Saved from high above
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...