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THE STORY OF THE MOFFAT CENOVIS FALCON

THE STORY OF THE MOFFAT CENOVIS FALCON

Published 16 October 2017

A special excerpt from 'The Falcon Files' focusing on a memorable car that marked the full stop on Allan Moffat’s Bathurst career …

STORY: AARON NOONAN
IMAGES: AN1 IMAGES ARCHIVE (DIRK KLYNSMITH PHOTOGRAPHY)

ALLAN Moffat remains a great of Australian motorsport with four wins in the country’s famous race at Bathurst.

All of his wins - in 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1977 - came driving V8-powered Falcons and so it was an excited bunch of Ford fans in 1993 that welcomed Moffat’s team back to running a V8 Falcon at Mount Panorama.

It’s this special Cenovis Falcon that is featured in our new publication ‘The Falcon Files along with over 150 other Falcon V8 Supercars - make sure you grab a copy here to read the full 240 page publication!

Featuring distinctive black and fluro yellow colours with backing from Cenovis Vitamins, the new car made its race debut in the 1993 Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst in the hands of Andrew Miedecke and Charlie O’Brien.

Most notable however was the car’s carburettor-fed V8 engine, supplied by US performance giants Holman and Moody in place of the regular fuel injection systems run by all other teams.

The car retired early in ‘93 with gearbox problems after running as high as 14th but bounced back in 1994 (now running with fuel-injected power) to record a strong eighth position finish, again driven by Miedecke alongside Brit Jeff Allam.

Terminal electrical problems sidelined the car after just 16 laps of the ’95 race (Miedecke/Mark Noske driving) but Klaus Niedzwiedz and Ken Douglas sent it out in style in the 1996 race by finishing 10th overall.

The duo started 25th on the grid but the German was brilliant in the wet at the start, slicing his way around the circuit and lifting the Moffat car to fourth in the running order by lap 50, up against the likes of the big budget full-time teams.

Douglas was able to escape a spin at the exit of the Dipper later on, flick spinning the Falcon in front of the oncoming traffic to continue in the race and ultimately finish in the top 10.

In doing so it also closed the curtain on Allan Moffat’s direct connection to the Bathurst endurance race as either driver or team owner, one that stretched right back to his debut in 1969 in the factory Ford squad.

Without a racing budget the car sat idle before being sold on to Alan Heath in 1998. Heath updated the car to EL specifications and ran at Bathurst that year with Douglas as co-driver but the car was involved in a massive multi-car accident when the South Australian car owner was tagged into the wall approaching Forrest’s Elbow.

The damaged car was sent to MTA Group Training in South Australia where the students rebuilt the car for Ross Halliday to use in the inaugural 2000 Konica V8 Lites Series – now known as the Dunlop Super2 Series.

Halliday later put the car back to its original Cenovis livery and EB Falcon specification. Sadly he had a briefcase stolen in the years that followed that contained the car’s all-important CAMS logbook. If anyone out there has it or knows where it is, feel free to contact the V8 Sleuth!

This interesting piece of Bathurst and Ford history was later sold to passionate Perth-based collector Andy Brown, who retains the Moffat Ford among a growing collection of former V8 Supercar Commodores and Falcons.

“I saw it advertised for sale in Australian Muscle Car magazine and thought that’s gotta be a better investment than a painting!” he says.

“The car looks great and it’s got that Moffat name attached to it. Not many of his cars come up for sale so I grabbed this one.”

For a period of nearly three decades Allan Moffat made the annual Bathurst race his life mission.

His long list of race cars included some of the most iconic machines in Aussie motorsport history, but the Cenovis Falcon - as the last Moffat team Falcon to ever tackle ‘The Great Race’ - still holds a special place in the hearts of fans across the country.

It may have only raced four times in four years in his team’s hands, all of them at Bathurst and never by Moffat himself, but this EB Falcon is a very cool piece of Falcon racing history.

 

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