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Moffat back in the Ford fold

Alan Moffat's new job as an ambassador for Ford Performance Vehicles shows the company he championed is finally getting serious

The most successful driver to strap into a Ford, with four Bathurst wins and a matching set of touring car championship trophies, has just been brought back into the blue oval family.

Moffat has been mostly ignored for the past two decades - and not just because he chose to race for Mazda and Holden after his Mustang and Falcon heydays - although he managed to do nicely as a driving instructor with BMW, which kept him in a classy car for a long time.  It seemed like nobody at Broadmeadows knew what they had.

Yet Moffat is a dead-set legend and draws Brock-sized crowds whenever he shows up at a motoring or motorsport event. Ordinary people want to talk to him, want his autograph, want to stand beside him for a picture.

His new job as an ambassador for Ford Performance Vehicles shows the company he championed is finally getting serious about leveraging its success and its heroes.

Dick Johnson is also back in the family, after being punted at the end of 2008, Ford has finally appointed a new motorsport manager in former F1 man Chris Styring, and Moffat's speedy son James has been recruited as part of the Ford Performance Racing squad for 2010.

The push comes right from the top, as Ford Australia's latest president knows the value of history and heritage and heroes. It's taken Marin Burela a while to get things in place, but he promised action when he hit Bathurst last year and he has now delivered.

Moffat will do a great job for FPV and Ford, but it's Styring who has the big challenge. Ford has only eight cars in this year's V8 Supercar championship and that means he has to do the best with what he has while also building for the future.

Mark Winterbottom and James Courtney are quick and promotable, but Ford also managed to punt the crack Triple Eight team under previous bosses so Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are now part of the red team at Holden. And that is going to hurt.

Still, something is better than nothing and Ford has a lot of good stuff to celebrate. Now it needs to to tell the rest of Australia that it's committed to the Falcon and the new generation building their own legends in the mold of Moffat.

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