Open Day #2 with Allan Moffat

Date Posted:16 March 2010 

World Class collection, without doubt the finest in Australia - Allan Moffat, March 7th 2010.

Perhaps one of our most special open days we have ever held, having one of the superstars of Australian racing here certainly made this day quite memorable to all those fortunate enough to get an invitation to this big day.

Our preparation for the day begun weeks before, trying to get the best ever display of Moffat’s racing history organised for the event. We cleared out our top area of the shed and began putting together the unique display, giving a pretty good run off Moffat’s long and diverse racing career.

The day before we had a big show with Pacific Ford (read about it in here) again with Moffat, as well as the ex race GTHO Phase 1,2,3 and 4 all on show. The weather when bringing them back home was as bad as it gets, so our loyal team of guys all worked well into the night getting the cars looking presentable once more!

Come Sunday and we were ready, Moffat turned up early with FPV supremo  Rod Barrett and it was our chance to ask a lot of those questions about his cars we normally don’t get the chance to. He gave some great insights into his early days of racing in the USA and details of how it lead into him getting his immortal 69 Trans Am Mustang. 



Chris ran down to meet all the days’ attendees with Jamie in the Porsche Speedster, looking quite the couple especially for those who would have expecting some big muscle car thunder into the car park! Once everyone was back up on the property the day began, different o a lot of others we have run with Moffat only able to be here in the morning. As all those waited out the front of the shed, a rumble alerted them to the 1970 Bathurst winning Falcon on its way down, with the man who drove her to victory, Allan Moffat, once again behind the wheel. In the cars passenger seats were Rod Barrett and of course our patron David Bowden.  The Ho ran into the shed and was consumed by crowd of eager fans. Moffat came and began his talk on the day. I lead him through the cars one by one, jumping back and forth for over two hours as more and more stories came out.

 


Here is a quick run through the many highlights of  Moffat’s recollections of the cars in the display;

 

The 1964 Lotus Cortina, the real start of Moffat’s racing career. How he began by following Team Lotus with Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, all over the USA till they took him on as one of the team. We had the man who gave him that team lotus job, Ray Parsons, there for the day as well. Moffat brought the car to Australia, returning to race it another season before finally selling it and continuing to race in the USA.

1967 Shelby T/A Mustang; Moffat  raced for Bud Moore in the Ford Mercury Cougars team as opposition to Carroll Shelby’s Mustang team. This came after his privateer Cortina and Mustang drives till finally in 1968 he drove for Carroll Shelby in the new 68 trans Am cars and from there Kar Kraft took him as the development driver of the new 1969 cars.

 


The Moffstang, 1969 Trans Am Mustang; Perhaps the single most significant car in Australian motor racing history and without doubt one of the best looking. The emotion as Moffat talks about getting the car from Bud Moores race shop, flying out with it on Qantas, his first race in May ’69 and the reaction of Beechey, Geoghegan and Jane seeing it was priceless. His recount of the great Bathurst duel against Pete Geoghegan’s Super Falcon in Easter 1972 was another one of those moments, as he told of us his mistake to hit the wipers, to remove the substance on the windscreen that had been  blowing out of the Super Flacon (it was oil), then the sheer shock of racing without being able to see anything due to the smearing on his windscreen. Realising that the only way he could keep racing was to unclip his seat belt so he could get his head out the window and continue that great race with his feet barely touching the pedals is awe inspiring. He put it well when he said “No one came second that day”. The fact he set a new lap record while the head was out the window shows just how hard he had to drive that great day.

GTHO Phase 1,2,3 and the 4.
His long association with the Ford Falcon began in 1969 with a Sandown win in our GTHO Phase 1 and led into his Bathurst victory in 1970 with the Phase 2. The Phase 3 was another great car for Moffat and although we do not own the 1971 Bathurst winner, we have the next best thing with John French’s sister car here for Moffat to talk about. The Phase 4 Moffat he never got to drive, thanks to the super car scare which he thanks the Holden management for.. As they did not want the V8 Torana’s come up against the new Phase 4.. So some corporate sabotage was undertaken… I am not sure about the inner dealings of Holden, but it was a Holden press writer who put the article forward back then… From that story it was into 1973 and the GTHO Phase 3’s time to shine again. The first year of big battles against Holden’s golden boy, Peter Brock.  The deciding Wanaroo round where he went with Brock through the dirt on the final corner then drag raced Brock to the finish line, beating his Torana to win the first of 4 Touring Car Championships. 

 


The Super Falcons was more dealt with by his respect for Pete Geoghegan and how hard he was to beat in any car her drove.  He also touched on why he did not race his super falcon, just not as good as his fully sorted Mustang, also some words from main sponsor Coca Cola, who  applied pressure for him to continue racing the Mustang, as it fitted their image a lot better than a Ford Falcon. It was also David's chance to thank Allan for holding so many of the special parts for the Super Falcon when he was restoring it. We had gone bankrupt and could not afford to buy them in the late eighties, so if Allan had ever sold them , the car would not be as complete as it is now. Allan said he would keep them for David and three years later, when things were good again, we bought those special parts to complete the Super Falcon.   

The hardtop Falcons was an interesting story, with racing the same car with many new paint schemes from 1976 till 1979. The 1977 story was a ripper, getting Colin Bond to leave Holden and drive for his new Ford team, which had massive success winning the 1977 championship and the famous one- two at Bathurst that year. Moffat said it was his fondest race victory. Having the Bond car there certainly helped stir more from him than normal.
 This lead to the XD falcon, where the dry sump system failed, giving him just two laps around Bathurst  and his departure from racing the Ford product for a few years.


 

Also in the display we had the 700 HP 934 Porsche that importer Alan Hamilton had him drive and win the 1981 Sports Car Championship in. It recently bought by a good friend of ours and returned to his stunning Federation livery.  We then had him talk about the return to Ford racing the RS 500 Sierra’s and his final last race win, and retirement at Mt Fuji in Japan.  By the end of this  two hours had passed and Moffat had a quick departure back to the airport for his flight home to a surely sunnier Melbourne.

 

 

It was a truly amazing to hear Moffat talk about the things that so close to his heart. The tears were evident in his eyes when talking about the start of his racing in the Cortina.  Racing his beloved 69 Mustang, his great opponents Peter Brock and Pete Geoghegan and finally that last race in Mt Fuji, where finally he put away his helmet with no media releases or fanfare.

 

"World class collection, without doubt the finest in Australia".  Thank you Allan. 


After Moffat left we continued with the starry eyed crew for the rest of the tour. A few hours later, it was back to the top shed level and time to bring a few of the resting beasts to life. Brocks’s A9X was first up, then Moffat GTHO Phase 3 giving a totally different sound to the raspy small block GT40. Last car for the day was Moffat’s mighty Mustang, it shook the Sunday afternoon tranquillity that usually is a part of quiet little Buderim.

 


This was a big one, but we are looking forward to the next Open Day, with another Aussie racing legend coming along to share with the lucky attendee’s his life in those great racing days.  If you want to come along, you can find out how to get yourself on the invitation list for our next Open Day by clicking here.

Love your car,
Dan Bowden

PS. More shots from the day hidden down below, in the empty looking rectangular boxes, just click any of them for the images to magically appear.

Images are from  Troy King & Sean Craig; Seans cool website is here

 

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