Tangerine DREAM

AS A MEGUIAR’S SUPERSTARS QUALIFIER AT MOTOREX 2018, DAVID SCHOLZ’S 19-YEAR ODYSSEY TO BUILD HIS CUSTOM XP FALCON WAS WELL WORTH THE WAIT

Story CARLY DALE Photos TROY BARKER

THESE days everyone expects everything of That’s custom The top expanded build wavered quality, what XP took days to Falcon be significantly yet makes almost from finished cost everyone a breath the two David next goal yesterday, decades in of to that Scholz’s fresh of nothing. expects handtime, and air. be building his own cruiser.

Okay, so David owns and runs DJ’s Sandblasting & Restoration, but this actually hindered the process more than it helped.

“I build customers’ cars for a living, so my main problem was finding the time, he says.

I SUNK 2200 HOURS INTO THE XP; THAT’S WHY IT TOOK ME 19 YEARS TO BUILD

“I sunk 2200 hours into the XP; that’s why it took me 19 years to build.

Back in the 90s David sold off his custom XD pano-cum-XF ute to fund his wife’s new daily driver, so he desperately needed another cool ride. He’d fallen in love with the XP’s rounded rear quarters and tail-lights when he first saw his aunt’s car as a kid, so when he stumbled across one at a local auction he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. He knew the car and its original owner, so he bid and won the factory sedan for a mere $1750.

It wasn’t long before the modifying bug bit again. “The intention was to build a nice street car running a 289ci Windsor, a C4, nine-inch and mini-tubs, David says.

With an engineer commissioned, David got cracking. The body and panels were stripped and dipped to reveal a solid base with very little rust repairs required.

“As the engine bay has been the focal point of all my builds, it was always going to be tidy, David says. A flat firewall and new radiator support were soon fabbed before a 289ci mill was test-fitted between the towers.

Then an off-the-cuff comment saw David blow that build plan out of the water.

“My mate Ken mentioned a roof chop, and after that it got a bit crazy, he laughs. He whipped out the grinder and lopped two-and-a-half inches from the front and four-and-a-half inches from the rear, with new sweeping C-pillars.

This radical outer treatment changed the final vision for the XP into a heavily modified ride, which meant the stock chassis and mild driveline no longer cut it. Under the rear, David has extended the rails to create a full chassis, then double-skinned the floor for a flat underbody with exhaust provisions. Jaguar IRS has been set high into the body and shifted back to lower the ride height, while centring the rear wheels in the arches. Mini-tubs were then moulded around the new rear clip.

“I wanted to have it look really low and still be legal, without cheating by using airbags to dump it down, David explains.

With the rear done, the XP sat nose-high, which meant that the front end needed an equally serious makeover to get all four corners to the weeds. A custom polished stainless RodTech IFS got the job done. Front chassis rails were then added, alleviating the need for further strengthening, while also making the wheel wells and shock towers redundant.

INTERIOR: David continued his one-man modifying mission inside, with dash mods, a custom console and he even created the door and boot cards! He faced the white Dolphin gauges towards the modified 2013 Lancer driver’s seat. A Billet Specialties steering wheel points the car in the right direction while a Hurst shifter changes the T5’s gears

BENEATH: Extensive fishplating coupled with 6mm-thick front chassis rails were added forward of the original horns, making the wheelwells and shock towers redundant. The result is a spacious, open-air engine bay

IF I’D HAD THE MOMENTUM AND MONEY FOR THE XP TO HIT THE SCENE 15 YEARS AGO, IT WOULD’VE BEEN QUITE AN OUT-THERE BUILD

“Once the towers went that meant I could fit a bigger engine, so I did, David says of the 351ci Windsor cratey that has been set back in the spacious bay for improved weight distribution.

It was at this point – after 17 years – that David finally set himself a non-negotiable deadline.

“Our business became the major sponsor for the Valley Hot Rodders Cruise On event, and the XP would feature on all of the posters and memorabilia. I had just over 12 months to finish it.

DAVID SCHOLZ

1966 FORD XP FALCON

SEDAN

Paint: Spray Chief custom Candy

Pearl Tangerine

ENGINE

Brand: 351ci Windsor crate motor

Carby: 600 Holley, shotgun scoop

Manifold: Typhoon, polished

Camshaft: Mild Crow roller

Oil pump: High-volume

Sump: Modified

Fuel: PULP

Fuel system: Holley Blue electric pump

Water pump: Chrome Proform electric

Cooling: Aussie Desert Cooler fourrow

XY GT radiator, twin Davies Craig thermo fans

Exhaust: Stainless-steel 2½in headers to twin 3in system, ceramiccoated, Magnaflow mufflers

Ignition: Accel electronic dizzy

Power: Approx. 350fwhp

DRIVELINE

Gearbox: T5 Mustang

Clutch: Mal Wood heavy-duty

Tailshaft: ZA Fairlane shortened

Diff: Narrowed Jaguar, LSD, 3:00:1 gears, modified Jag axles

SUSPENSION & BRAKES

Front: Custom IFS polished stainless, Rod-Tech coil-overs

Rear: Custom Jaguar IRS, Rod-Tech coil-overs

Steering: Flaming River column,

Commodore rack-and-pinion

Brakes: Commodore vented discs and calipers (f), Jaguar inboard discs (r)


Master cylinder: 7in, 90-degree angled under-dash pedal box

Other: GM stud pattern

WHEELS & TYRES

Rims: Center Line Trigon; 16x7 (f), 16x8 (r)

Tyres: Dunlop; 195/50 (f), 245/50 (r)

THANKS

Justin from Justin’s Auto Electrics, Nuriootpa for doing the great wiring job; Steve Baum from Stateside Trim,

Nuriootpa for the trim work; Josh and Joel form Autest Automotive

Transport Engineering Services & Testing; my wife Natalie and kids

Bradley, Sheldon and Chelsea for their patience while I spent every spare hour over many years during the Christmas and New Year break working on the car

With fresh enthusiasm David attacked the bodywork in his detailed style. Factory joins were seam-welded before the lot was painstakingly sanded flat. Every panel of the custom sedan then copped a controlled drenching in Spray Chief’s Candy Tangerine, a four-layer candy pearl.

WITH DETERMINATION AND SOME SKILL, A HIGH-QUALITY CAR CAN BE CREATED WITHOUT A CRAZY COST

Inside, modern niceties like air con and fast glass improve occupant comfort, and the rest of the interior has been finished in showworthy style. Steve Baum from Stateside Trim has swathed the 2013 Lancer front seats and custom rear bench in white marine-grade vinyl adorned with Pursuit 351 embroidered inserts. That same motif carries through to the scuff plates, boot and around the outer door poppers.

As D-day loomed, David had the car seen to by the engineer and soon had the XP rego’d with the same plates it wore from the dealer back in ’66. He was going to make the deadline!

“I drove the car to Cruise On with nervous anticipation, he says of the well-received debut. “I’m really happy with how it turned out; it’s everything I wanted it to be and a little bit more. If I’d had the momentum and money for the XP to hit the scene 15 years ago, it would’ve been quite an out-there build.

And it still is, with Pursuit 351 taking out a decent trophy haul from the 2017 Extreme Auto Expo show along with a Meguiar’s Superstars invite to MotorEx 2018. Yet the car was built for cruising, and after almost two decades David has quickly made up for lost time.

“I’ve clocked up around 1500km; it handles so well, it’s a fun car to drive, he says. “Overall I feel that I’ve proved that with determination and some skill, a high-quality car can be created without a crazy cost.