Allan Moffat’s and the GT Falcon, the two
names are virtually synonymous. Together, man and
machine would rise to prominence in the late 1960s
and swiftly became a near invincible team on Australian
motor racing tracks.
Moffat won at Mount Panorama – the pinnacle
of the Australian racing scene - four times, and
always in a Ford. Since 1969 he was considered one
of the most consistent drivers, particularly from
the Ford camp, and he remained a top-earner in Australian
But his seeming string of luck
was no accident, the steely-eyed Canadian-Australian
was always a total professional who approached his
sport with a dedication that had never been seen
before in Australia. Racing was his business in every
sense of the word, and every race he entered he was
determined to win.
During the mid 1970’s Moffat’s race team
employed a full-time staff of seven to prepare and
operate his cars, and in 1976 he obtained the services
of US specialist Carrol Smith, a racing specialist
without peer. The subsequent 1977 Bathurst win would
prove Moffat’s faith in Smith to be well founded.
annual bill for the operation - full-time salaries,
car building costs, tyres, moving costs, hotel bills
and fares - was reported at the time to be something
like $250,000 – a figure that may not sound
like too much by today’s standards, but back
then it was huge.
Moffat, a shrewd businessman, raised
this enormous amount of money by obtaining sponsors
with Ford, obviously the main contributors. Others
included Faberge, the Brut 33 cosmetics people, to
Camel cigarettes. But the pressure was always on,
Moffat knew that to keep the sponsorship, he had
to keep winning.
Prize money helped, so Bathurst, with
its $25,000 for first place, by far the largest purse
on offer on Australian circuits, was always the magnet.
In a good year it was possible, provided you were
consistent and, in that meant winning, it was possible
to pick up around $50,000 in prize money. A sizeable
chunk of what Moffat needed to run his operation,
but well short of the running costs.
Moffat came to Australia at 20, and began racing a
TR3 at 22, with little success. He returned to Canada
in 1963 and sold pots and pans to earn a living while
he worked unpaid as a mechanic with Team Lotus. At
the end of five month's he was able to buy one of the
team's unwanted Lotus Cortina’s
for $4500 - borrowed from his father - and shipped
it to Australia. He raced it all over the country,
gaining experience wherever he could, then returned
to the US where his new expertise gained him a driver's
seat in a Ford works team.
In 1969 he returned to Australia
- where he always reckoned the touring car racing is
the best in the world - and set about building the
best team of cars and men the local circuits had seen.
The rise of the Falcon GT ensured that the machinery
was there - but it took the sheer determination and
slogging hard work, over many thousands of hours patiently
building and rebuilding, to achieve the results that
look so simple when read in lists of race data as
published on the Unique Cars and Parts web site,