What it takes to be number one.
What is your drive in life?
What is the thing that makes you wake up every day, drag yourself out of that comfortable, warm bed and drag yourself to work in order to make money?
For some, they spend their money on experiences. Travelling, holidays, experiencing new cultures and food, that is all part of the experience they want to have lived.
For Chris, that drive is cars (Pun intended). As most car enthusiasts will be able to tell you, cars are an experience on their own. Every step of a build starting with the purchase of a car, the drive, the reactions you get and the awards you win with your car. Every single thing brings up emotions and brings a whole different experience. If you’ve driven your car and gotten thumbs ups from random strangers, or even simple words of praise from strangers as you park your car and walk away. A simple “nice car” is an experience on its own.
The loving father of two has spent much of his time amassing his dream garage, with the support of his loving partner and two kids. He could have retired, sat on a beach all day sipping on cocktails but his passion kept him working, building his dream cars bit by bit and that is what I’d say is a pretty successful life.
Every car is built on experience, experience with previous parts or builds that you know to avoid, the experience of others who have spent years honing their crafts in order to work on the car you love. The entire build itself is an experience in its own, the ups and downs and problems you may face during a build. These are the things you don’t get to see on social media. You get to drool at cars every day on Facebook and Instagram, but sometimes it’s not just about the cars. Its the people behind these cars who are driven, who work hard in order to make their dreams come true. At Fitted Festival, it’s not just about the cars. It’s about the people who build them and all the experiences that go with them, and this is Chris’s story.
Chris’s first experience with a Hotrod came when he was 10 when a guy around the corner used to pull up in a black Hotrod with the nastiest lumpy idle as you’d expect from cammed NA Muscle cars. That left an every lasting impression, and he knew that’s what he wanted in his life when he grew up.
With two different cars having won Fitted Festival two years in a row, I’d say he achieved his goals. Chris was also heavily influenced by a friend and inspiration named Mario Colalillo. A man who has travelled the world and built many of Australia’s wildest cars including WILDCAD and KINGCAD.
Apart from winning awards at SEMA, he was one of the greatest influences in Chris’s life, giving him a lifelong obsession with cars and the lifestyle he loves.
At first glance at Chris’s garage, it’s easy to assume he’s just some guy who got lucky in his career and could afford to buy his dream garage. Maybe you’d believe he came from a family that left him a considerable trust fund, but that’s most definitely not the case. Chris is a regular car guy just like you and I that started from very modest beginnings. His first car was a Ford Territory that he bought from his parents.
His passion for cars drove him further than most. All the nice cars he owns does not come without a sacrifice as most car guys would understand. Some people are willing to compromise on budget, maybe at times relationships get in the way, and the build takes a back seat in life. Chris actually works 3 different jobs to afford what he dreams of. His drive for waking up and throwing himself into the daily grind is to achieve his visions and goals, sacrificing free time to stay in his garage with an extremely hands-on approach. He does the fabrication work for many of the cars himself in order to reduce overall cost.
This particular Ford Falcon XC, however, was built by famed Australian car designer Adam Lebrese. As with any fully custom build, the car had issues that saw two of its previous owners give up on the car. Chris decided he wanted to prove that the car was an unpolished diamond and decided to take matters into his own hands by purchasing it. He then set about fixing every single issue the car had, transforming it into the award-winning car you see today.
It’s always a difficult decision when you have to choose between two things you love, but having a clear vision of knowing what he wants in his life has set him apart from most. Pictures of his garage are most definitely Instagram worthy. Something most car guys would be proud to show off on social media. What you don’t see is the story behind the pictures, the hard work and sacrifice that was required to make this dream a reality.
If you’ve noticed, we haven’t mentioned a single word about what parts are used in Chris’s Ford Falcon XC in the entire article. That is because we genuinely believe car builds are more about the people, their journey and the passion they have for cars. If you do want to know what’s been done to the car, refer to the specifications list below.
For Chris, his drive has most definitely been his love and passion for building custom cars. It’s funny how one little encounter at the age of 10 could change the direction of a person’s life forever, it has influenced the friends he has and his journey of life but it’s that sort of passion that we truly love here at Fitted Festival “Passion Never Fades”.
- Handmade tube chassis
- Canter levered F1 inspired, aero tube suspension
- Canter levered four-link rear end
- Custom 9-inch diff housing with aero tube bracing
- Handmade bonnet & boot hinges
- Suicide doors, handmade suicide door hinges
- Handmade sheet metal inner guards and radiator panel
- Handmade firewall
- Sheet metal floor into diffuser at the rear
- Sheet metal dash
- Sheet metal back seat
- Handmade roll cage
- Custom alloy interior panels
- Sheet metal parcel shelf
- Hand fabricated exhaust system
- Sheet metal skills
- Extensive body modifications
- Steel Billet logos welded into the car
- Flared front fenders
- Custom bumper bars
- Custom door handles incorporated into cowl in front of windscreen operating off bell cranks under the dash
- Handmade billet column and custom cast steering wheel
- Airbags in front, air cans in the rear
- 351 Cleveland stroked to a 393
- Quad 48 IDA webbers
- Alloy heads
- Remote billet water pump
- Six speed Tremec gearbox
- Alloy fuel cell for fuel system
- Intro billet wheels 20” and 22”
- Alcon monster brakes
- MSD ignition system
- House of Kolor paint