Family fun: 1100hp turbo Windsor-powered ZC Fairlane

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Family fun: 1100hp turbo Windsor-powered ZC Fairlane

Lloyd Taylor’s hand-me-down Fairlane has a new lease on life

Everyone – car people or not – will have indelible memories of times spent in and around the family car. For the Taylor clan, that car was this 1970 ZC Fairlane. Its history with the family stretches back some 33 years, when current owner Will Taylor’s dad, Rob, purchased the big more-door Ford.

“I was born in Victoria, and when I was only a young fella, I remember going out with Dad to view a few cars,” Will says. “Dad ended up buying a genuine T-code ZC Fairlane from a director at Ford in Victoria; we still have the original books for it!”

As with many now-collectable classics, back then the used Ford was pressed into duty as an ordinary streeter, which is how many of Will’s precious memories were made. “After transporting all of us to Queensland, it was used as the family car for many years, driving us kids to the beach, school and doing the shopping runs, before dad finally decided to start its first restoration process,” he says.

“Unfortunately, the bodywork ended up in court to be sorted out, and the rebuild on the original 351 Windsor also ended badly with a dodgy machine shop going bust. Fair to say that Dad had had enough, and after his back injury at work, that was it. The ZC was essentially finished, but it did require more work and reassembly, so it sat for years in the shed.”

Will didn’t give up on the car though, continually hassling his dad to work on it. “I had spent my entire childhood and teenage years working on this car over and over again; it’s safe to say I know every nut and bolt,” he says. “The car was eventually finished and just driven on the odd occasion, and this went on for many years until I purchased it from my father in 2017. I had always planned on buying the car from Dad, but not so soon, so I quickly sold the Camaro I had at the time to make room in my shed.”

Some may question why you’d shift an iconic muscle car in favour of a luxury four-door, but for Will, this Henry has irreplaceable family history tied to it. Plus, it is a real-deal 351 example!

“It looked like it does today, except it had big chrome wheels on it – they were first to go,” says Will.

The mild 351 Windsor, C4 and factory nine-inch were next on the chopping block. Today, the big rig puts out over 1100hp at the hubs courtesy of a turbo 427ci small-block Ford drinking E85, which Will built at home in his wife’s salon.

The Windsor-based, 9.5in-deck-height Dart block is filled with a Scat crank, JE slugs and Oliver rods, while a custom-spec Camtech hydraulic-roller bumpstick swings 246/252 on a 112 lobe separation angle, working the valves in the AFR Renegade heads. An 88/103mm VS Racing T6 snail blows into a Wilson 105mm throttlebody on an Edelbrock Super Victor single-plane manifold set up for port EFI, which is controlled by a MegaSquirt ECU.

After a bunch of road tuning with Will’s mate Rob Mead, the Lime Frost ZC ended up strapped to the Western Suburbs Mechanical hub dyno. Limited to 22psi thanks to the wastegate springs, the big dawg still made over 1100hp at the hubs – nearly double its previous best.

“I had previously done a quick boost upgrade for the original motor, and some help from some great mates saw the car make just shy of 600rwhp, good enough for the 4100lb sled to do a 10.90@127mph,” Will explains. “We did some testing after the new motor was run in but before the new diff was installed, and with a bit of pedalling, we saw it do 137mph. All the calculators predict a mid-high eight and 160mph, so we will see how accurate those predictions are!”

Helping with these eight-second goals is the new rear end. The ZC has been mini-tubbed to squeeze 295/50R15 radials under the bum, with a fabricated nine-inch now handling tractive effort. Built off a Mood Motorsports fabricated housing, it runs full floaters, billet 35-spline axles, Truetrac LSD, Strange centre and 3.25:1 gears. It is held in place with Gazzard Brothers split mono-leaves and sliders, giving the car a righteous stance but without compromising its street manners.

“I recently attended a car festival where the ZC participated in a poker run through the Sunshine Coast hinterland, loaded up with my wife and our four kids,” says Will. “It did over 100km in total, in the middle of the day, with no issues and no worries!

“My wife and kids love it, always egging me on, and I have a lot to thank my wife for. She let me spend long nights in the shed and copious amounts of money building this beauty, but it’s definitely been worth it. She has actually asked to start racing it, so let’s see what happens from here!”

It sounds like the Fairlane’s memory-making duties are a long way from being done. And we’re sure Rob Taylor is glad he didn’t get rid of it all those years ago.


Story: Iain Kelly

Photos: Ashleigh Wilson

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