1975 Ex Goss Group C XB GT Falcon Coupe
Blaze blue and beautiful.
Raced by the Goss racing team from 1975 - 1978.
Raced in period by Gossy, KB, Allan Moffat, Jim Richards, Geoff Brabham and Sir Jack Brabham.
Courtesy of Mr Moffat, can lay a legitimate claim to the 1976 ATCC title.
In good condition, looking like it is ready for Bathurst 1975.
Looking resplendent in its signature ‘75 Bathurst livery of Blaze Blue ( AKA Goss Blue) with white flanks, the Falcon Hardtop proudly offered for sale by Ecurie Bowden is a major part of Australia’s Motorsport folklore. Owned and raced by living legend John Goss from 1975 to the end of 1978 and retiring from Group C duties in 1979. This Falcon represents an opportunity to buy a significant car, that easily ranks in the top 5 of all the Falcon Hardtops that ever raced and still survive.
John Goss was the first man in Australia to officially race the Falcon Hardtop in 1973’s new Group C touring car series. With the new rules allowing wider tyres, powerful engines and laxer homologation laws, Group C was a welcome, if not a little confusing, shot in the arm to the Australian racing scene.
Using his original XAGT Falcon Hardtop, Goss and Kevin Bartlett teamed up for a popular victory, at very wet Bathurst in 1974, with KB’s skilful final stint in the wet an all time Bathurst 1000 highlight. After a few years of hard campaigning, Goss’s very used XA GT was sold off and a new, Blaze Blue XBGT was delivered via sponsor McLeod Ford, a few weeks prior to the 1975 Bathurst 1000. This special order XBGT was delete sound deadener and seam sealer, to save a few extra kilograms of weight. Lightweight glass, panels and bumpers were occasionally available on these special order racers too. The XB GT’s first race was Bathurst, with Goss teamed up with Kevin Bartlett again and hopes were high for a repeat victory. 10 laps in, the 351 let go, much to the dismay of Ford fans everywhere. The remaining Endurance rounds were also a disappointment for Goss, who subsequently parked the car and concentrated on his busy F5000 Career.
In June 1976, while Goss was in transit to Round 6 of the Australian Touring Car Championship at Adelaide, Allan Moffat’s transporter caught alight in the Adelaide Hills, burning it and his GT Flacon Hardtop to a cinder. Goss generously loaned his Falcon, which Allan promptly put second on the grid and won the round. Proving the race speed of this Falcon! Allan then used the Falcon in the following ATCC round at Queensland Lakeside raceway, getting second on the grid, winning the first round and finishing second in the next, to come second overall to Colin Bond’s HDT L34 Torana. These two results kept Moffat in contention for the touring car title, which he clinched in his “Project Phoenix” XBGT. Goss then contended the Sandown 400, Bathurst 1000, Adelaide, and finally Surfers to round out his 1977 season. Despite qualifying the Falcon consistently up the field, reliability issues plagued him and his enduro’ round partner Jim Richards, resulting in poor performances.
1977 will go down in history as the year the Falcon Hardtop dominated touring car racing. Allan Moffat and Colin Bond lay waste to any opposition from Holden. Goss contested 3 rounds, with a credible 4th at Amaroo Park in April being his best result. Some new and re-freshed financial backing from Citizen Watches, Radio 2SM and Stud Cola, allowed Goss to expand into a two car team, recruiting none other than 3 x F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham and soon-to-be Le Mans winning son Geoff. Another huge coup for Goss’s Blaze Blue coupes’ was Multi- Le Mans winner Henri Pescarolo signing on to race with Goss in the Bathurst 1000. Sandown was a DNF for Goss and Sir Jack Brabham, but Bathurst was looking good for Goss’s two car team. History goes to show that Sir Jack and Geoff Brabham, racing in the Falcon coupe for auction, were in the top 5 and could have troubled eventual winners Moffat and Ickx, but a rocker gave trouble and the Father and son Brabham team had to settle for 18th.
In 1978 the Goss Falcon for sale contested 4 rounds (Oran Park, Amaroo, Sandown, Oran Park) before Goss retired the car, eventually selling it to Escort Racer, Rod Stevens, who contested select rounds of the 1979 touring car season, including the Bathurst 1000 in the attractive Brian Wood Ford livery, as a team car to Murray Carter. Stevens sold the Falcon to Wally Kramer, a name synonymous with good Fords, having owned the a factory black XYGTHO road car and racing a rare, Group A Ford Mustang later. Kramer raced the car as a Sports Sedan in Goss Blue, fortunately retaining it’s Group C configuration, a rare fate for many ex Group C Sports Sedan racers. Kramer sold the car to Ian Kelly, who relatively quickly sold it to another racing stalwart, who in turn sold it to Garry Willmington, who restored it back to XC Cobra configuration and let his wife drag race it, pulling low 12 second passes in street trim! From Willmington the car went to Ford fan James Stewart, who disassembled the car for a comprehensive restoration, but quickly found out he needed someone like Kerry Turley, a Falcon Hardtop expert and owner/ restorer of quite a few rare Fords, to do the Job correctly. Kerry purchased the car from Stewart, and proceeded to undertake 6 months of research on the Falcon. He contacted John Goss and former Goss Mechanic Grant O’Neill to cross reference media information of the day and employed mechanics, panel beaters and sign writers with either a background from the heady Group C days, or a love for that era. The car says a lot about Turley’s dedication throughout this restoration project and it would not be an overstatement, to call it one of the finest restoration jobs, on any racing Falcon hardtop in Australia.
With a significant and well documented racing history, including been raced by F1 World Champs, future Le Mans winners, ATCC and Bathurst winners all throughout 1975 to 1979 and boasting a most important clear ownership chain after its glorious racing career. This Blaze Blue XBGT Falcon Hardtop represents an excellent buy for someone who wishes to race in the extremely popular Group C Historic Series, or the astute collector who knows the merits of a perfect provenance, combined with the excellent aesthetic appeal of a Group C Falcon Hardtop, in the iconic Goss Racing livery.
Born in Tasmania, 1943. His first race was in an FJ Holden at Baskerville in his home state. Coming to public note with his custom built “Tornado”, Gossy was at the forefront of Australian Touring Car racing from 1969 to 1985, with his last Bathurst start in 1990 in a Group A 190E Mercedes. Gossy managed some very credible results in his Australian Engineered Matich A53 Repco Formula 5000, winning the Australian Grand Prix in 1976 and entering the record books as the first and only person to have won Bathurst and the Australian Grand Prix. A very strong claim to fame, highlighted by others like Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones who had many starts at the two events, but never finished first in both.
Gossy is still active in supporting Historic Motorsport at select events and his affable ways make him a popular figure. I’m sure the new owner will enjoy the company and the willing input, of this eloquent Australian Motorsport legend.