Well, as you probably worked out it's out and racing now! Lots of mods in store for the winter 2010/11 period and it'll be out in force for the 2011 season..
Loads of progress since the last update. The car now has door handles, quarter lights and all the side trim fitted. It also has a laminated and heated front screen and a 5mm polycarbonate rear screen. The exhaust is complete too now and fitted to the mule 289 engine that's in the car while I wait for the full race motor to be delivered in January. All looking like a mid 2010 debut!
Jon Wolfe's 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint
Work on the Falcon is in fits and starts. I had a good spell on it about a month ago but the it has slowed again due to the amount of work needed to keep the GT6 in racing order and a short holiday in very wet Wales! I am now back on it and hope to make good progress between now and Christmas.
Unfortunately the engine is somewhat delayed and that put a dampener on it for me too but here’s a view of the things done in the past two months or so.
The rear axle has been completely rebuilt. It is a Ford 8” unit (as per factory spec V8 Falcons) with a new crown-wheel and pinion and a new plate type limited slip differential to fit in with FiA appendix K regulations. This was more expensive than anticipated (isn’t everything?) but does look good. Once the axle was refitted I could not work out why I had very little wheel arch clearance, the tyres looked far too close to the bodywork. While Dave and I were at Spa we took a look at another racing Falcon, that of Lionel Dodkins and noticed the rear wheels on his car were well inside the arches. On our return home I took a tape rule to my axle and realised I had a Mustang axle not a Falcon one…that suddenly explained why the car, when I bought it, had been jacked up at the rear! The previous owner must have raised the rear end (by the addition of 2 extra spring leaves per side) so that the tyres cleared the arches.
Anyway, this meant shortening the axle tube by about an inch each side (the chances of finding a good Falcon V8 axle tube being near zero) and fitting shorter drive shafts. I took the whole thing off again and delivered it to Geof Hauser Racing in Northampton who did a fine job on it and got me a pair of steel half shafts too. The revised axle looks excellent (they even straightened it) and the wheels now fit in the arches properly. The T-10 gearbox has also been completely rebuilt with new synchro rings and bearings.
All the brakes are now fitted, including the master cylinder and all the pipe work as is the new aluminium, 100 litre, foam-filled fuel tank. I also managed to find a new windscreen after the existing one broke while it was resting on a shelf in the workshop. Lionel (see earlier) had a few made some time back and I bought one of his which has an electric heating element too which should remove any screen misting problems. Interestingly Dave also has a heated screen on his TVR.
All the body panels are now on the car too (except the bumpers) and I have started fitting the door catches and working out how to fit the window frames; I will not be reusing the glass but fitting 5mm Lexan (polycarbonate) for the side and rear screens. Most of the electrics are now done including the Monte Carlo rally style central instrument panel which has taken longer than I expected but looks great.
On the paint side, Stacky is now back from his five month holiday in New Zealand and he has started bringing the white paint up to his normal level of shine! There are a few bits to blow in and the blue side stripes to add too – it should look really good then!
It does actually look like a car now but without any glass and without an engine so the front end is sitting up high. It still has several hundred hours of work to be done but it’s well over half way now. It was this time last year that it came back from Custom Cages and it does seem hugely advanced since then. It’s now 2 years since I started work on it and I want to get out and use the darn thing not keep looking at it!
The mighty Falcon as in May 2009 (the panels are just sitting there however and not fixed in place)
April 2009: The rebuilt third member with new crown wheel and pinion and gripper plate differential.
I am using an 8" axle on the car in preference to the slightly stronger but much heavier 9" type.
Feb 2009: Fully down to the bare metal and etch primed - starting to look like a race car!
Feb 2009 showing etch primer coat
The Falcon in Sept 2008 undergoing paint removal and with the cage in place.
May 2008 following extensive lower body rebuild
As in was in Feb 2007 straight from Missouri via eBay.co.uk!
I have always fancied having an FiA race car and have always tended towards big bangers! When this car came up on eBay in early 2007 I knew it was the car for me. Being a 1964 model it has the classic racing shape (Ford were changing the look of their cars every year) and is 100% complete. The only change from factory spec had been that at some point in its history someone had altered if from a 170 CID 6 cylinder car to a V8. Whoever did it knew what they were doing and fitted the correct rear brakes, front suspension and steering system too. The only odd thing they left was the 3 speed manual Borg Warner gearbox; that combination of a 3-speed manual transmission with V8 was never a factory option.
After a bit of Easy Start and a huge battery off my RV the thing coughed into life and I even drove it round the front drive at the new house. A bonus on removing the engine was that it's a proper 64 casting 289 rather than a 260 as per the eBay listing! Good for a spare unit as I already have a full race, FiA spec engine being prepared over at Competition Engine Services in Cardigan in Wales.
Since February 2007 the car has been completely stripped out and fitted to a body frame and is upside down in a restoration workshop near North London. Clive, who is doing the bodywork, has discovered significant areas of rust and is tackling each section at a time so as not to distort the body shell. It's having all new floors fitted together with replacement chassis rails which have been expertly modified from 65 Mustang ones. Clive has also made a Mustang front cross member fit in place of the very rusty one that was there.
October 07. Engine out of the way!
October 07. Engine bay in pretty good condition
October 07. The 'old' 260 which turned out to be a 289 from a Galaxie!
October 07. Still kind of looking like a car...
October 07. Seats out - will need to cut a hole and fit a transmission hump for a floor gear change
October 07. Passenger side floor - pretty rusty...a repair section had been welded over the existing floor on both sides
October 07. Driver's side worse! All sorts of bodgery going on.
October 07. Wings off showing wheel arches in good condition.
January 08. Chassis leg and rear torque box repairs.
January 08. Front cross member repair; modified from a Mustang one.
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