Hardie-Ferodo 500 and the Ford GTHO

Whilst watching the recent Bathurst 1000, and congratulations to Shane Van Gisbergen and Garth Tander for their much deserved win, I couldn’t help but think how much that race has changed over the years – for the better and the worse. For some reason I kept going back 50 years (!!!!) when as a teenager I would religiously watch the Hardie-Ferodo 500, and in particular the 1970 and ‘71 races are pretty vivid in my memory.

Those years the race had many brands of cars competing with three Australian manufacturers battling it out – Ford, Holden and Chrysler and names like Moffat, Bond, Brock and Geoghegan were in the drivers seats. It was also in 70 and 71, that Allan Moffat had back to back wins for Ford in the iconic Phase 2 and Phase 3 GTHO’s.

If you’d like to rekindle some memories, click on this link to Mark Jones and his ‘Super100mph’ video which features a very young Neil Crompton hosting a show that looks at these two amazing races and he talks with Allan Moffat

Strangely enough, the other day I again thought of Mount Panorama and these two memorable races with the Ford GTHO’s when I was flicking through carsales.com.au.

I read an article by Andrew Maclean with the opening line:

“Here’s a chance to buy a piece of local automotive history, with Premcar putting up for sale its own development version of Australia’s most powerful four-door muscle car”.

The article looks back at 2016 when after more than 70 years in Australia Ford decided to cease local manufacturing. At that time there was speculation that Ford would do something special and release a modern day version of the classic 1970’s GTHO as a bit of a farewell.

As we now know that didn’t eventuate, probably because too many bean counters and Americans were involved in the decision-making, but instead they released a limited run of seven hundred and fifty Ford Falcon XR8 Sprints.

Although certainly not a GTHO, these Sprints powered by a 345kW/575Nm version of the supercharged Miami 5.0 litre V8 are ripper cars and considered as collectors items by many. Consequently they are holding their price extremely well and one very special one has just gone up for sale.

If you’re interested to find out more about the car referred to as the Premcar Holly Grail, take this link to Andrews story on carsales.com.au


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