Whether it’s a rare supercar or unsuspecting sleeper, local track days always produce the unexpected.
Looking like something from Mad Max dropped on Formula One slicks, this mid-engine Holden Rodeo proved a recent Test and Tune day at Winton Raceway MOTOR attended was no different.
From the Rodeo’s wide-body cab, mid-engine V8, steel spaceframe and central seating position, utility was engineered out of this second-generation Rodeo long ago.
It has been brainwashed to think, behave and sound like a race car.
For which you can thank Mike Moore.
Mike, who comes from a mechanical-engineering background that’s seen him build clubmans to a similar degree of insanity, says the Rodeo owes him more than “5000 man hours” and is the joint product of two stillborn projects: one a mid-engine road car, the other a circuit machine project that involved a 1999 BMW LMR V12’s bodyshell.
No surprise, then, the Rodeo features a central driving position that backs on to that mid-mounted 6.0-litre GM L98.
The V8 utilises a Quick Fuel carburettor, dry-sump oil system, modified cam, and in avoiding catalytic converters altogether produces “around” 600hp – more than enough for something weighing dead-on 1100kg.
Power meets a four-speed Jerico gearbox and then a Winters quick-change differential before finding the ground through 14-inch wide rear slicks.
We expected this to translate to an impressive laptime, but Mike told us the Rodeo was at Winton exclusively for shakedown, and for that the stopwatch was shelved.
Rather, car setup was the priority, a significant job judging by its suspension hardware: four-way adjustable Ohlins coilovers linked via pushrods to a double-wishbone system.
MOTOR hopes to run in to Mike again to hear about that lap time, that is, if he can find a strong enough straight jacket for the car. In the meantime, check out footage of the car at Winton here.