Bud Moore's & George Follmer's, later Frank Gardner's Trans Am Factory racer
© Steve Francis, Dan Bowden, Frank Gardner, Sam Colman, David Bauer, Wolfgang Kohrn -  April,10th, 2003, last updated August.2010


Picture courtesy Kirk Keyes/Frank Gardner
Picture courtesy Kirk D.Keyes, Frank Gardner

Picture W.Kohrn
Picture copyright W.Kohrn

Picture courtesy Kirk Keyes/Frank Gardner
Picture courtesy Kirk D.Keyes/Frank Gardner

Picture courtesy Trevor Legate

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).

This 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."
Steve Francis

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 announcement)

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 area.

As of September 1st. 2010 here is finally the Bowdens input on the further history:

"When it 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 Brian Richards.
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." 
Dan Bowden 

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