“Brock’s racing like the Devil at Bathurst…”
Bathurst, history was calling for he and Brock. With three wins in a row across 1978, 1979 and 1980, there was a very real prospect of four victories in succession – an achievement that would have made them the first to achieve it in the history of The Great Race.
The aforementioned Marlboro advertising campaign helped whip Holden fans into a frenzy of expectation for the October classic. But all great things must come to an end, and the ’81 Bathurst race was a non-event for Brock and his Devil Commodore.
The opening laps of that event were stunning as he, Johnson and Kevin Bartlett diced in the Even
by Peter Brock’s standards, this was bizarre. We’re not sure what the advertising agency creatives puffed on as they dreamt up their pre-Bathurst 1981 television advertising campaign, but we’re betting it wasn’t Marlboro Special Milds.
The Philip Morris cigarette company’s ‘Brock’s Racing Like the Devil at Bathurst’ TVC made quite an impact when it was on high rotation ahead of that year’s James Hardie 1000. Featuring Brock and a ruddyfaced, three-horned character clutching the glowing steering wheel of a jazzed-up Firethorn Red (!) VC Commodore road car as it lapped Mount Panorama, this was clearly an exercise in circumventing the ever-tightening restrictions on tobacco advertising.
The narration, by a three-pack-a-day Chivas Regal-drinking voiceover guy, was as comical as the jerky-camera vision it accompanied: Brock’s racing like the Devil at Bathurst, Brock’s racing to uphold the name, Of the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team, And the race that brought them fame. So don’t miss out on Bathurst, It’s a thousand kays of thrills, Brock’s racing like the Devil at Bathurst, With all his driving skills. The Marlboro company invites you all to Bathurst... to see the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team race like the Devil on October 4.