GROUP C FALCONS HIT THE MARKET
Published 11 March 2016
A UNIQUE trio of Ford Falcon race cars from the glory Group C era of Australian touring car racing are going on the market looking for new homes – and they would all make for fabulous additions to the Heritage Touring Cars field.
Queensland racing identity John Harris has decided to place the ex-Bob Morris Breville Falcon XD, King George Tavern XE and the Bill O’Brien Everlast Falcon XC on the market.
All three cars are eligible for Historic touring car competition and come with all-important CAMS Certificates of Description.
“We’re simply not using them and I am busy doing other racing now,” John’s son Craig told V8 Sleuth this week.
“It’s an opportunity to move the cars on to new custodians and see them either back on the track where they belong or in other people’s collections.”
The first car – the Everlast XC – was one of three lightweight bodies built for Allan Moffat Racing, though it eventually ended up in the Canberra privateer’s hands.
“Lloyd Bax, who has passed away since, found it and exclusively drove that car for me,” John Harris recalled in a 2013 issue of Australian Muscle Car Magazine.
“He was a mechanic and knew how to set that car up and won a lot of Historic races in it at a range of tracks.
“Bill had kept the car the whole time and just left it in his shed. He went to an XD Falcon, and I ended up buying that car off him too. They were offered to me, so I bought them.”
The XD was the Channel 7/Breville car at Bathurst in 1980 when Bob Morris teamed with O’Brien after his deal with Allan Grice and Craven Mild finished earlier that season.
The car also featured in some Bathurst history that year of its own, becoming the first to be involved in a cross-entering driver swap.
Allan Moffat’s yellow Federation Falcon blew up within a handful of laps of the start, though later in the day he stepped into the Morris/O’Brien car to make the race’s first three-driver combination.
The #7 Falcon retired with engine dramas after completing 88 laps.
The Falcon competed in another four Bathurst 1000s through to the end of Group C in the blue colours of Everlast, retiring with engine dramas in 1981 and 1984 with Gary Cooke as co-driver and finishing 20th and 19th in 1982 and 1983 respectively with Brian Sampson as co-steerer.
The third car – the King George Tavern XE Falcon – is unrestored and sits as it finished its last race at Bathurst in 1984, stone chips and all.
It was the car built to replace the XD involved in the massive crash at McPhillamy Park that stopped the 1981 race from which pilot Christine Gibson was lucky to emerge.
Engine dramas sidelined the XE from the 1982 and 1983 Bathurst races with Graham Moore as co-driver, while Joe Moore and Bob Muir were sidelined with gearbox problems in 1984.
The Harris’ secured it in 1999 after it spent time on display at the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama since its racing life had finished.
Interested parties can contact Craig Harris on 0418 880 777.
Images courtesy Mark Walker and AN1 Images archive - visit their website here.