50 Years of Motor Sport Celebration
15 April, 2012 – Allan Moffat. A couple of months ago, Vince Perillo rang me to ask if my TR 3A would be available to be involved in a function organised by The FPV Club, to be held at Tarrawingee, to celebrate Allan Moffat’s 50 years in motor sport.
Allan’s first race was in his TR 3 A, “The Red Flyer”, at a race meeting held on the 15th April, 1962, at the Tarrawingee race track, which is near Wangaratta, in Northern Victoria. Motor racing was actively conducted at this venue during the 1950’s, but sadly there are few remains today of this once popular track.
Alan Smith, Carole Kelly, and other members of the FPV club, together with many members of the host club, Northern Car Club, had worked very hard in organising this major program which attracted several hundred spectators, not surprisingly mainly Ford owners and enthusiasts, for the day.
Keith Ondarchie very kindly offered to trailer my car. After a totally relaxing drive, Keith and I met Vince Perillo at the Plough Inn, which is a charming, but the only Pub, in Tarrawingee. We were joined by Ian Cuss, a good mate of ours from the TR Register, in his beautiful TR 2. While we waited for Allan and some of the FPV party, we enjoyed some country coffee. Around 11.00 am, Allan and his friends arrived. After lots of chatting and photographs, Allan drove me to the event grounds. Shame he didn’t give the good 3 A a squirt up the road, but he said it did bring back old memories of his own TR 3A.
The reception, as we entered the grounds was amazing. Much clapping and cheering. We were waved in by Brian Bourke, a TR 3 A driver, who competed against Allan here, Hume Weir, and Winton, in the early 1960’s.
The organisers had allowed 45 minutes for Allan to autograph items for spectators, which he did with great enthusiasm and patience, much to the delight of his fans and supporters.
There followed a VIP luncheon to which Vince, Keith, Ian, and I were kindly invited. During the course of lunch, there were a few short speeches recounting racing stories and incidents over the years, all in good spirit, and very entertaining. I had the chance to speak to Murray Carter who is still very actively racing a 6 something litre corvette, AT the age of 82. He seems like twenty years younger. Sharp as a tack though.
After lunch, a very lively auction of Moffat posters, memorabilia, drinking mugs, Models of Allan’s racing Fords, one, an XB Falcon fetching $420,I guess a bit cheaper than the real one, was conducted with all proceeds going to the Club’s junior driver training program.
The array of cars on display was really worth looking at. Some superb GT Falcons, current model FPV cars which have wicked performance, a couple of Ford hot rods. One vehicle of interest was a 1961 Falcon that was used in a BP 10,000 mile endurance test at the Ford proving ground. Totally unrestored, plenty of rust, fading paint, but interesting patina.
The final segment of the day was a photo shoot of the two TR‘s on a small section of the course, with Allan sitting in, and friends standing around the cars. The vast number of cameras clicking away to record “The Man” was a tribute to his fans’ devotion, his reputation, and his extremely successful racing career since 1962.
Ian let Brian Bourke drive the 2. At one stage I saw them disappearing off towards Wangaratta. Judging by the smile on Brian’s face when they returned, it brought back many happy memories from Brian’s TR days.
Our party all agreed that the event format, planning, and execution, was excellent, and a most successful day was enjoyed by all attending.
It was another opportunity for TSOA to be involved in the broader motoring scene.
My sincere thanks to Vince for our involvement, to Keith for transporting my car, and Ian, for being part of our side screen display.
One of the most enjoyable events I can remember. I am sure Allan will have very fond memories of the 15 April; 1962, AND 2012.