Thorn Red

A rare car

As the inventors of the Australian muscle car with the GT Falcon, Ford were very keen to use the GT as its weapon of choice in the hard fought battles of the Australian Touring Car Championship and Series Production racing. Visible success in these motorsports boosted sales and marketability of GTs and Fords in general. While it can be argued that the Phase cars, in all their forms, were perhaps the most successful at this, the later racing hardtops of the seventies were perhaps equally as visible.

The stillborn XA Phase4 was developed as a four door homologation racing car, and it was to be followed by the Phase5 which was to be based on the hardtop chassis. There were several good reasons for progressing to the hardtop, most notably that its was over an inch lower in windscreen height than the four door, and the rear wings were bulged - adding three inch extra width to a hardtops - to accomodate much wider racing rubber.

The hardtops then fought Ford’s racing battles through the decade of the seventies, from 1973 to 1979. The teams racing them received factory support for 1973 only and then they were basically on their own, and facing fierce competition from the V8 powered Holden Toranas, which were smaller, lighter and more nimble. It is great credit to the teams that the hardtops triumphed in 1973, 1974 and 1977 at Bathurst, and brought us the driving excitement of Allan Moffat, John Goss, Kevin Bartlett, Murray Carter and Dick Johnson.

Perhaps the most famous, and continuing the success carried over from racing the XW and XY, was Allan Moffat who drove some quite awesome looking hardtops at Bathurst.

We were contacted by Will in NSW with some photos and some background to his - possibly - unique car.

This is the car Allan Moffat drove in the 1975 Bathurst race.

Photo supplied to Will by

And this is the XB hardtop that Will owns.

The car is a 1975 XB Falcon 500 hardtop, fitted with a 302ci Cleveland V8, three speed automatic trans, and factory ordered GT/GS options - dash, steering wheel, bonnet, grille and rear wing.

And it is painted colour code Y422, which is known as Thorn Red (Moffat Racing).

Will is still chasing the history of his car, but to date he has found out -

Thorn Red is the colour used for Allan Moffat’s race car - confirmed by the man himself - and it was named after his race mechanic.

Ford Australia have confirmed this paint code.

The car was purchased new through City Ford, of Rockdale, Sydney, which was the  major sponsor of Allan Moffat Racing in 1975.

The car originally had a John Goss style fibreglass front spoiler - which has sadly not survived the past 28 years - and had gold painted 6inch 12-slot wheels - which have become rusty and will be refurbished.

As yet unknown is how many were produced, and why ?

Will has the following photograph.

Another photo which appears to show ‘five’ racecars, but perhaps only one was real, and the rest were for promotion purposes for City Ford.

Or was Will’s car ordered by a devoted Moffat fan ?

Whatever the reason, it certainly is a unique car, and signed on the glovebox by the man himself.

And here is the data plate

Showing the Y422 paint code, and the 10/75 build date - although RJ in the VIN implies September, 1975 build. Either way, interesting, considering the 1975 Bathurst race was on 3rd, October that year.

Biante, the Australian model maker, produce a range of racing hardtops, including the 1975 City Ford car, and as they are renowned for attention to detail, and accuracy, here are some photos of the model to show what the race car looked like - in 1:18 scale closeup.

Y422 Information

Further to the above, some more interesting information about cars painted code Y422 has come to light. Following investigation by the GT Historian of the Falcon GT Club of Australia, it appears that there were two XB GTs built that were painted Thorn Red, and one of them was registered to Ford, perhaps for use by Allan Moffat himself. Both these GTs were RJ - September, 1975 - build date cars too.

I wonder where they are now. Or is Will’s car the only survivor ?

Model Code 18313 (XB Falcon Hardtop)
Engine Code Y, 302 V8 (Local - small port)
Transmission Code B, 3 speed C4 Automatic
Paint Code Y422, Thorn Red (Moffat Racing)
Trim Code B, Black Vinyl
Options 03 - Seat Belts(Mandatory)
1 - Power Steering
32 - Console
39 - Carpets
48 - GS Pack
56 - Driving Lights
68 - Sports Suspension

Dealer Code 2120 - City Ford
Dealer Location Sydney NSW

The real race car.

The car, the drivers. Allan Moffat, in blue, and the late Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan, seen here during practice for the 1975 Hardie Ferodo 1000, and together again in a Falcon hardtop and hopeful of repeating their victory of 1973.


Some further information from Will.

There were at least 7, possibly up to 10 of the cars (including the 2 GTs) walked down the factory line especially for City Ford prior to the 75 Bathurst
race. I have now located 2 other Y422 cars both exactly the same specs as
mine except they are factory 4sp single rail gearboxes. Interestingly they are both
located and have historically been located in western NSW as was mine.”

And a recent photo of his car, showing the addition of the missing front spoiler.

We are very much looking forward to getting permission to feature photos of the two other cars that Will has tracked down.

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