Brock, Lowndes and history of V8 ute.
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.