Million dollar Group C auction at Lloyds

By: James Robinson, Unique Cars magazine

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Four icons of Australian Group C racing go for massive bucks

Last weekend’s Lloyds special Group C auction at Craig Harris’s garage in Queensland proved to be an absolute corker, with some truly epic prices being reached for the storied race cars.

1977 Ford XC Falcon Hardtop Coup

Chief among the Group C legends was the famed Bryan Byrt liveried 1977 Ford XC Falcon Hardtop Coupe originally owned by Jim Richards and campaigned by John French and Warwick Brown at Mt Panorama in 1978. The ‘Reverse Cobra’ car sold for a scarcely believable $430,000 after a very healthy amount of back-and-forth between the auctioneer and the bidders.

1978 Ford XC Falcon Hardtop Coup

Following closely behind the ’77 XC Hardtop Coupe was a ’78 Ford Falcon XC Hardtop Coupe from the Group C era of racing. This one was believed to be a Ford factory lightweight shell and the third Moffat team car. It was driven by Bill O’Brien and Ray Winter at Bathurst in 1979 and wore the original and very striking bright orange ‘Everlast’ livery. It was bid on several dozen times before the gavel eventually struck down with a whopping price tag of $400,000.

1980 Ford Falcon XD

Next was the 1980 Ford Falcon XD race car that was driven by Bill O’Brien and Bob Morris in the endurance racers of 1980 at Sandown and Bathurst. The Falcon was campaigned by O’Brien until the end of Group C in 1984, with some middling results and some minor points won in its life time. There was a huge amount of interest in this vehicle and, in the end, sold for $205,000.

1982 Ford Falcon XD

Last of the Group C era race cars was the 1982 Ford Falcon XE. This truly remarkable car, which was put into storage immediately after Bathurst in 1984, still had its original paintwork and livery, stone chips and all, from the iconic endurance race. John Moore raced the Falcon from 1982 through till the end of Group C in 1984. It sold, after a rather intense bidding battle, for a whopping $190,000.

Other notable cars that were sold at the auction included a 1973 Ford XA GT RPO83, which commanded a very healthy $131,500 winning bid, an excellent looking Ford Torino Talladega Fastback which sold for $77,000 and a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback that was modified to look like the fabled ‘Eleanor’ Mustang from the film ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’.   The Mustang sold for $101,000. 

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