Brock, Lown­des and his­tory of V8 ute.

New Zealand LCV - - CONTENTS -

OF COURSE THE IDEA OF A V8 COLORADO MAY BE A POP­U­LAR one, but it’s noth­ing new. Back in 2010, a 5.7-litre Holden V8 was fit­ted to a Holden Colorado, for Craig Lown­des to run in the Aus­tralasian Sa­fari Rally, an eight-day, al­most 4000km event, with PWR Rac­ing’s Kees Weel nav­i­gat­ing.

The V8-pow­ered Colorado of Lown­des and Well duly won the event, with the ute re­turn­ing as a two-car op­er­a­tion in 2011 with a 6.0-litre V8, Lown­des with nav­i­ga­tor PWR team man­ager John Panozzo, while Kees Weel nav­i­gated with son and Su­per­car driver (at the time) Paul Weel.

The re­turn event didn’t go quite as well for Lown­des, rolling on day five of the seven-day event while in the lead, the crew re­join­ing the event and fin­ish­ing in fourth place. The Weel/weel ute re­tired af­ter just two of the event’s 17 stages.

This car ac­tu­ally went on to claim vic­tory in the event four times, from ten starts, with (ten-time win­ner) John Hed­er­ics claim­ing vic­tory in 2012.

The first vic­tory came back in 2004, when Holden first built a pair of V8-pow­ered Rodeos for Peter Brock’s en­try in the 2004 Sa­fari, and a sis­ter car for John Hed­er­ics. Run­ning Gen III 5.7-litre V8s with a Holinger six-speed se­quen­tial gear­box, Brock was run­ning strong un­til he clipped a tree which put him out of con­tention, while Hed­er­ics went on to win the event, back­ing it up with a ‘back-to-back’ vic­tory in the next event in 2007, fol­low­ing the event’s two-year can­cel­la­tion.

Built by Kelly Rac­ing, the Rodeo was based on the pro­duc­tion V6 ver­sion Brock raced in the 2003 Sa­fari, with the body taken off the chas­sis, the fire­wall cut to fit the V8, along with an in­de­pen­dent rear end and Su­per­car-strong transaxle. To­tally re­built again a decade later, the Brock Rodeo was last seen up for sale in 2013 by the Kelly team.

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