The original owner of this genuine XC Falcon Cobra was such an Allan Moffat fan that he transformed it into an impressive tribute to the 1978 race car

Photos by Chris Sorgsepp

Currently owned by Chester Fernando, the original owner’s name was Brian. In 1978 Brian put his name down to order one and then he learned of the 30 Option 97 Bathurst Specials that would be part of the 400 Cobras made. He tried to secure one but even after ringing several other Ford dealers he was unsuccessful

Even more problematic, Cobras had started to sell above their recommended price. When it was his turn, Brian's original dealer said he could have one with a 351ci V8 so long as he let them keep it in the showroom for a couple of weeks before delivery, to which he agreed

As a nice bonus, when he did take delivery the car he received was XC Cobra number 086, a fully-optioned example with an FMX auto, power steering, air-conditioning and power windows

Brian immediately set about changing the look, firstly by filling the arches with 15x8in and 15x10in Simmons V5 wheels and lowering the suspension. Over the years the modifications continued with the Option 97 bonnet cowling, a Toploader 4-speed gearbox conversion, a 6-point alloy safety cage, the Allan Moffat/ Jackie Ickx 1978 Bathurst livery, a rebuilt engine with performance parts for more power, exhaust side pipes and an alloy drop tank

The result was a very convincing re-creation of the race car that certainly makes people look twice to work out if it’s the real deal or not. It also retained good value because it is still, after all, a genuine XC Cobra

Brian sold his pride and joy to Chester in 2003. Chester continued the race car theme by adding twin-piston Girlock brake calipers and a fresh set of Bilstein shock absorbers to restore the handling. Chester has also looked after it, shown it at events like the NSW All Ford Day, and even had the radiator cover signed by Allan Moffat in 2005

There’s a full feature story on Chester’s genuine XC Cobra turned into Moffat/Ickx race tribute in a special magazine; Ford Muscle Classic Collection XC Cobra. Be quick to grab your copy while they’re still available