Power Boost - Taking a Look at Two Iconic Aussie Turbo’s

Over the years, Australian manufacturers have been mostly known for producing family sized rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated six and eight cylinder vehicles. However, throughout the years, both Holden and Ford have dipped their toes into turbo-charging technology, providing affordable cars with oodles of power and a plethora of modification options. Whilst there have been a number of turbocharged vehicles from Australian manufacturers, none have captured the hearts and minds of the public quite as much as the VL Turbo and the XR6 Turbo. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at these turbo powered favourites and discuss what made these such successful models. Holden Commodore VL Turbo With unleaded petrol coming of age throughout the 80’s, Holden battled to find an engine appropriate for their new VL model that could deal with the new fuel. So, when they turned to Nissan and sourced the Skyline bound RB30 six cylinder for the new Commodore, Australian car enthusiasts were understandably excited. Excitement levels would reach their peak when it was announced that a turbo would be coupled with the RB30, producing a powerful 150kw. Not only was the turbo of significance, improvements were also made in the form of front disc brakes, 15 inch wheels and FE2 suspension, making the VL turbo the affordable modifiers dream. The Australian Police Force also took note as they adopted a modified version of the VL Turbo as their new pursuit vehicle. These VL’s were denoted “BT1” and featured a number of modifications such as different pistons, upgraded four wheel disc brakes, Corvette front calipers, larger oil pump and a knock sensor. These modifications not only gave the Police a vehicle capable of chasing crooks down a highway, they allowed officers to perform breaking manoeuvres out of reach to the average car of the time. VL Turbo’s and particularly BT1’s are worth a pretty penny on the used car market these days and you’ll be doing well to find one that isn’t modified to the gills. However, VL Turbo’s still contain a certain level of “wow” factor that will buy you a level of street cred that’s out of reach to a current model Commodore. Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo  In 2002, the BA Falcon XR6 Turbo brought upon a step outside of the Falcon’s recent conservative comfort zone and was a Falcon truly deserving of a performance car reputation. By bolting a Garrett turbo onto the 6-cylinder ‘Barra’ engine platform, the XR6 turbo was able to produce a lively 240Kw/450Nm whilst giving its 8-cylinder competition a serious hurry-up. Fast in stock form and a tinkerers dream, the Barra platform was able to handle a wild level of modifications. Fast forward 14 years and Ford has released its last iteration of the XR6 Turbo – the FGx XR6 Turbo Sprint. Producing a mind bending 370kw/650nm in overboost form, which is only activated at full throttle for a maximum of 10 seconds; the XR6 Turbo Sprint is the fastest 6 cylinder ever produced in Australia. Based on the previous FPV F6 model, features of the new Sprint include a new lower airbox, carbon fibre intake and a freer flowing exhaust. Other specifications include updated suspension, new Pirelli tires and a recalibrated ZF automatic transmission. Despite a somewhat lackluster interior, which has remained largely unchanged since the original BA, a 0-100 time of 4.7 seconds and a quarter mile time “in the 12’s” is enough to ensure Ford enthusiasts aren’t at all bothered by the interior. The end result is quite possibly the best ‘bang for your buck’ Australian car ever built. These two cars will most likely go down in history as the two greatest turbocharged Australian produced cars ever made. Do you own either of these two iconic fan favourites? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know about your turbocharged pride and joy in the comments below.

Falcon Farewell – Saying Goodbye to the Aussie Icon

When Ford introduced the XK Falcon to the Australian market back in 1960, not many would have predicted the impact that the ‘Falcon’ name would have on the Australian motoring landscape. Production of the Falcon came to an end in 2016, although along the 56 year journey Ford was able to produce a number of iconic Australian cars. Here we take a look at six Falcons that will forever be remembered by Australian motoring enthusiasts. 1965 XP Flacon The original XK is remembered as a car that unfortunately wasn’t built with local conditions in mind, resulting in the model receiving a poor reputation amongst consumers. Ford went back to the drawing board; with build quality issues being quickly remedied and by 1964, the XP Falcon was the car that kick started over five decades of manufacturing of the Falcon in Australia. In order to overcome durability issues faced in the original Falcon, Ford conducted 70,000km of around the clock on-road testing at their You-Yang’s facility. The end result of this arduous testing was a car that proved to be capable of handling everything Australia’s harsh conditions could throw at it. 1971 XY GT-HO Phase III  Arguably Australia’s most iconic car, the XY GT-HO Phase III was originally built in order to homologate the XY Falcon for racing. Only 300 units were built. The 351 cubic inch that lay underneath the bonnet was a true fire breather, non-standard heads and valves with an increased compression ratio of 11.5:1 coupled with a 780 Holley carby. It was capable of a top speed of 142mph and 14.4 seconds down a quarter mile which propelled it to the fastest four door sedan in the world at the time. The HO also came couple with  These days a very good example of one of these cars would set you back a bit south of $500,000. 1973 XA GT RPO83 In 1972 the XA Falcon range was introduced, with arguably one of the biggest body styling changes since the introduction of the Falcon it certainly made an impression in the car park. With the Supercar Scare and the cancelling of the Phase 4 program hope was not completely lost for a hero car beyond the GT staple.1973 gave rise to Regular Production 83, a performance package option with 250 units scheduled 259 were eventually built. The package included a big 780 Holley carby and extractors along with some other rumoured extras. Not all were fitted with the same equipment supposedly and this has led to many theories as to what was factory and what wasn’t on the limited run cars. They now demand a substantial premium with a recent Lime Glaze RP083 Sedan said to have sold for $240,000. 1980 XD ESP 1979 brought another body styling transitioning from the XC range which marked the introduction of side intrusion bars and the forever iconic blue oval grille and bootlid badges. The XD was more reminiscent of the XY styles with sharper body lines and was heavily influences by the European Granada Mk2. With the departure of the GT name in 1976 the public now were deemed ready for another substantial sports package, the European Sports Pack (ESP) option in 1980. Option 54 – ESP, included “Scheel” fornt seats, Red lit instruments/clock, Bilstein shockers, dual rear radius rods and Bathurst Globe rims. Ever since the introduction of the ESP they have been a sought after vehicle with XD and XE ESP’s demanding between $15,000 and $45,000 in most cases depending whether they were 6 cylinder’s or fitted with the highly desirable factory T code 351ci engine. 2002 BA XR6 Turbo In 2002, the BA XR6 Turbo brought upon a step outside of the Falcon’s recent conservative comfort zone. This turbo charged engine package option utilized the new Barra I6 4.0L with a Garrrett GT40 Turbo, it was able to produce a lively 240Kw/450Nm whilst giving its 8-cylinder counterpart some serious competition. The new look BA design with the XR6 Turbo offering went a long way to erasing the memories of the largely unpopular AU range.  2014 FGX XR8 Sprint The 2014 FGX XR8 Sprint will go down in the history books as the most powerful Falcon ever produced. The brochure will tell you that the XR8 Sprint produces 335Kw/570Nm, although as a result of its ‘transient over-boost’ feature, maximum power figures will read closer to a whopping 400Kw/650Nm. The FGX brought in a number of cosmetic changes compared to the outgoing FG, although the interior stayed much the same. Whilst some may deride the fact the interior is a little plain, and that the car is lacking a few common technical features, it still remains that the consumer had access to unbelievable power figures at a very competitive price point. The Ford Falcon will forever hold a special place in Australian motoring enthusiast’s hearts, and with a number of other Falcons arguably being capable of making this list, we’d love to hear which have been your favourite Falcon’s over on the Rare Spares Facebook page and in the comments section below.

GT Forever

24. July 2014 16:20 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
Earlier this year, Ford, Holden and Toyota all announced their withdrawal from Australian Manufacturing over the next 3-4 years. This was a deep cut to Australia’s proud heritage of producing world class vehicles and an industry we were proud of.  With this realisation, Ford announced it would also retire the ‘GT’ designation, signalling an end to a famous badge that portrays performance and an incredible motorsport heritage for Ford lovers. What are your first thoughts when you hear someone say “Falcon GT”. Racing pedigree, XY GHTO Phase 3, Allan Moffat and Bathurst are just some of the terms that come to mind and it is sad to hear that this iconic Australian title will soon be no more.  GT’s have been part of Ford Australia’s Heritage since 1967 when GT became the badge given to the performance variants of the Falcon range. Starting with the XR Falcon, the GT designation continued with the XT, the XW, XY, XA and XB model’s. The XW and XY model’s also saw the ‘HO’ designation added, which stood for 'Handling Options' and is synonymous with the XY GTHO Falcon’s that are so commonly mentioned when discussion turns to famous Ford’s. The GT badge was rested for 16 years before being revived for a 25th anniversary edition, used with the 1992 EB Falcon. In 1997 the 30th anniversary edition was offered for the EL Falcon. As of 2003 Ford Performance Vehicles inherited the badge and have used the GT designation throughout the BA, BF and FG model ranges. The last Ford Falcon to carry the GT badge will be the 2014 Ford Falcon GT-F, which pays homage to its famous forebears and will carry the famous 351 badge signifying the engine’s power output of 351kw’s. The GT-F will also be the most powerful Falcon ever produced at Broadmeadows.   The ‘F’ designation will represent ‘Final’ version of the GT. 500 vehicles will be sold total, with 500 allocated for Australia and the other 50 heading to New Zealand.   “This is a celebration of the best of the best,” said President and CEO of Ford Motor Company Australia Bob Graziano. All 500 of the GT-F’s have been ‘accounted for’ due to the interest of the Ford Faithful and will all be sold at recommended retail pricing according to one Ford dealer, as the interest in obtaining one of these vehicles is so high. Although sad that GT is no longer, we are sure the memories and the success around GT will live on forever with the Ford Faithful."

Win A Day In The Drivers’ Den with Cameron McConville!

Rare Spares are offering two lucky winners an incredible HSV Drive experience with our Ambassador Cameron McConville.   Don’t just meet Cameron McConville, join him for a lap around the track and a full day thrill-seeker experience, learning the tricks of the trade. Improve your skills behind the wheel and enjoy a refreshing lunch with this fantastic prize offering from Rare Spares.  Valued at over $650 The Day in the Drivers’ Den package includes: The chance to meet Cameron McConville and other top racing drivers Experience the GEN-F range: drive the 430kW GTS, the race-bred ClubSport R8, the tradesman’s nirvana, the Maloo R8, the sophisticated Senator Signature and the ultimate freedom machine, the ClubSport R8 Tourer. Learn new skills around circuit driving, understeer/oversteer, ABS and swerve manoeuvres, seating and steering technique and more. A lap around the track with Cameron McConville A smorgasbord lunch with refreshments throughout the day                    "The ultimate HSV drive experience is for any thrill seeker looking to enhance their driving skills in an action-packed day on the track"  Cameron McConville  To enter this promotion click here! Entries close 3pm on July 23rd 2013.   

Rare Spares would like to welcome you to our new blog!

                       Visit our blog for weekly updates on what we’ve been up to and any exciting projects we have underway.   We will keep you informed with regular updates on:  • News from local distributors  • News on new products • The latest from our major sponsorships Touring Car Masters and V8 Utes  • What’s happening in the world of our ambassadors John Bowe and Cameron McConville • Promotions and updates from our social media space • News on national Car Clubs and the rare spares loyalty program  Watch this space!