1976 Ford Falcon XB Coupe “XBOSS” Is The Best Aussie Build Of All Time
It is from Down Under, But With Healthy US Intrusions
Published December 6, 2017
As far as Australian cars go, this 1976 Ford Falcon XB Coupe dubbed the XBoss may be the most astounding car to ever come from Down Under. As , some enthusiast wanted to craft the best possible Falcon. This is it.
A brainchild of Chris and Colleen Bitmead, the car is actually a shed-built project. A quite nice shed that is. As it turns out, Chris and his friends built it, but Colleen was in charge for payments for the parts. A lot of parts that is and more than eight years of building. Yes, that is right. More than eight years.
From Rust To The Best 1976 Ford Falcon XB Ever
Although based on top of the 1976 Ford Falcon XB, the car features a number of special hardware – modified front and back to accept Jag suspension, CL500 seats, wider body, intricate bonnet opening system, and specially tuned 5.4-litre modular V8, called the Boss in Australia. Thus the XBoss name it seems.
Despite coming from a shed Down Under, the parts for this outstanding Falcon come from all over the world – but mostly from the USA. In fact, through its eight-year building process, the car flew and visited a number of different shops and specialized mechanics to reach this level of perfection.
Body redesign and the addition of wide-body design elements was done by John Gilbert from Fantasy Customs. He added massive 3.5 inches of width to the Falcon front end. Then, a thin chin spoiler and custom rear panels landed on the 1976 Falcon. The lights at the back also received some sort of modification now gifting the X-Boss with a quite cool rear end design.
As it usually happens with this sort of builds, the Falcon started with a Falcon 500 shell without the driveline or suspension. This was a perfect starting point as Chris and Colleen had all the freedom in the world to do as they please.
“The plenum was all rusted out and there had been some dodgy repairs done in the past. We put a new plenum in to repair it properly, and then chopped it out when we changed direction,” Chris noted.
Yes, It is Road Legal
The main idea and focus were clear from the start – Chris, Colleen and their friends wanted to build a car by Ridler standards and they had the expertise to do so, but some outside help was appreciated (and needed of course). Although built by Ridler Standards, they managed to make the car roadworthy and road legal. It is registered as an Individually Constructed Vehicle in Australia. Imagine seeing it on the streets. I do not have high hopes for it though. This paint job is too valuable to meet rocks and chip.
Other important people working on the car were Travis Sparrow, Mark Allen, John Gilbert and Brodie Mitchell. Some of them are body specialists, trim gurus, and mechanic wizards. All extremely important for a build of this magnitude. They invested their time heavily but were confident they could deliver only the best.
“We were reasonably confident that we had the skills to build a car that would make it into the Great Eight,” Chris says. “When we went over to the Autorama in 2012, Mark Allen and I had a look at all the cars that we thought were eligible and we chose nine, and out of those nine cars we chose the Great Eight. We chose the winner as well.”
1976 Ford Falcon XB XBoss With A Paintjob Unlike Any Other
Obviously, the paint job was one of the most demanding issues of the project. Chris wanted to make every inch of a car as perfect looking as possible – even stuff you cannot see at first. Avon Valley Spray Painting in Northam had a tough job of painting the driveline and suspension.
Reaper Customs in Malaga, on the other hand, fine-tuned every single piece on the body panels before Greg from Maskell’s Customs and Classics in Victoria took the difficult task of applying the finishing paint touches. After 200 different paint mixtures, Chris finally picked one up and time-consuming painting process started. Greg noted that rubbing and buffing alone took 2,500 working hours.
Yet, the finished product is as perfect as it gets.
Luxed Up Interior
The interior had to be especially touched up as well. CL500 seats alone required quite a reconstruction. It turns out that the floor had to be structurally reinforced and seriously improved to support the seats and their placement. Seats themselves traveled to Mick’s Custom Interiors where Michael Carter covered them in charcoal leather and hand-stitched the pleats. This concluded the intricate build of a car many Aussies like to call the best build to ever come out of the country.