Australian Muscle Car - - Dealer Delivered Muscle -

The resur­fac­ing of a Starlight Blue XW Fal­con GT-HO, orig­i­nally de­liv­ered to McLeod Ford in 1969, has also un­earthed how the deal­er­ship and John Goss got to­gether for Bathurst that year. That first at­tempt may have ended in an earth bank, but it would lead them to Bathurst suc­cess five years later.

969 was a mo­men­tous year when it came to Aus­tralia’s Great Race at Bathurst. Not only did Ford and Holden up the stakes with the heavy-hit­ting 351 Wind­sor XW Fal­con GT-HO and HT Monaro GTS 350, but they also blooded ex­cit­ing young tal­ent like Al­lan Mof­fat and Peter Brock; driv­ers who would soon make Mount Panorama their own. Another un­known also made his Bathurst de­but, but in a dealer-backed Fal­con GT-HO. His name was John Goss and he would soon make his own mark on the Moun­tain.

The story of Goss’s first Bathurst 500 cam­paign started six months ear­lier, iron­i­cally at Bathurst’s Easter race meet­ing. Goss had re­cently moved to Syd­ney from Tas­ma­nia via Mel­bourne, bring­ing his self-built Tor­nado sports rac­ing car. The neat Tor­nado was in­spired by the brutish Cha­parrals of the Can-Am era, though in­stead of a thun­der­ing big-block Chevy V8, it was pow­ered by a tweaked Fal­con 170ci six. The Tor­nado may not have both­ered the top sports rac­ers like Frank Matich, but Goss im­pressed fel­low racer De­nis Crib­bin, who com­peted against him at Bathurst and other NSW tracks.

Crib­bin was suc­cess­fully rac­ing an 1100cc Lo­tus 7 club­man at the NSW tracks. He won his class and set a new class record at Bathurst and was keen to race a stan­dard pro­duc­tion car there in Oc­to­ber.

“I was work­ing as an up­hol­stery sales rep at the time and do­ing okay,” re­calls Crib­bin to­day. “My tow ve­hi­cle was an XR Fal­con V8 and I traded it on a new XT GT from McLeod Ford. I got talk­ing to Max (McLeod) about rac­ing a Fal­con GT at Bathurst. He asked who would I get to drive with me. I said there was this young Tas­ma­nian bloke called John Goss who could drive. Any­way, Max or­dered a new GT-HO for Bathurst and John scored him­self a job with Max to pre­pare the car.”

“De­nis and I had met so­cially on the fringe of the mo­tor rac­ing fra­ter­nity,” is how John Goss re­mem­bers it.

“De­nis had sug­gested to me that one of the Ford deal­ers might be in­ter­ested in rac­ing. I had al­ready spo­ken to two or three of them. I agreed with De­nis to go and see Max McLeod and

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