For six decades Aussies have shown flair for building not only some of the world’s best tin-lid racers, but how to paint them as well. We give you nine of the best.
1. GREEN-EYED MONSTER
After Craig Lowndes made a deal with the devil and switched from Holden to Ford in 2001, the Gibson Motorsport AU Falcon became his wingman. It wasn’t the most successful pairing, with the Smiling Assassin having limited success at the Ford factory team, but the Green-Eyed Monster instantly became an icon of modern V8 Supercar racing.
2. HRT VY COMMODORE
Over the past 20 years, the Holden Racing Team livery has barely changed. You could accuse the designers of having no imagination, but the legendary lion and driver combo has slowly evolved each season. It was at its best, however, during HRT’s dominant early-2000s period, the iconic red-and-white livery helping Mark Skaife to three straight V8 Supercar titles.
3. SHELL EB FALCON
The Shell-backed Dick Johnson Racing EB Falcon is still one of the coolest Aussie racing cars ever built. There was something so inherently right and period-perfect about the bright yellow body work, red wheels and blue rear. Plus it was driven by Aussie racing legends Dick Johnson and John Bowe to a Bathurst 1000 victory in 1994.
4. HDT VK COMMODORE
The 1984 Bathurst 1000 celebrated ‘the last of the big bangers’, as it was the last year the wild Group C racers would compete at the event. Peter Brock and Larry Perkins would secure their third straight win, dominating the event in the Marlboro-backed Holden Dealer Team VK Commodore to win by two laps from the sister car of John Harvey and David Parsons.
5. TRU-BLU XD FALCON
This car won Dick Johnson his first Australian Touring Car Championship and helped him secure his first ever Bathurst 1000 victory, too. This success continued through 1982 which saw Johnson take out the ATCC title once again. The livery was simple, the car sponsored by Johnson’s long-time friend and backer, steel magnate Ross Palmer.
6. FORD DEALER XC COUPES
The image of the two Ford Dealer Team Moffat XB Coupes crossing the Bathurst finish line side-by-side in first and second position at the 1977 event is arguably the most iconic in all of Australian motorsport history. It was the fourth and final time Canadian Allan Moffat won at Mount Panorama, partnered by international racing superstar Jacky Ickx.
7. PIRTEK BA FALCON
Before jetting off to America to drive in NASCAR, Ambrose claimed back-to-back V8 Supercar championships in 2003 and 2004 behind the wheel of his Pirtek BA Falcon. He was on his way to claim his third title in 2005, but a controversial tangle with Greg Murphy at that year’s Bathurst 1000 hindered his success, teammate Russell Ingall taking the title.
8. CASTROL COMMODORE
Despite consistent strong results, the Castrol Commodores of Larry Perkins’ team never troubled the top of the ATCC tree, but come Bathurst it was always a different matter. Perkins and Ingall took wins in 1995 and 1997, the former famously after dropping to last at the beginning of the first lap, adding to Perkins’ 1993 success with Gregg Hansford.
9. HDT TORANA A9X
Cigarette sponsorship mightn’t have done much for global health, but it sure made for some awesome motorsport liveries. And nowhere was it more successful, in terms of looks and results, than the all-conquering Holden Dealer Team Torana A9X, Peter Brock and Jim Richards teaming up for back-to-back Bathurst wins in 1978-79.