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Hardie-Ferodo 1000 - Mount Panorama, Bathurst - 6th October, 1974

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Falcon XC Cobra
Bathurst 1974
Torana L34

Number of Laps: 163


Total Race Time: 7:50:99.1
Fastest lap: Peter Brock, 2:29.8 (148.33 km/h)
Classes: Class A - Up to 1300cc; Class B - 1301 to 2000cc; Class C - 2001 to 3000cc; Class D - 3001 to 6000cc

The L34 Torana’s would make their debut in the first round of the Manufacturers Championship in Adelaide and celebrated with a victory by Colin Bond. However, they were not without their problems, as Bond finished with gearbox troubles and Peter Brock's car blew up. The only Falcon in the race was that of Murray Carter, who finished second after leading the race but suffering a blown differential seal which cost him a win.

Allan Moffat returned to racing in the next round at Sandown, in a new car, but not the one which had been getting all the publicity - that was being kept for Bathurst. Anyway, he won, and Murray Carter, as reliable as ever, came in third. Significantly, both the Dealer Team Torana’s had big problems.

Only three Falcon's entered for the 1974 Bathurst classic, again part of the manufacturers championship: Allan Moffat in the new Brut 33 Falcon with German ace Dieter Glemser, Murray Carter and Mike Stillwell in the Shell car; and John Goss and Kevin Bartlett in the McLeod Ford car. Moffat's car was painted in an eye-catching overall dark blue with "Moffat Ford Dealers" - an Australian flag and Brut 33 in huge letters on the side. It attracted an enormous amount of publicity and was apparently the car to beat.

However, nothing went right for Moffat this time. In practice he had only completed a few laps when oil pressure problems set in, causing him to miss almost all of the remaining practice time. He qualified a lowly 15th on the starting grid. To add to Moffat's problems, Harry Firth, managing the Holden Dealer Team, submitted a 15-point protest against the car. It was found to be completely legal, but this little bit of gamesmanship on Firth's part certainly didn't improve Moffat's already marked psychological disadvantage.

Of the other Falcon’s, Goss and Bartlett saved some face by qualifying third fastest, but Torana’s were well entrenched on the front row, both the Dealer Team cars being there. On race day, things didn't seem to be much better, with Murray Carter being late in arriving at the circuit due to traffic problems. When the race started, things looked better for Moffat almost immediately. Even though the two Torana’s were clearly ahead, by the end of the first lap, he had stormed through the field to pick up 10 places to be in fifth place. Unfortunately Goss had a bad start and was back to sixth.

As the race settled down, the Moffat Falcon looked to be a chance after all and seemed to be going well. Murray Carter had problems almost immediately and was regularly in and out of the pits in the early stages with tyre problems. He ultimately retired with brake and clutch problems and was never a threat. On lap 12, the Moffat/Glemser challenge effectively ended when the car had to pit with ignition troubles. Eventually just about everything that could go wrong to a Falcon did, and Moffat retired after slightly more than half distance after suffering from distributor, bearing, clutch, gearbox and brake problem. It was a sad end to the most expensive and glamorous assault on Bathurst seen so far. Meanwhile, the Bond/Skelton and Brock/Sampson Torana’s were doing it easily with the Goss/Bartlett Falcon in third place, some three laps behind. Then a series of events occurred which completely changed the race.

First, Goss punctured a tyre on the mountain, and pitted after a dramatic drive down Conrod Straight with two wheels on the grass to prevent the wheel from disintegrating. In the pits, Allan Moffat advised him to put on wet weather tyres. He did - and almost immediately it began pelting with rain on top of the mountain. For a few minutes the spectators witnessed the sight of rain at one end of the circuit and sunshine at the other. The pits were suddenly full of cars, as the rain then drenched the whole circuit.

The second thing to happen was that Colin Bond was black-flagged for dropping oil from his very smoky Torana He later restarted but was no longer a threat. Then Peter Brock, who was miles ahead, blew his motor and was out. Fourth placed Bob Forbes suddenly found himself in the lead, but he still had to make a pit stop. Twenty laps from the end, John Goss, who had run out of driving time, handed the car over to Kevin Bartlett to finish the race. Twelve laps later the Forbes Torana made its pit stop and Bartlett took the lead, which he kept. He drove masterfully in the diabolical conditions, keeping Forbes well at bay.

It was a red-letter day for the Ford people, particularly after the uncertainty faced by them at the beginning of the year. It also proved that a private entry could win at Bathurst, and for Goss personally, it corrected the injustice done to him in the 1973 race. The remaining two races of the manufacturers championship were won by Colin Bond, thus giving the title to Holden.

Goss's was the only Falcon entered at Surfer's Paradise and he came fourth after an unnecessarily slow pit stop cost him two placed, while at Phillip Island Murray Carter came in a steady second, Allan Moffat losing his lead when the motor in his Falcon blew. Thanks to Gossy and KB it wasn't such a bad year for Falcons after all.
Please Note: You can sort this listing by simply clicking on the column heading
DRIVER / CO DRIVER(S)
1

John Goss / Kevin Bartlett

Falcon XA GT
D
163
0:2:35.9
2

Bob Forbes / Wayne Negus

Torana L34
D
163
0:2:42.6
3

Jim Richards / Rod Coppins

Torana L34
D
158
0:2:41.5
4

Colin Bond / Bob Skelton

Torana L34
D
156
0:2:31.6
5

Graeme Adams / Bob Stevens

Torana LJ XU1
D
155
0:2:45.4
6

Tony Farrell / Brian Reed

Mazda RX3
C
152
0:2:51.9
7

Stewart McLeod / Doug Whiteford

Datsun 240K
C
152
0:2:55.7
8

Bernie Haehnle / Geoff Brabham

Mazda RX3
C
151
0:2:51.7
9

Ray Gulson / David Crowther

Alfa 2000 GTV
B
151
0:2:53.8
10

Mel Mollison / Bruce Hindhaugh

Mazda RX3
B
150
0:2:58.7
11

John Stoopman / Dennis Martin

Torana LJ XU1
D
150
0:2:48.8
12

Brian Foley / Peter Wherrett

Alfetta 1.8
B
150
0:3:00.8
13

Ted Brewster / Nick Louis

Mazda RX3
C
149
0:2:56.8
14

Geoff Leeds / Peter Finlay

Escort TC
B
147
0:3:00.6
15

Roger Bonhomme / Bob Watson

Torana LC GTR
C
146
0:2:57.0
16

Jim Sullivan / Ian White

Escort TC
B
143
0:3:06.4
17

Gary Leggatt / Peter Lander

Mini Cooper S
A
142
0:3:00.0
18

Ken Brian / Noel Riley

Honda Civic
A
142
0:3:12.8
19

Ron Gillard / Gordon Rich

Alfa Junior
A
140
0:3:10.9
20

David Clement / Neil Mason

Mini Cooper S
A
140
0:3:06.4
21

Neil West / Peter Harding

Torana LJ XU1
D
138
0:2:50.3
22

Max McGinley / Ray Harrison

Honda Civic
A
135
0:3:17.3
23

Ron Dickson / Pat Crea

Monaro HQ GTS
D
130
0:2:48.3
24

Chick Audsley / Bob Williamson

Mini Cooper S
A
128
0:3:10.2
25

Peter Molesworth / Neil Byers

Morris Marina
B
125
0:3:29.2
26

Ian Cook / Paul Gulson

Alfa Junior
A
121
0:3:23.4
DNF

Rod McRae / Russ McRae

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Bruce Stewart / George Garth

Datsun 180B
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Alan Cant / George Morrell

Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Don Holland / Max Stewart

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Lynn Brown / Paul Hamilton

Mazda 1300
A
DNF
not available
DNF

Peter Brock / Brian Sampson

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Gary Cooke / Bob Beasley

Mazda RX3
C
DNF
not available
DNF

Robin Dudfield / Gary Keen

Alfa Junior
A
DNF
not available
DNF

John Lord / Ray Molloy

Mini Cooper S
A
DNF
not available
DNF

David Seldon / Peter Webster

VW Passat
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Jim Stewart / John Byers

Mini Cooper S
A
DNF
not available
DNF

Allan Moffat / Dieter Glemser

Falcon XB GT
D
DNF
not available
DNF

John Dellaca / Terry Wade

Mini Cooper S
A
DNF
not available
DNF

Murray Carter / Mike Stillwell

Falcon XB GT
D
DNF
not available
DNF

John Pollard / Dennis Gallagher

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Graeme Blanchard / Ken Hastings

Torana LJ XU1
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Bill Nitschke / John Lewis

Torana LJ XU1
D
DNF
not available
DNF

John French / Dick Johnson

Alfa 2000 GTV
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Barry Nixon-Smith / Denis Geary

Torana LJ XU1
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Bob Holden / Lyndon Arnel

Escort GT1300
A
DNF
not available
DNF

Bob Morris / John Leffler

Torana LJ XU1
D
DNF
not available
DNF

James Laing-Peach / Bill Evans

Datsun 1200
A
DNF
not available
DNF

Barry Seton / Don Smith

Torana LC GTR
C
DNF
not available
DNF

Peter Brown / Graham Ritter

Alfa 2000 GTV
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Tony Allen / Lakis Manticas

Alfetta 1.8
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Geoff Perry / Fred Sutherland

BMW 3.0S
C
DNF
not available
DNF

Geoff Newton / Gil Davis

Capri V6
C
DNF
not available
DNF

Allan Grice / Graham Moore

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Bruce McPhee / Les Grose

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Kevin Kennedy / Steve Land

Torana LJ XU1
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Bob Jane / Frank Gardner

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Jim Hunter / John Harvey

Torana L34
D
DNF
not available
DNF

Geoff Wade / Roger Mahoney

Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF

Jim Murcott / Mal Robertson

Alfa 2000 GTV
B
DNF
not available
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