Dreaming of finding your very own ex-Bathurst racecar? Perhaps you should look in New Zealand, where the ex-Fred Geissler Group C Commodore was found
Genuine Group C Holden Commodore touring cars from the mid-1980s are thin on the ground at the moment in Heritage Touring Cars competition where Group C and A cars live on. But Australian Muscle Car magazine can reveal another one has been found – and it’s on the restoration trail so it can take up a spot on the grid of the ever-popular tintop Historic category as soon as next year.
Privateer Fred Geissler was a semi-regular fixture on the touring car grids of the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s. The Goulburn-based, Kiwi-born Holden dealer ran Toranas and later Commodores before disappearing off the scene in the mid to late 1980s. While Fred himself is understood to these days live back in New Zealand, his former Group C Commodore lives on in Australia – though it went via New Zealand and a Group A transformation as well.
Last issue in AMC (issue #91) we featured the ex-Warren Cullen four-door Pioneer A9X Torana Group C car of Craig Bowring that made its public re-appearance at the Supercars Sandown 500 retro round.
When Bowring mentioned he also had another car ‘on the go’, our ears pricked up and we asked some more questions – and it turns out he’s got a Commodore to go with his Torana!
The car in question is the ex-Geissler car, which was built new at Geissler Holden in Goulburn, NSW, in 1980 and made its debut at Oran Park’s Australian Touring Car Championship round in mid-June. Over the following four years it actually had a very simple and short racing career.
Typical of the period for the privateer drivers, Geissler saved himself up every year for an assault on the James Hardie 1000 at Bathurst, racing there every year in this car from 1980 to 1984 inclusive and only running a handful of other events each year (see breakout) in the time he had the car.