly as possible to give the boys the time they needed to do a good job, and that was an important part of the process. Finding the right people to do the work is the whole reason this car exists. You have to take your time and do your research; you can’t rush into it.”
GOTTA BE IN IT TO WIN IT
WANT to enter the competition to win Nulon’s Project XY? Of course you do! It’s free to get involved – all you need to do is head to projectxy.com.au and register your details to go into the draw. To boost your chances of winning, shout yourself some Nulon products and submit your receipt via the website for 10 entries into the draw. We’d love to see a Street Machine reader win the car, so hop to it!
And while there was initially some scepticism around the decision to base the project on what appeared to be an honest survivor car, public feedback on the finished product has been almost unanimously positive.
“You’re always going to polarise people by stripping a running car, and there were question marks on social media around us building a replica, but the finished product stops traffic and creates conversations – everyone seems to love it!” It’s hard not to love an adoringly restored XY GT tribute with a tough engine and upgrades where they count, but nobody is going to love the car quite like the one lucky Aussie who ends up owning it! s
Paint: PPG Track Red
Brand: 408ci Cleveland
Induction: CHI intake, 950cfm APD billet carb
Heads: CNC-ported CHI 3V 208cc
Camshaft: BK Racing custom-grind solid
Pistons: Custom BK racing
Fuel system: RobbMc mechanical pump and reg
Exhaust: Custom twin 3in into 2.5in
Gearbox: Reconditioned Top Loader
Clutch: 11in heavy-duty single-plate, Yella Terra flywheel
Diff: Nine-inch, LSD
Front: RRS coil-overs
Rear: Reset leaf springs
Brakes: RRS 297mm discs, PBR twinpiston calipers (f); reconditioned drums (r)
Rims: Bathurst Globe 15x8 (f & r)
Rubber: BF Goodrich Silvertown Redline radial 215/65/15 (f & r) mTHANKS BK Race Engines; Unique Marine & Auto Upholstery; PPG; ICE Ignition; CHI Heads; Redsun Motorsport; Spray Fever; RRS Suspension; Pedders Moorebank