UNLESS you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years or so, you would have heard of the Moits Racing team and their stable of good-looking and very quick race cars. Their history on the race track goes further back than that though – all the way to the early 80s – and it all started with this very car, the legendary ‘WOG-007’ TD Cortina of Michael Moit.
This article was first published in the Street Machine Yearbook 2020
Images by Ben Hosking, video by Joseph Hui
“I bought the car in 1981 and had Bob Pinnell fit the V8 almost immediately,” Michael says. If you do a search on the internet, you can find videos of the Cortina popping wheelstands at the Oran Park drags thanks to a combination of very soft front suspension, traction compound and a tough engine.
The Cortina was originally fitted with a Cleveland, tuned through CV Performance. It ran 9.6 before being rebuilt with a Windsor SVO-block bottom end with Cleveland heads, which took it to 8.40@155mph. CV Performance has been, and still is, a very important part of this car’s history.
The big 18in forged Simmons B45s are a nod to the original Simmons rims the car ran back in the early days. The last rebuild had the car rolling on Welds, but Michael wanted to move away from the pro street look
The most recent makeover was performed at Moits Motorcars, with the build managed by Glenn Davies.
“WOG-007 had such an iconic history within the street/strip community throughout the 80s and 90s,” Glenn says. “Our recent Facebook post was full of comments like: ‘I remember this car wheelstanding next to me on Parramatta Road back in ’88.’”
The car has undergone constant development but has remained very consistent in its styling, always wearing ‘Moits Orange’ paint and blacked-out bumpers. Tubs were fitted quite a while back, which made the wheelies even easier to achieve, and there’s long been a Windsor in the engine bay.
This is the money shot. Mounting the turbos low helps make this one of the cleanest engine bays going around and fools many people into thinking it’s still an aspirated motor. The Windsor was carried over from the last build, including the fabricated intake, although it now features black detailing instead of a brushed aluminium finish
“This is the engine we ran back in the 80s,” Michael says. “The plan is to run in the new turbo set-up and address any issues we may encounter. Once we’re happy, we will pull the motor out and build something more serious.”
More serious? I guess when you’re used to Doorslammer power figures, 850hp at the hubs on pump fuel doesn’t get the heart racing. But don’t worry; those numbers were only with 10psi, so there’s plenty more left in it.
“The intercoolers are probably the limiting factor; they’ll probably top out at 2000hp, but that should be enough!” Glenn laughs.
Glenn’s history with WOG-007 also goes back quite a way, as the car’s previous rebuild was performed at his shop, GD Racecars, in 2012. That incarnation saw the Corty dragged into the 21st century thanks to an EFI combo that employed a custom-built intake, but it was still a pretty cranky naturally aspirated combo.
The most recent rebuild brings the Cortina right up to date with the latest technology.
“One of the challenges in rebuilding such an icon is to ensure you do it justice,” Glenn says. “We planned to bring WOG-007 into 2020 and believe we achieved that.
“A big part of the upgrade was the inclusion of the Haltech Nexus R5 ECU; with its built-in PDM, it controls everything from the engine to the blinkers. The hardest part was the pre-planning required to fit everything, as everything is hidden. There is so much detail and fabrication in this build that can’t be seen – it’s crazy.”
He’s not kidding. Check out the overhead shot of the engine bay; it still looks like a naturally aspirated engine, and aside from the two tanks in the front corners, the bay is free of clutter. Making it look so clean and simple was no mean feat and required some masterful fabrication and packaging. All of that experience building race cars sure helped, with some very clever fab-work going into getting the turbos and associated plumbing tucked under the front of the car.
A huge part of the Moits team is Bill Perkovski, who was in charge of wiring the Haltech, plumbing the entire car and the full assembly.
“Hypertune supplied the 347 stainless mandrel bends and collectors for the turbo headers, cold-side billet clamps and throttlebody, and assisted greatly with the design of the intercooler system,” Glenn says.
That intercooler set-up is a work of art, with the beautifully fabricated tanks built in-house. The tops of the tanks were radiused by hammer-forming them over a wooden buck – a much nicer look than square-edged tanks. Even the way they mount has been beautifully blended with the contours of the inner fender.
“Each turbo has its own water-to-air intercooler, water/ice tanks and water pump,” Glenn explains. “We had to run a balance pipe between the two tanks to balance out the water levels, because they run into the same heat exchanger. Believe it or not, even though both of the water pumps are exactly the same – same part number and purchased at the same time – one actually flows a touch more than the other, so it would drain the water out of one side and overfill the other. Because they’re controlled by the Haltech, we had to supply one pump with less voltage than the other so they fill the tanks at the same time.
“Michael was really concerned about engine bay temps with the turbos,” Glenn continues. “It was perfect when it was naturally aspirated, and he was always frustrated with his mates because their cars were always overheating. He said: ‘I want to ensure that my engine bay temps stay low and that the engine doesn’t overheat.’ That’s one of the reasons for mounting the turbos so low, to allow the heat to run under the car instead of building up in the engine bay. That’s also why we put the louvres in the firewall to let the hot air escape up through the wiper cowl.”
All of that hard work paid off, as the car doesn’t run any hotter than it did with the aspo combo.
Though it might be hard to fathom, this is a genuine driver – it always has been – but after being off the road for almost three years, Michael was itching to jump back in it.
“He was wearing holes in the concrete next to us while Bill and I were screwing it back together,” Glenn says. “We finished the car on a Friday afternoon at 5:30. We drove around the block and when we got back, I wanted to put it on the hoist and check over it. Michael said: ‘Nah, it’ll be right,’ and he was gone. He took it for a four-hour drive, so we didn’t sleep that night!”
Since then, Michael has been driving the car everywhere, and Glenn’s happy to report that it’s much nicer to drive now: “It’s a lot quieter and smoother; the Haltech makes the biggest difference, to be honest.”
Let’s not forget that it should be a shitload quicker, too, so hopefully WOG-007 will hit a drag strip soon to pop some wheelies and give everyone a good look at that twin-turbo set-up.
WOG-007 Cortina in detail:
1. The beautifully crafted intercooler water tanks in the front corner of the engine bay were done in-house. The rolled tops and the way they perfectly follow the contours of the inner guards is pure quality.
2. The breather hoses run into a bulkhead fitting on the firewall before being routed to puke tanks behind the front wheels. The louvred firewall panel is functional and helps vent heat out through the wiper cowl.
3. This is where the bulk of the time and effort went into this most recent rebuild. Stuffing two turbos and all of the associated plumbing in between the crossmember and front bumper took a bunch of head-scratching and problem-solving. The front suspension is a carryover from the car’s previous rebuild at GD Racecars in 2012. It features fabricated tubular arms and Strange coil-overs with Hypercoil springs.
4. The rear end is also a holdover from the 2012 build, and comprises a fabricated 9in, four-link, track locater and coil-overs. As you can see, it’s no show car underneath, as it sees a lot of time on the street.
5. With the front guard removed, you can really see how much stuff got, well, stuffed under there. Each intercooler water tank features its own water pump, but they are connected with a balance pipe, so it’s effectively one system.
6. At the front of the car is the heat exchanger that cools the water for the water-to-air intercooler. The two turbos each have their own intercooler, which feed to the intake pipes and into the 102mm Hypertune throttlebody.
7. The interior features a smoothed carbon-fibre dash, with all of the vitals provided by the Haltech screen. Velo race seats and a B&M shifter on a custom console keep it simple.
8. The Haltech Nexus R5 ECU controls everything from the engine to the blinkers, which is why the car can run a switch panel like this and not have anything on the dash.
FORD TD CORTINA
Paint: Moits Orange
Type: Ford Windsor
Induction: Moits custom sheet-metal intake, Hypertune 102mm throttlebody, 2000cc injectors
ECU: Haltech Nexus R5
Turbos: Twin Precision 68/70
Heads: Yates C3
Cam: Moits custom-grind
Radiator: Moits custom
Exhaust: Moits custom
Ignition: MSD, Haltech coils
Trans: Reid-case Powerglide
Converter: Neal Chance
Diff: Moits fabricated 9in
Front end: Moits tubular IFS
Shocks: Strange coil-overs (f & r)
Steering: Moits custom column and rack
Brakes: Wilwood (f & r)
Rims: Forged Simmons; 17x6 (f), 18x10.5 (r)
Rubber: Kumho 205/45ZR17 (f), Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 30x12.00R18LT (r)
Our Moits Motorcars workshop – this car has been entirely built and assembled by our guys, from fabrication and ECU installation to fuel system and suspension; Haltech; Hypertune; CV Performance; Thornleigh Auto Body; AWP Classic Restorations; Turbosmart; Hi Octane Performance Coatings; Tempe Tyres; Simmons Wheels
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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