Allan Moffat was the ideal villain for promoters in touring cars’ glory era of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Remember Allan Moffat’s XC Cobra? Remember Allan Moffat’s XC Cobra?
Image: Chevron Library.

They loved to paint him as the big-shot Canadian ruthlessly dominating championships on his way to collecting “our” prize money. Indeed, unless you were of Ford inclination, Moffat finishing a nose ahead of Colin Bond in a limping, orchestrated end to the 1977 Hardie-Ferodo Bathurst 1000 in matching Falcon XCs was almost too much to handle. Moffat’s win that day was his fourth and last at The Mountain and coincided with his third Aussie championship. He had to wait until ’83 for another touring car mantle, but throughout that wait his strong, maple-leaf accent played a key role in maintaining an “international” flavour which those marketing men of Aussie touring cars were desperate to push as well.

Allan Moffat OBE never really was that villain, though. Inducted into the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame in 1999, the Saskatoon-born, naturalised Aussie has helped nurture the Australian motorsport scene. To this day, 70-year-old Moffat proudly fills directorial roles for the Australian Racing Drivers Club and the Australian Institute for Motor Sport.

With Bathurst run and won for another year, but with four races remaining on the V8 Supercar calendar for 2010, Inside Sport caught up with him while being shown the secrets to Ford’s success; in particular the Blue Oval’s hi-tech proving ground near Geelong. (We’d print what we saw, but they’d have to kill you and us)

What bought Allan Moffat Down Under – of all places – all those years ago?

“My father was a life-long employee of Massey-Ferguson, a Canadian tractor and machinery company based in Toronto. He was sent here in the early ‘60s to run Massey-Ferguson in Melbourne. I finished school here and when the powers that be asked my father to return to Toronto a few years later, I said, ‘Um, Dad, I kind of like a country that has a winter with no white stuff on the ground ... I’ll stay if you don’t mind.’ I was 22 when my parents moved back to Canada. It was hard to say goodbye, as I had lived with them all my life, but I really did like Australia – and we’d moved all around the world thanks to my Dad’s job.“With plenty of snow to contend with in Canada during winter months, I know I certainly wouldn’t have been racing around the back circuits of Toronto in -30-degree conditions had I returned home.”