As gigs for an occasional MC go, this one was pretty sweet – help show off the new livery on the John Bowe Racing Torana for 2016 at the local Holden Dealership. I really didn’t have to think long and hard about saying yes to this one..
Before the night though I caught up with Gary the owner for a quick chat in the studio about the journey to get the car from concept to completion:
From there we met up again to go over how things would roll through the night and eventually take the red sheet off the monster.
For our non Australian friends the Torana was a hugely popular car built by Holden Australia from 1967 right through to 1979/1980 that came in 4, 6 and 8 cylinder flavours. While it was popular on the road it became iconic on the track with plenty of victories on race and rally tracks alike and was Holden’s most successful race car until the Commodore was unveiled. A good one today will set you back more than a pretty penny but thankfully you’ll still see many racing around the tracks of Australia like the days of old.
As evidence of good was it on the track at the time, check out the skill of legend Peter Brock in the ultra rare A9X version in the 1979 Bathurst Enduro. Not only did he win the race, he won by an earth shattering 6 laps and to really hammer home how mental this thing was, he set a new record on his last lap:
So would this SL/R 5000 do just as well? Standing before the gathering of Holden fans on the night Gary was confident it’d do quite well in the coming season.
“After JB performed a couple of laps in this thing I started to realise it was going quite quick and we suddenly found ourselves Googling his usual times in his Mustang Sally Racecar. It really was going well..”
John Bowe was also full of praise about the car, explaining to the crowd how smooth the 308 was in climbing the power band compared to other blocks he’d driven. When asked why the 5 litre 308 engine in comparison to something newer Gary explained that he’d seen too many Chev engines break in cars he was racing against and in one case another driver had chewed through 7 in one season. Given the cost of race engines and the fondness and expert knowledge of the 308 from Linden the engineering, they stuck with what they knew and it worked with the car well so far.
Finally it was time and the sheet came off to a thunderous round of applause – we’ll now let the pictures tell the story.
Almost too nice to race!
To find out the latest about this car and how it’s faring, make sure you follow the adventures of JB himself through his Facebook page. And hey, since you’re handing out likes, why not add one this this page: Drive Another Day Facebook so you can keep up with what’s going on here. Go on, what’s the worst that could happen? 😀 -Almigo