Australian Muscle Car

Bump n’ run

- Sports · Ford AU Falcon · Alfa Romeo · Phil Barnes · American Motors Corporation · Ford Motor Company · John French · Bob Morris · Holden Monaro

While scour­ing the AMC ar­chives for pho­tos to il­lus­trate our XW Fal­con Phase II rac­ing fea­ture we stum­bled upon a neat pic of John Goss’ car at War­wick Farm – with, we no­ticed, some­thing for­eign at­tached to the grille. We had as­sumed the ad­di­tional bumper bar was the re­sult of the McLeod Ford Fal­con GT-HO get­ting a bit too close to the back of an XU-1, but what looks like a piece of chrome To­rana tail­piece is ac­tu­ally off an Alfa Romeo – John French’s Alfa, in fact.

The race was the nal round of the 1970 War­wick Farm New UW Pro­duc­tion Se­ries, and the trou­ble started on the open­ing lap. At Creek Cor­ner Phil Barnes’ Fal­con rammed the back of Bob Mor­ris’ Monaro. The Monaro then spun, with French hav­ing to brake hard in avoid­ance. Right be­hind French’s Alfa at the time was the Goss

GT-HO. Goss also got on the brakes hard, but the big heavy Ford didn’t have stop­ping power of the nim­ble lit­tle Alfa – and so the Alfa it­self formed a part of the Fal­con’s means of re­tar­da­tion… The Alfa con­tin­ued, slightly de­ranged around the rear (and a bit lighter than be­fore) but, with the Alfa’s bumper em­bed­ded in the Ford’s front, Goss was a re­tire­ment.

Af­ter what had been a some­timeschaot­ic New UW Se­ries, Peter Wher­rett noted in his Rac­ing Car News re­port of this in­ci­dent: I won­der if the Ste­wards were watch­ing this time. (Wher­rett him­self was no stranger to the tor­rid 1970 Se­ries Pro­duc­tion sea­son, hav­ing shared Trevor Mee­han’s Phase II at Sandown and Bathurst).

That wasn’t the only bit of con­tro­versy from that race, though, as the re­sult left three driv­ers – French and fel­low Alfa driver Peter Brown, and Bob Mor­ris – tied on top points at the end of the New UW Se­ries. The se­ries regs con­tained no tie-breaker so­lu­tions, so race of­fi­cials made the ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sion of award­ing the se­ries win to French on the ba­sis of his greater num­ber of class wins – de­spite the fact that Mor­ris had scored more out­right wins!

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