Allan Moffat Trans-Am Mustang review

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Moffat's Trans-Am Mustang wows the Ford Faithful at last month's Phillip Island Classic Historics

 

Moffat Trans-Am Mustang

"He's a hero!" So said former Bathurst winner Fred Gibson after several laps driving Allan Moffat's famous Coke Trans-Am Mustang at the recent Phillip Island Classic Historics.

"Unbelievable mechanical grip, but a cramped driving position and very heavy steering. I now understand why Allan looked so rooted at the end of a race!"

Gibson’s comments were interesting given that the Coca-Cola sponsored Trans-Am Mustang was absolutely stateof- the-art when Moffat debuted it in Australia in 1969. Imagine what its rivals, like Norm Beechey’s home-grown GTS 350 Monaro and Bob Jane’s Camaro must have been like!

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Developed at a reported cost of $US 7 million, the Boss Mustang was one of just seven created by Ford’s elite Kar Kraft racing division in the US and was one of the three initially delivered to Bud Moore Engineering.

Allan Moffat, then a highly rated test driver for Goodyear, snapped it up and, with substantial Coca-Cola sponsorship, not only trumped his Australian rivals with it but also became the country’s first full-time professional Touring Car driver when he landed it.

Although Moffat never won a Touring Car title with it, he took an incredible 101 victories in the 151 races he contested, engaging a legion of diehard fans in the process.

The Trans-Am never raced at Phillip Island and last appeared there in a demonstration in 1999 when driven by David Bowden, who added it to his Bowden’s Own collection of significant Australian Touring Cars 20 years ago.

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Its most recent circuit appearance before this year’s Classic was at the Australian Grand Prix two years ago, but on that occasion is was an ‘extra’, rather than the star of the show.

According to Chris Bowden, the Mustang is in exactly the same spec as when Moffat last raced it, complete with its 480hp Boss 302 V8 engine and "200kg lighter than it really should have been" hand-built lightweight body.

"It’s one of our favourites in the collection," he said, "and it’s still very dear to Allan’s heart. He tears up whenever he sees it and the offer is always open for him to drive it whenever he wishes."

What’s it worth? Well, in the US, where Trans-Am Mustangs are thicker on the ground, US$1 million plus, but in Australia, the Coke car with its history and impeccable provenance would bring closer to AUD$2 million, Bowden says.

 

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