A Holden that added a special chapter to the legend of Peter Brockis the latest car to join a special display marking Repco’s 100th anniversary at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
The Holden Commodore that Brock, Noel Richards and Matt Philip piloted to victory in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial will form part of the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition at the National Motor Racing Museum as the company continues its 100th anniversary celebrations.
Long-distance trials have a proud history within Australian motorsport, dating back to the popular and demanding Round Australia trials of the 1950s.
The event made a return in 1979, sponsored by Repco and devised as the fastest and roughest long-distance event within our nation’s motoring history.
The rally route took competitors on a 19,000-kilometre trek around Australiawithover8,000 kilometres consisting of timed stages through the outback, all of which had to be completed within just 15 days.
A total of 167 competitors left the start line in Melbourne, including factory-supported entries from Holden, Ford, Volvo, Porsche, Audi and Citroen.
Holden viewed the event as an opportunity to prove that its new Commodore model, which was based on a European platform, was more than sturdy enough for the rigours of the Australian landscape.
A team of three VB-model, six-cylinder Commodores were prepared meticulously by experienced rally man George Shepheard, and Holden recruited top rally stars Rauno Aaltonen, Shekhar Mehta, Barry Ferguson and Wayne Bell among its driver roster, which also included touring car hero Peter Brock.
The three Commodores proved the class of the event and secured a famous one-two-three sweep, with the #05 entry of Brock, Richards and Philip victorious in a triumph that established the then three-time Bathurst 1000-winner’s credentials beyond the touring cars that made him famous.
While the two other Holden Dealer Team Commodores were later sold and used in other rallies, the winning Brock/Richards/Philip machine was retained by General Motors and kept in the same condition as it finished the Repco Reliability Trial– dents and all.
The Round Australia Trial-winning Commodore is the final to be announced for the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition at the National Motor Racing Museum in the lead up to this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, held on October 6-9, 2022.