C R A Z Y X R 8
WHAT do you do when you’re a 17-year-old second-year apprentice welder and you just have to have a V8? You buy a near-new BA XR8, of course! Well, that’s what Brent Tanian did, at least. But he also had access to a private burnout pad in his hometown of Collie, so it wasn’t long before the big-end bearings in the Falcon’s stock engine decided enough was enough.
The fix was to toughen up the Boss 260 donk with forged internals, lots of polished bits and slam it on the ground over a set of 20-inch Budnik Fontana rims. “That build took eight months, and was a really nice street car that only did two shows – Motorvation and the first Gazzanats WA – and picked up some trophies,” Brent says. “But straight away it was time to change it up, so it went to Cronic Customs for a nine-inch, mini-tubs, ladder bars and a Turbo 400.”
Brent admits that for the first 12 months of the current build he didn’t have any clear plans, so things stalled for a while. Then he started talking to George Separovich from Blown Motorsports: “Originally I wanted an EFI blown Windsor on pump fuel that would make around 750hp, that I could lap around the streets,” he explains. “That got completely screwed up after a couple of months of talking to George – all of a sudden it was an 8000rpm, 1200hp methanol engine. Then he told me about the 14/71 highhelix Kobelco blower he had off his race car that only had five passes on it.”
That race car was George’s blue AA/AP LJ Torana, and those passes were as quick as 6.32@226mph! This is the point where you could say things got a little out of control.
With the amount of horsepower and rpm the new engine was going to be capable of, Brent gave Adam Spiteri and his team at Cronic Customs the go-ahead to put the car on the chassis table and cut it to bits.
It’s now got a full chassis, a fully braced nine-inch, TCI double-wishbone front end and – for something different – no airbags. How the car sits in these pictures is its actual ride height, and to make sure it can turn those big 20x7 front rims, the Falcon’s track has been narrowed 80mm. And to keep all of Brent’s Holden mates happy, there’s a VE Commodore rack-and-pinion up front – well, what’s left of it.
While the original ‘streetable’ version was going to be a 427ci Windsor, George loves the revs, so the ‘big’ engine is just a little 320- cuber. It’s got a couple of Brodix CNC Track 1 heads on top, plenty of good stuff inside, a Peterson dry sump and a 20A MSD magneto.
The carbonfibre hat and blower sit on top of a custom-made sheet-metal intake, and at the other end of the combustion cycle, a set of custom 1.875-inch to two-inch stepped extractors feed into twin five-inch exhausts!
The only attempt at shutting it up is a couple of Gonzo race mufflers right at the back, so you’ll definitely hear this car coming.
There is also a lot of custom work going into the body, both inside and out, with smoothed door handles, fuel flap and bump strips. The
rear quarters have been pulled out at the bottom for a smoother transition to the bumper and the side mirrors have also been deleted, although Brent’s still working out how to finish off this area. Ideally he’d like to reshape the window opening so it’s not so squared-off, but that would require custom-made side glass. It’s do-able, but a lot of work.
The interior is going to be pretty wild as well, and while the original dash is in place for the photos, Brent might change that. There will definitely be a Racepak in there keeping tabs on all the vitals. For something completely different in a late-model burnout car, Brent has gone for aluminium bomber seats from HandMade Seat Co. There are four of them in total and the interior will also feature a full-length metal tunnel that will get painted, while the flat floors will get some carpet.
There’s already an eight-point ’cage in the car, but it will probably end up 10- or 12-point when it’s done.
There’s no denying this car is a little bit out there, and it’s a bit hard to put into a box, but Brent was adamant that he didn’t want a car that could only do one thing: “I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted it to do,” he says. “It was never going to be a dedicated drag car or circuit car, but if I want to, then I’ve got the option. I didn’t want it limited to a burnout pad or show hall; it had to have purpose.”
Colour: To be decided
Engine: Ford Windsor 320ci Block: Dart Iron Eagle Injection: Carbonfibre Blower: Kobelco 14/71 Heads: Brodix CNC Track 1 Pistons: Custom, coated JE forged Crank: Crower Rods: Crower Cam: Big Ignition: MSD 20A magneto Exhaust: Custom stepped 1.875in primaries to 2in extractors, twin 5in exhaust
Transmission: Reid Powerglide Clutch/converter: ProTorque Tailshaft: Carbonfibre Diff: Sheet metal 9in, 40-spline, 4.1 gears, full-floater
Brakes: Brembo (f), Strange (r) Springs & shocks: QA1 coil-overs (f), Strange coil-overs (r) Suspension: TCI double wishbone (f), four-link (r) Steering: What’s left of a VE Commodore rack-and-pinion
Rims: Budnik Fontana; 20x7 (f), 20x13 (r) Rubber: Pirelli; 225/30 (f), 345/25 (r)
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties Seats: Custom sheet-metal Gauges: Racepak Shifter: Hurst Stereo: Twin 5in exhaust
Cronic Customs and Blown Motorsports