Picture courtesy Kirk D.Keyes, Frank Gardner
Picture copyright W.Kohrn
Picture courtesy Kirk D.Keyes/Frank
Brands Hatch September 1970
Brands Hatch September 1970
Brands Hatch September 1970
Above pictures courtesy Trevor Legate
8x10 or bigger prints available through him.
The History of 9F02M148625
Driven by P.Jones mainly in 1969 or/and maybe a George Follmer back up car (we have controversal statements here yet).
1969 team Bud Moore car was believed to never turn up, but since 2003 we
had rumours that a body shell was found. Many believed that according to
printed records the car was crashed during unloading on a harbour quay.
Steve Francis of Main Street Motorsport-Historic Racing Services, specializing in the Trans-Am period of 1966-72
hunted it down while he lived in England and it's an interesting and sad story. With further research we finally pieced together the whereabouts of this missing car.
Walter Hayes of Ford Advanced Vehicles/Slough/UK brought it over to England after the 1969 season for Frank Gardner. Frank and his crew updated the 69 car with 70's body pieces and a 70 BOSS stripe kit. The car won almost each race, when it was out, until the final TT race.
Frank was set to win his 3rd. saloon car championship, but due to missed testing, in this race the car
developed severe tire problems that threw the car out several times. Frank did not make it to the title.
The car was later that year used as well by Frank Gardner and Mike de Udy in the African Springbok rallye tour programm in November, then sold by W. Hayes and marked for shipment to Australia for racing purposes. During unloading at the harbour the Mustang fell from a cranes platform on the harbour quay. The Mustang was fairly repaired and raced again in only a few races, then crushed
again in a transport accident.
The BOSS engine went somewhere else
according to records.
"I've been looking for many years and I was informed in 2003 that sb. turned up the body shell. Waiting for photos and a detailed description."
Read more personally narrated details about this car in an interview with Frank Gardner that we made in 2003
thanks to David Bowden here at our other subpage "Frank Gardner.
Frank was still in the Australian vintage motorsports and ran a drivers school as of 2003.
Unfortunately he died in September 2009.
Since my visit at the Bowdens down under in 2005 I knew that something
was ON around this car as the shell had been already located by
the Bowdens family around that time. Scouts were engaged to locate and
secure it after the first rumours and Frank Gardners hints in the
interview. The difficulty was to get the title
that was in somebody else hands than the body shell. This was quite a
negotiation, as the title was not much worth for the owner, but poker
started soon. Once the title was secured,
it made sense to collect the shell.
(Story narrated from
memory, but I am getting older, we will fix the story soon after Dans
Actually the car was used in Speedway
races after its crash and beaten almost to death.
The renowned Australian Muscle Car Magazine published a series of famous
Speedway cars and while being the second time downunder in 2007 I spotted - by
incident - the specific issue that had the pics.
The former Trans Am race car (148625) abused for Speedway
races. Those were the days.
Picture courtesy Australian Muscle Car Magazine #30/2007
We were yet waiting for Dan Bowden to
make the official announcement and publish his records of ownership
chain, which has been put together after a more than 7 years research
soon after the Gardner interview. Of course
the 15m long archive shelves at the Bowdens House played a major role in
that research. I was fortunate to be invited to a house tour through all
secret corners including tapping the heads of the Shelby dogs and
walking into the top secret restoration shop, where genuine australian
race drivers are regular guests for advice and consultation.
Thanks again for this highlight of our tour and the special but typical
down under hospitality given to my wife and me during the stay in the
As of September 1st. 2010 here is finally the Bowdens input on the
arrived in Australia, it was delivered to Barry Sharp who was going to
race it for the Jack Brabham Ford dealership, as was reported in
"Racing Car News" March edition 1971. Sharp stated to me that
the car was not dropped when they first received it, it did have damage
to the rear 1/4 panel, but that was it. The car was still very intact
and could have been raced with no problems. But it did sit on the
wharves for a month when it arrived and a separate crate full of spare
parts, sent with the car, did disappear from the time it was sitting..
It never had any trailer accident, but was trailered back to Sharps
workshop and totally stripped of all it's running gear/ drive line.
The initial intention was to race the T/A in in our local touring car
events, as they knew it was the same as Moffat's Mustang. However, it
was decided not to race it as it would not help the dealership to sell
the local product, a four door Falcon saloon car... This is why it was
stripped and the transplanted into Barry's new lightweight XY falcon
saloon, which featured prominently here in Australia.
The body went to Bruce Maxwell who initially had the Californian Mike
Klein (His nick name was "Hash Brown" when he raced speedway
in the USA) drive it for him, it's first race was in August 1971 (Image
as shown by Wolfgang, we have a 3 page article on the car from this
first race). Maxwell took over the driving duties himself and a few
years later he sold the car to "Wild Bill" Templer, who
painted it yellow, then raced it some more and sold it Peter Alit. This
is when it disappeared off the planet and began it's life on the island
of Tasmania. Len Robertson later bought it and continued it's life on
the dirt ovals till finally it was acquired and continued to be raced by
We tracked down each owner till we finally found an address for Richards
and then after numerous failed attempts to contact him, we had a local
friend go and visit him in 2006. He was I think a little bit suspect on
mainlanders asking about his junker Mustang, so we needed the local
contact, Trevor Stott, to purchase the sad remains of the T/A. In
Tasmania, everyone heard rumours that the car was once raced by Jack
Brabham, no one had a clue as to what it really was.
We finally had one of our mechanics go down and bring home the remains,
which once we told old Frank Gardner about the finding and it's life he
commented "At least the guys will not have much to bring
back". And it was tragic, it had sat outside for a long period of
time, a lot of the original shell was replaced by steel bars, like a
space-frame chassis and it shows all the stress from the impacts it has
had over the years on the speedway. It has been sitting in one of our
shed corners for years now, with us wondering how to tackle it.
Years before this, we bought a heap of T/A mustang parts from out of
Sydney, they were either from the Sharp Falcon or from the crate sent
with the vehicle, we always thought these parts were from the Moffat
Mustang, but we now realise that they were for this car. The engine was
found to be in a speedboat and acquired. The complete, original interior
(Bud Moore seat, switch gear, seat belt strap, gauges etc) were kept by
Maxwell and he had them on display in his service station in Northern
NSW, with images of him racing the car, but we now have them in place as
well. Just recently we acquired a whole heap more original parts,
so it will now be our intention to resurrect the T/A in the next few
years, especially now that Frank Gardner, who was a great friend of our
family, has passed away."