very day of my working life I’ve walked into the same office in Malvern Road in Toorak,” Allan Moffat tells AMC from that very office. “Two mates found it for me back in 1964 when I brought my Lotus Cortina back from the USA to race in the Sandown 6-Hour [ ED: as outlined last edition].
“There was no way I was going to work in a backyard and there was nominal rent, next to nothing. The workshop at the back of the building only had a dirt floor at the time, but that was fine with me. The building was actually born in 1904 and I took it over in 1964.”
That’s right, Moffat’s been there 50 years and counting, with Malvern Road still the hub for the business of being Allan Moffat, racing great.
It’s from here that he’s plotted more campaigns than we can possibly explore in detail in these pages and prepared countless competition machines – not all of them Fords.
Last issue we asked Allan to talk about his key Blue Oval periods, from his time in the famed Trans-Am Series in North America to the subsequent and ultra-successful Coca-Cola Mustang era, four victories in the Bathurst classic in eight years, the 1000s that got away and his ANZ Sierras.
No magazine article – even a three-parter – can do justice to his incredible 50 years in racing and his incredibly diverse achievements. We are just scratching the surface. This edition Allan recalls just a selection of his many activities in racing beyond the Blue Oval. After all, Ford’s inand-out approach to motorsport was at odds with Moffat’s dedication to his chosen profession.
His ability to snare and keep sponsors – many of them from outside the automotive industry – ensured his team’s longevity. “Things really changed for me in late 1973 when, after winning the first Bathurst 1000 with the late, great Pete Geoghegan, Ford Motor Company pulled out of motor racing in Australia. Ford never paid me anything after that, but I was lucky to get Brut sponsorship and then I stayed alive from one sponsor to the next. I was fortunate to have some good friends, including the people at PanAm who had seats up at the front of the plane for me.
“Some great sponsors came, and some went, but I was lucky to have people at some great companies including Rothmans and the ANZ bank. We all worked together and that’s how it worked.
“We always worked on the preparation and fine-tuning once a car was properly prepared. That could make a car go from a VW to a Ferrari in a single lap.
“Whenever I got into those professional cars I knew the only thing stopping the cars from winning was me. I was lucky that I only had a couple of scrapes over the years and that one big Left: Allan Moffat created Aussie racing history when he won Lakeside 1982’s ATCC round, the first for a Japanese brand. Above: He was the inaugural Australian Sports Sedan Champion, in 1976. Below: Moffat won six Sandown classics in a 20-year period and two Australian Endurance Championships, 1982 and 1984. Below left: His many overseas forays included success in the inaugural WTCC. bingle at Bathurst in the Commodore.”
About his time in Commodores, Moffat explains how he came to co-drive with long-time rival Peter Brock in the mid 1980s, a partnership that ended with the Holden Dealer Team’s final ever win, the team’s second consecutive Wellington 500 triumph.
Over the coming pages, the Canadian-born but proud Aussie discusses his Australian championships in sportscars and sport sedans, along with his overseas forays.
First up, he takes us back to winning one of America’s blue ribbon events, the 12 Hours of Sebring, in 1975. He explains why his sensational debut with the factory BMW team – giving the Bavarian brand its first major outright success outside Europe – never led to further opportunities with the marque.