Falcon GT By The Years: 1975

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Ford Falcon XB GT
Three new Falcons appeared for the 1975 season, two being production touring cars and the other a sports sedan. The first, the ex-Fred Gibson ex-works car was purchased by Melbourne solicitor Jim Keogh, and was driven by himself and Ray Allford during the course of the year.

The second car was the ex-John' Goss Bathurst-winning car, which was purchased by young New South Welshman Gary Willmington, and has been campaigned by him ever since.

Finally, a new Falcon sports sedan appeared early in the year - the hardtop model of John French, sponsored by Queensland's Bryan Byrt Ford. The first series of the year was again the South Pacific touring car series, by now a mere shadow of its former self.

In a boring four-round series, a single Falcon appeared in three of the rounds, Murray Carter scoring a fifth at Oran Park and a third at Adelaide, while Allan Moffat, now running without Faberge/Brut signwriting, scored a third place in the final round at Sandown Park. As with the previous year, the 1975 championship was an uninspiring series for Ford followers, with Falcon’s appearing only in ones and twos, scoring no victories in the seven rounds. The only Falcon driver to appear at all the races was good old Murray Carter, who, as always, drove consistently and well, scoring two seconds, two thirds and three fourths to carry the Ford banner.

Allan Moffat only contested three rounds, coming fifth in the first round at Symmons Plains after suffering a flat tire , while in the second round at Calder he was driven off the track by Ray Kaleda whose Torana was being lapped. At least that is how the Ford fans saw the incident. In reality, Kaleda was the victim of Moffat, the stewards even giving an official warning about his agressive driving! The third round at Amaroo was no better for Moffat, as he hit a Mazda which spun in front of him while being lapped.

Moffat appeared in no more races in the series, again disappearing from the scene, preferring to concentrate on his new Cosworth-Capri sports sedan. The only other Falcon to appear in the series was the Keogh/Allford car, which ran in three rounds without success. Ultimately the championship went to Colin Bond in the Dealer Team Torana.

The future was not looking good for Ford, with the L34 Torana’s gradually overcoming their reliability problems and dominating touring car racing - it was "Formula Torana", and very depressing for Ford supporters. Only two Falcon’s started in the first round of the manufacturers championship at Adelaide. Murray Carter raised Ford's hopes with a good second place, while Jim Keogh, sharing his car with Graeme Ritter, failed to finish. Round 2 at Sandown was a disaster for Ford, with three Falcons starting (Carter, Moffat and Keogh) and none finishing.

Peter Brock, now a privateer again with the Gown/Hindaugh team, won the race and the Toranas appeared to be a certainty for the next round - the big one at Bathurst. Again only three Falcons entered the Hardie-Ferodo in 1975, these being Moffat's with "Pete" Geoghegan, John Goss and Kevin Bartlett in a new car backed by Citizen Watches, hoping to repeat the 1974 result and Murray Carter sharing his car with Formula 2 driver Ray Winter. Deservedly, Carter was now being backed by the Melbourne Ford Dealer Brian Wood, so even better things were being expected of this long-time stalwart of the marque.

Even before the 1975 race started, there was a raging controversy about the future of the event following the announcement by the race organisers, the Australian Racing Drivers Club, of their intention to restrict the race to 3-liter cars in 1976. For 1975, the prize money was to be heavily biased towards the classes rather than outright placings, with the follow-up of the complete scrapping of the big cars in 1976. An ARDC official was reported to have said: "It's a race for cars, not drivers, and if Moffat or Goss didn't start I don't think it would be a great loss." This statement was shouted down with some ferocity by motor sport fans and participants, and the idea was dropped.

Meanwhile, back at the race track, practice for the 1975 Hardie-Ferodo was going fairly well for Moffat who eventually earned a place on the front row of the grid only one-tenth of a second behind the pole-getter Colin Bond with a time of 2 min 27.5 sec. John Goss's car was blowing smoke all day and could only manage 10th fastest, while the Carter/Winter Falcon grabbed seventh spot.

The race itself was not a happy one for Ford, all three Falcons eventually retiring with various maladies, the Goss/Bartlett car blowing its engine after only 10 laps, Carter and Winter suffered a broken oil pipe after 53 laps, while Moffat and Geoghegan, after holding the lead at one stage, had to change a gearbox and then retired with a broken lower control arm. The race was won in easy style by Peter Brock and Brian Sampson in their Gown/Hindaugh Torana.

The year ended with the last two rounds of the manufacturer’s championship at Surfer's Paradise and Phillip Island. The Falcon of Moffat won the Surfers race from pole position after a terrific 100-mile dice with Allan Grice. Murray Carter came fifth and John Goss failed to finish. At Phillip Island Goss started from the front row but lost any chance of victory when the sump of his car required welding on the pit apron. He finished eighth, but the other two Falcons entered in the event, driven by Murray Carter and Jim Keogh both failed to finish. Peter Brock won the race and Holden the championship.

Also see:
GT Falcon Race Results 1975
Bathurst Race Results 1975
Bathurst Race Program 1975
Bathurst Memorable Moments
Unique Cars and Parts USA - The Ultimate Classic Car Resource