WHEN you’re looking at the ‘76 XB Falcon Coup (or the XBOSS as it is more affectionately known) that was built by owner, Chris Bitmead and worked on by local business owner, Greg Maskell, the first thing you notice is the reflection from the shine in the paint, and then you are immediately drawn to its perfection.
Due to the car’s perfection, it has not only become the first car outside of North America to compete and take a finalist position in the Detroit Autorama Ridler Award, but recently came away from the Summernats in Canberra with every trophy in the elite category.
Chris said, “The car was originally built by Ford in 1976 as a Falcon 500 Coupe or hardtop as they are known.
“I purchased it in 2007 as a bare shell. Every panel on the car has been extensively but subtlety modified to modernise it, but it retains the classic styling of the original model. It took eight years to reconstruct.
“The car was designed and built with three key criteria; creativity, engineering and workmanship.
“Inside the car, the only original Falcon part is the ignition barrel. Everything else is custom made.
“The suspension is originally sourced from an XJ12 Jaguar, although like everything else, it is extensively modified.
“The engine is a 5.4 litre V8 sourced from a 2004 Falcon and it has been fully rebuilt and fitted with a supercharger.
“A huge challenge with the paintwork is the 1.5mm wide pinstripe separating the custom mix blue and grey paintwork. The stripe is not only on the outside of the car though, it also extends through the fully detailed undercarriage.”
Greg said, “We had six guys working on it for seven to eight months to get the painting perfect. It took well over 2,500 hours to polish it alone and four days to do the line along the body.
“We’ve won more than any other car ever has in the elite category at the Summernats. The judges even said we are 10 years ahead if everyone else.
“It’s all about quality. There are lots of little tricks we do to make things smoother and cleaner.
“These cars are all about the detail and symmetry.”
To check out the XBOSS, drop in to the Shepparton Motor Museum before February 20.