The Falcon XE Version 2011. Image: JORDAN LEIST.
RYAN HUMFREY bought his Falcon XE in 1999 as a 17-year-old for 100 bucks from a local who had been using it as a dog kennel. Seriously!
“As for what she looked like when I picked her up,” he recalled. “Covered in leaves, the interior destroyed, very average doors jammed open and dog hair, and the mess two large dogs leave behind. It looked like something from a Third World movie set. The smell was horrendous.”
It was, after all, similar to his parents’ car – the Ford in which he learned to drive and drove his passion for motorsport. And the body of the XE, he said, was ”spot-on” so, with no idea of the drive train condition, he and older brother Daran excitedly towed it back home.
Eighteen years later, that virtual wreck is still around and has been transformed into a successful racing car, including three consecutive Western Australian Sports Cars and Sports Sedan Association championships.
Within a week the Falcon XE had a new interior – courtesy of the wreckers. Done and dusted. And after a quick service she ran like a dream.
Look out new found freedom, as it was perfect timing for Ryan to get his driver’s Licence.
He and Daran set about building his first engine – the mighty 250 cross-flow named SIXPOT. It took an arduous nine months to construct. It got one of the first heads Kostecki’s did with their then state-of-the art CNC porting machine. It made the cover of Perth Street Car and was his daily drive to Thornlie TAFE during his plant mechanic apprenticeship.
These days the 35-year-old, born and bred in Walliston, works at Redpath Mining as a mechanical engineer.
The good old days. Image: ELLOISE HUMFREY.
“Back then I started having fun down the Drags, winning a first-place trophy in 2007 and progressing to the burnout scene with the Wally Boys Racing winning crew,” Ryan recalled. “Back then the prize was a shared six-pack for the team – far from the $10 grand currently on offer!”
After a few years of fun on the skid pad, now good friend Bill Clazie invited him to skid up at Collie, while he and his WBR mates were doing laps around the track. And that got him thinking.
“Kostera’s gave me some old Hoosier tyres and I went out and joined the Collie Motorsport Group for laps at their next event,” he said. “Once I got the taste it very quickly took over.
“The first laps I did around Barbagallo Raceway were in the first Power Cruise of 2010 – turns out I was the first person kicked out, apparently for going too fast through the bends, on a race track?”