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Haltech Heroes: Ian Porter’s Barra-powered Brute

When Ian Porter wanted to try his hand at Time Attack and circuit racing he could have picked from any number of different vehicles.


What he chose however, is definitely a display of “out of the box” thinking.


Ian picked up his BF Ford Falcon ute from a mate. It’d been sitting around after taking a hit in the rear, but the damage wasn’t a concern for Ian. He had different plans for the car.


We all know that you need more than a big wing to make a time attack car handle, but being designed for hauling heavy hay bales and tools, the Falcon ute came standard with a leaf sprung solid axle in the rear. Hardly the choice of preference for aspiring time attack monsters. 


With some help from Daniel at Impossible Fabrications, the whole back half of the iconic Aussie ute was cut off. What came next is an inspiring effort in “backyard engineering”. A full rear subframe from a Nissan 300ZX was sourced and grafted behind the cab using some of the most impressive bar work we’ve seen in a while.


Ian runs his own steering and suspension business, Porter Performance, so setting up the ute to handle was of utmost concern to him.


The rear end of a Nissan R33 GTR was measured up, and all suspension angles were transposed over to the ute. Custom built BC coil-overs tie the whole thing together.


Moving from the rear to the pointy end of the ute, motivation comes from one of Ford Australia’s venerable Barra engines.


The twin-cam, straight six Barra engine was found in every model Falcon in Australia from 2002 onwards. Used in rentals, taxis and police cars it is a great choice for anyone wanting to make power on a budget.


Ian’s example is running stock internals, with only a set of valve springs to help it cope with the 22psi of boost the bigger turbo is supplying.


With the Elite 2500 in control, the combo is good for about 500Kw (or 670hp) at the rear wheels, which provides plenty of excitement when Ian gets behind the wheel!


The cabin is simple and purposeful with a serious rollcage offering maximum protection to both the driver and the passenger.


Haltech IQ3 logger dash replaces the factory instrument cluster.


G4 Racing eight piston brakes slow the beast down.


The front aero package by JSAI is complimented by a massive V3 rear wing by TopStage.


Ian is not afraid to throw the ute around having competed in numerous track events including an impressive performance at the Bathurst Hillclimb Nulon Nationals.

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