Saved from high above

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

How Brock’s 1983 Bathurst #05 was rescued from a Holden dealer’s rooftop – by Brock him­self!

When Peter Brock rolled his #05 Com­modore into the pit­lane with a dead en­gine just eight laps into the 1983 James Hardie 1000 at Bathurst, fans of the Holden Dealer Team heart­throb thought the chances of him win­ning his seventh Bathurst crown had, quite lit­er­ally, gone up in smoke. But the rule of the pe­riod (long since ban­ished) al­low­ing drivers of the same team to ‘cross en­ter’ and ef­fec­tively switch cars mid-race pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for Brock to claim vic­tory in his sec­ond HDT-en­tered car, a re­sult that seemed so un­likely 155 laps ear­lier in the day.

Even more un­likely would have been that Brock would ever have thought he’d end up years later scal­ing the roof of a Mel­bourne Holden dealer to in­spect the car for a buyer! But more of that later…

Brock’s 1983 Bathurst chal­lenger was a car he cam­paigned dur­ing a golden pe­riod of Group C tour­ing car rac­ing in Aus­tralia. When it was built, in mid ’83, Brock was eye­ing off a seventh Bathurst vic­tory, having claimed six of the last 11 events, in­clud­ing four of the last ve.

It fea­tured a deeper front spoiler than the 1982-speci cation car Brock and co-driver Larry Perkins had used to win Bathurst the pre­vi­ous sea­son. There was also a larger rear spoiler and strik­ing red Momo 16-inch rac­ing wheels that were used only oc­ca­sion­ally on the car dur­ing its rac­ing life.

In fact, at the time of the car’s launch Brock men­tioned in the mo­tor­sport press that a set of white Momo wheels would be ar­riv­ing later that month to com­pare and con­trast. We can only won­der how they would have looked roar­ing around the Moun­tain!

The look of the Marl­boro HDT Com­modore VHs on the whole was tweaked with this car. The reg­u­lar black sill band seen on pre­vi­ous team cars was re­placed by a red band ex­tend­ing around and across the front spoiler on #05, just be­low bumper height. It gave the car a dis­tinc­tive look, al­though we don’t know if it would win any best pre­sented car awards based on its liv­ery. Still, beauty is in the eye of the beer holder...

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