X Why?

29. September 2014 14:47 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Meet James Mackie. James loves old Ford’s. James also loves drifting. Finally, James loves the Holden V8 LS series engines. What do you get if you combine these three things together?  One crazy XY Falcon.

James would describe himself as a Ford man, but loves all cars.  His previous collection included another XY Falcon, an XW Fairmont and an EB Falcon that he modified with a turbo and drifted over the course of a decade.  He has also owned a VT Clubsport R8, so it is not just all about Fords.

“I’d bought a XW Fairmont for a thousand dollars and then sold it on again not long after, but I regretted not putting the EB Falcon running gear into that XW so I kept a look out for another similar car.

James bought the current Falcon XY you see for $3,000 but his original engine swap idea didn’t turn out as appealing as he had first thought.

“I’m into burnouts, Performance Car Mania, drag racing, drifting and circuit racing so I needed the new car to be a real all rounder.”

“I was going to put the engine and gearbox from my EB Falcon turbo in to the XY, but it was going to be complicated, expensive and require some cutting of the radiator support so I wasn’t keen on cutting up the chassis for an engine swap.

James then spent time thinking through the various other engine options for the XY.

“The two common paths are to build a Cleveland 351 or a 351 Windsor engine, but my budget was limited and to get the horsepower I was looking for (400hp+) I was probably looking at up to twenty thousand dollars to build one properly.

A Toyota 2JZ engine is a super strong engine popular in the drift scene and James even considered this, however it was also going to require chassis modifications so it was ruled out.

James remembered reading about a XY Falcon in a Street Machine magazine that was running a supercharged LS1 engine, so figured it could be an option. However going down this path, James knew he would be (according to some) committing a cardinal sin.

“I knew it was one of Australia’s most iconic cars and it was a hard decision to make, but putting that aside, the LS1 seemed to be the smartest, most practical and cheapest swap available to be able to do all the things I had in mind.”

A friend was selling a LS1 engine and gearbox for only $1,100 which was too good to pass up and very soon the build began.  

“I started by pulling the car down to fix some rust issues and also prepare it for a roll cage.”

 

The cage is very comprehensive and not only stiffens the chassis but will keep James safe in any motorsport discipline he chooses.

New engine and gearbox mounts were fabricated at this time in preparation for the engine. James also purchased some XY floor pan panels, sills and rubber seal kits from Rare Spares to assist in the restoration.

The engine was modified with a camshaft, new valve springs and new oil and water pumps. A custom exhaust system was also produced, before a tune was carried out, which resulted in a solid 370hp at the wheels.

“It took 12 months to build and was a full restoration, without the paint job. I love the rat rod look so the car doesn’t actually look like it has been restored” said James.   

“I nearly had three nervous breakdowns over the build and it really hit home what I had done when I got the car running. Many times during the build I thought ‘what the hell am I doing?”

After unveiling the car on social media and at his first few events, James copped a lot of negative comments which he expected, but after explaining the reason he went that way, most people seemed to come around.  

One of the car’s early outings was at the Calder Park drags where it ran a solid 12.2 second pass down the quarter mile.  

The car remained bulletproof for a year but then things started to go wrong in 2014 when James competed in the Victorian Drift Championship. During Round 1 the wheels studs snapped. At Round 2 the clutch let go and in Round 3 he snapped an axle.

Snapping an axle at Calder Park while going sideways at 100km/h was not part of the plan.

The mid-season drifting festival resulted in a spun bearing so the engine was rebuilt properly with head work and pistons for Round 4. Unfortunately at Round 4 the motor self-destructed. James believes it was something oil related but the engine was so badly damaged he is not sure the exact cause.

Although James is now in limbo with the car’s future, he hopes the next step will be a 6 Litre LS2 with a supercharger, which is the dream.  

A lover of all motorsport, James is keen to have a crack at hill climbs, circuit days and motorkhanas moving forward and the car will no doubt attract attention and divided opinions wherever it goes.

James hopes people can look past the engine swap and just appreciate the car for what it is.

“I absolutely love the car now and don’t have any regrets. I can drive it in just about any form of motorsport. There are not many XY Falcons that can do that and do it well.”

“Nothing is over the top, it has a standard steering box, it still has leaf rear springs and is quite mild to drive. Anyone could take an X series Falcon and do what I’ve done without breaking the bank.”

“I want to thank Mick, Mish, Chris and Dale for all their assistance in the build.  I couldn’t have built it without them and of course my girlfriend Tanya for her support.”

The Rarest Parts

25. September 2014 15:57 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

The Rarest Part

As cars age and slowly dwindle from the roads manufacturer support eventually stops producing parts for these vehicles and this is where Rare Spares steps in, providing thousands of parts for all manner of vehicles without part support.

Although rare parts are a speciality of Rare Spares it was time to explore deeper into the world of the Australian parts market. What are some of the rarest parts that exist in Australia?  We asked Rare Spares Director’s to find out some of the extremely rare parts they know of within the market.

A few years back, Director David Ryan remembers looking everywhere for a rubber seal that is at the base of the windscreen divider bar on the FJ Holden.  

“It was a very obscure part and we just couldn’t get hold of one, so we ended up producing one ourselves.” Said Ryan.

Torana A9X ash trays are another random item that are available from time to time, but are at a huge premium.

“An A9X ash tray could go from anywhere up to $1,000.”

According to Managing Director Les McVeigh, FC front fenders and EH bonnets are another two items that are very hard to come by.

“They are not in high demand, but if you were after one, it could be hard to track one down” said McVeigh.

For Rare Spares, some of the most difficult spares to produce are the more modern vehicle body panels.

“The HQ front panel that the grille fits onto was a challenge to get right” said Ryan.

As for the most popular parts, they are often the newly released items that have been produced based on demand from customers.

“Monaro GTS steering wheels have proven to be a popular item as has the GTS rear vision mirrors” said Ryan.   

Rare Spares is happy to look into producing parts as long as there is demand. If you have a query about a part please add your details to the Rare Spares ‘Wish List’.

http://www.rarespares.net.au/Wishlist/Wishlist.aspx 

Shiny New Banner For 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley

26. August 2014 16:08 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Rare Spares recently presented a large club banner to the 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley for their continued loyalty.

The 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley was formed in the early seventies and through passionate members has survived nicely, with the club now in its fourth decade of existence.

As a member of the club you receive stickers for your car and a newsletter every month. You will be able to spend time with a great bunch of like minded people with an interest in early Holden’s. There is also a wealth of technical information and parts advice available shared between members.  Furthermore membership provides access to the RTA Historical registration scheme.

The club has a social scene and have a club based outing at least once a month.

The club meets once a month on the second Monday upstairs at the Hexham Bowling Club at 7pm. If you would like to know more, simply attend a meeting. New members are more than welcome.

For more information on the 48 to 78 78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley Inc head to http://www.48to78holden.com/

Rare Spares offers great rewards to car clubs simply by being members of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club.

Clubs receive exclusive invites to Project Partner nights, special access to promotions and access to Rare Spares sponsored events.

Also benefiting clubs is the ability for members to earn rewards for their club simply by shopping at Rare Spares. Every dollar spent at Rare Spares by club members becomes one point earned by your club. This can then be traded in for items such as Banners, Esky’s and club flags.

For more information click here.

Banner For FX-FJ Car Club of Canberra

8. August 2014 11:02 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

The FX FJ Car Club of Canberra are an active club within the Rare Spares Loyalty program and have been awarded a club banner for their continued support.

"The unveiling of the Rare Spares banner was quite an event and we were all very impressed. It was a pretty cold evening hence we are all rugged up. Thanks again for your support." Said Club President Ian Constantine.

The FX-FJ Car Club of Canberra was established in 1977 as a club to encourage the interest in ownership, restoration, preservation, maintenance and the use of the 48/215 (FX) and FJ Holdens. The club also caters to other early model Holden’s and accepts these cars in any condition.

The FX (48-215) model as the first Australian built car designed and priced for the average Aussie family, and kicked off Australia’s love affair with Holden.

The club is based in Canberra and caters for those in Canberra and surrounding regions, and as far and as wide as Yass, Cooma, Goulburn and the South Coast.

The club is also socially active, with close to 40 members, but always encourages new members to join or even just pop in to their next club meeting. All you need is an interest in these vehicles.

“We also hold monthly runs which may include car show events, BBQ’s, social gatherings, bowling nights and general get-togethers. Our members regularly attend motoring shows both in Canberra and Australia wide.” Said Mr Constantine.

It’s easy to become a member of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club and start receiving rewards for your club.

CLICK HERE to sign up. 

Aussie Concept Cars That Took On The World

23. July 2014 17:03 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

With the demise of the traditional Australian motor shows and the sad reality that Holden and Ford will be ceasing manufacturing in Australia, it is an end of an era. Not only will car production cease, but sheer Aussie ingenuity and engineering know how will no longer be channelled into world beating, cutting edge Australian built concept cars. Cars which have over the years proudly showcased what Aussie car manufacturers can do given the opportunity and a clean sheet of canvas.

Concept Cars have nearly been in existence as long as the car itself. Concept Cars work in three ways. They push the engineering envelope, showcase and market the manufacturer’s talent and also capture the public’s imagination. They are the ultimate projects for automotive engineers to be part of.

As a celebration of what Australia has been able to achieve in terms of Concept Cars, we take a look at three of Holden’s most famous examples, which were recently displayed together for the first time at the Meguiar’s MotorEx motor show in Melbourne.

 

"This is the first time these three concept cars have been together in the one place at the one time” said Richard Ferlazzo, Design Director GM Holden. 

The three cars in question are ‘Efijy’, ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Coupe 60’, which are all very different and all very special in their own right.

Around the world, the 1960’s and 70’s were known as the golden era in concept car design and dozens of those incredible creations are still a sight to behold today. Searching on the web can quickly dissolve the hours with the stories and images surrounding these cars.

Australia has always had its own home grown, world class engineering talent and this is reflected in Holden’s first and arguably most spectacular Concept Car, known simply as ‘Hurricane’. To say this car was a technological tour-de-force in its day was an understatement. Hurricane was primarily a test bed to explore these new technologies and was never intended for production.

Many of its then futuristic features are now taken for granted in the automotive world. It was fitted with oil cooled four wheel disc brakes, inertia reel seat belts, digital gauges, a climate control system and an early GPS system known as Pathfinder. Equally impressive is the rear view camera that was connected to an early TV screen for occupants to see behind them. This technology only started to appear in the mainstream automotive world more than three decades later.

The Hurricane is a wedge shaped machine with supercar lines and is a fibreglass body over a steel space frame. The car is extremely low with a total height of only 990mm. 

The engine is a mid-mounted 4.2ltr V8 fitted with a four barrel carburettor and makes an estimated 260hp. 

One of the most spectacular features of the car is the way occupants enter and exit the vehicle. A single piece hydraulically operated canopy moves up and forward and resembles something closer to a fighter jet or a futuristic car from a sci-fi movie.

Also on display were two more modern Holden creations. ‘Efijy’ is the name that would come to mind first if someone asked you to name a Holden Concept car and it is not hard to see why.

Efijy is a beautiful blend of 1950’s classic Hot Rod styling with a modern power plant and technology, which has resulted in international awards and acclaim the world over since its debut at the 2005 Sydney International Motor Show. It even won the coveted Hot Rod magazine’s 2006 Hot Rod of the Year and was also the North American Concept Car of the Year in 2007.

Efijy was built in house at Holden with the assistance of many of Holden’s key suppliers and was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the FJ Holden.

The car is a pillar-less coupe, painted in a stunning House of Kolor Soprano purple. Efijy is powered by a supercharged 6.0-litre V8, producing in excess of 600hp. It rides on air suspension and features some very-trick, electronic instrumentation.

The remaining concept car on display at the event was ‘Coupe 60’ which was built as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Holden releasing the 48-215 (FX Holden).

Based on the Australian VE Commodore, Coupe 60 is both a road and race hybrid concept. It is another two-door pillarless machine, with striking lines, including lengthened and re-sculptured doors and a raked windscreen.  

Supporting the race car theme is carbon spoilers, front and rear diffusers, along with huge 21-inch centre-lock wheels outfitted with smooth racing slicks. Under the hood is an E85-friendly, 6.0 litre LS2 V8. It even has a side exit exhaust and monstrous Brembo brakes if you were in any doubt as to its credentials.

Sadly we will not see any new Australian based concept cars from Holden or Ford in the future, however Australian engineering and ingenuity is alive and well and Australian’s should be proud of what has been accomplished over the years by both Holden and Ford on the concept car front.