FLIGHT PLAN – XB Falcon Coupe

Kate de Boer can thank her parents’ good taste in Aussie classics for her obsession with old-school cars, in particular, the XB Ford Falcon Coupe. “It’s definitely a family thing! My parents are both into classic cars, and my four siblings have been the same since day dot too. My first car was an EK sedan that I bought when I was 16, and my older sister had an FB sedan — they were a pigeon pair. One of my younger sisters has an HT Premier, and the other one has an HZ Premier. My brother has owned some really neat cars over the years too — my favourite out of his rides was an HG station wagon with a 350 Chev. Dad still owns the HQ panel van he bought when he was 18. However, he chopped the roof off it to make it into a wellbody ute back in the 80s. He regrets doing that every day he looks at it. He has another HQ wellbody ute with a 308 which is gorgeous. When I was in high school, Mum used to drive a WB Statesman De Ville with a 308 as well, I think she’s still sad that it was sold,” said Kate. With her formative years being centred around car culture, it was inevitable that her passion would continue.

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With her teenage years filled with classic metal built at Fisherman’s Bend, she then went rogue and decided to change her tastes over to the Blue Oval. Thankfully none of the family disowned her:. “I sold the EK so that I could afford to buy a ZD Fairlane with a 302 in it that I had fallen in love with. I’ve had that car for about 12 years now, and it’s still my daily driver, I take it everywhere, and I still love driving it as much as the first day I got in it. For the past ten years or so, I have dreamed of owning an XB Falcon coupe. I think they have the most incredible curved shape and presence on the road and every variation of styling I’ve seen on those cars have looked good. I told myself it was just a matter of time before I got myself one. “

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It was back in early 2015 that the urge to add that other Ford to the stable was just too much, so Kate started scouring the usual places. Something was located in Perth, but it wasn’t that flash. That is when Kate stumbled across this coupe, and as luck would have it, the car was owned by another woman. “When I called up I was pleasantly surprised to hear a lady’s voice on the end. It turned out that she had owned the car for around 14 years. Sadly she was placed in a situation where she was forced to sell the car. She was happy that I was interested in the XB, so I arranged to fly over to Sydney with my parents to take a look,” says Kate.

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When the de Boer clan arrived, the car was just what Kate wanted: “It was actually a tough situation, we loved the car, but we could tell that she was very attached to it and it was going to be difficult for her to sell it. My mother even said: ‘We can leave if you don’t want to sell the car, no hard feelings, we can just go home.’ But she was happy to let it go to me; she could tell that I was in love with it and I would look after it for her.”

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The car is all that Kate had dreamed of – she did make a few little changes to the car though. “I went on the lookout for some other rims and came across an old-school classic – the 15-inch Cragars. I fitted them to slightly smaller tyres, 245s on the front and 275s on the rear. The other tyres were just way too big. My father and I argued about taking the lowering blocks out from the rear too. I wanted them in, and he said to take them out. I gave in, only to find he was right and it looked way better with its big coupe bum in the air. I also changed the exhaust system, it was just too quiet, and the V8 deserved to be heard,” laughed Kate.

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That V8 is a 351 Cleveland that runs AFD heads, a Crane Hydraulic cam and a Demon carby on an Edelbrock manifold. A C4 box sends the power back to a 9-inch rear end. The mocked-up GT looks the goods on the outside thanks to the Mauritius Blue paint scheme with silver accents. The interior is a mix of original and custom touches. There is a decent audio system in the car that takes up some space in the neat trunk area, but Kate still prefers to listen to the sounds of the Clevo.

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For Kate, it’s all about the driving experience and the XB is the perfect toy. “Having driven old rides all of my adult life; I have to say I love everything about older cars. They have history, and the stories that are attached to them invoke memories for people and take them back to another time. You can’t beat that sort of thing.  I meet new people every time I take one of my cars out on the road. Most conversations start at the traffic lights and have to be quick as I’m just far too keen to keep driving.”

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