Australian Muscle Car
Bump n’ run
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!