This weekend’s Bathurst 1000 is the last time Holden will compete at The Mountain

goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden
goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden

THIS weekend’s Bathurst 1000 will mark the final time Holden will participate in a Supercars race at The Mountain.

It will no doubt be a bitter-sweet occasion for millions of Holden fans accustomed to seeing their favourite ‘red’ brand dicing for the lead often winning the iconic race at Mount Panorama.

With the move to the new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Supercars in 2023, Commodore will finally disappear from the hotly contested championship and hence, from Bathurst.

Putting a positive spin on something as momentous as the demise of Holden in Supercars is difficult but the fact that a GM model, available in Australia, will be competing next year in Supercars and at Bathurst is some salve to the many disappointed fans.

It may be the end of an era but has spawned the creation of a rivalry that goes back decades with Camaro versus Mustang resurrected. The action starts when the Gen3 Supercars debut at Newcastle in March 2023.

“The passion and excitement of success on the track has been such an important part of our Holden brand DNA,” said GM Australia and New Zealand managing director Marc Ebolo.

“This will continue to grow with the new Chevrolet Racing brand and, together with our close alignment with GM Motorsport, will be an ongoing demonstration of our dedication to competition and commitment to the sport.

“The high-performance demands of racing align with our vision for GM in Australia and New Zealand and will continue to be a significant reflection for all our brands, including GM Specialty Vehicles, GM Trade Parts and AC Delco.

“Holden Certified Service plays an integral part as well, as it maintains an important presence in order to service the more than 1.5-million Holden vehicles still on the road in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

Racing this weekend provides Holden fans the opportunity to not only fire up the barbecue and stock up the beer fridge but also to celebrate a household name that has been revered in Australia for more than 70 years.

The race will be telecast and live streamed and will be the last Bathurst race to feature Holden versus Ford.

The pair have been fierce rivals in a half-century of track wars that split race fans into two intense and loyal camps – Red versus Blue. Feelings will be high, swinging between celebrations of so many heroic track deeds and the realisation that it is now really over for Holden… the final nail in the brand’s “coffin”.

Many Australians have been supporters of Holden cars in motor sport since the early days of the Holden 48/215 original. Their unshakable affection for Holden has been solidified by countless magical competition moments and a long list of great machines and racing heroes.

Holden cars starting with the Monaro, then the Torana and more recently a succession of Commodore V8s, have amassed 35 wins in the Bathurst 500/1000 at Mount Panorama, most recently at the hands of Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth for WAU in 2021.

Back in In 1968, racer/journalist David McKay organised a quasi-factory three-car team of Monaro V8s for that year’s Bathurst 500, but privateer Bruce McPhee took victory (with modest help from Barry Mulholland, who drove one lap to meet the regulations).

This was the first win for Holden in Australia’s best-known race.

Holden factory support began officially in 1969 in defiance of Holden’s parent company, General Motors, banning its brands worldwide from participation in motor racing, although trials and rallies were permitted.

With its charismatic sales director John Bagshaw trumpeting the marketing benefits of putting performance-based models on the track: “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”, Holden cunningly skirted the ban by establishing the Holden Dealer Team.

Nominally owned by its dealers, the reality was that Holden bankrolled the entire campaign via a slush fund, with Harry Firth wooed from Ford to run the squad. The canny, autocratic Firth plucked from near obscurity smiley rally driver Colin Bond and shaggy haired Peter Brock, who had been racing a comical pint-sized A30 with a Holden engine.

The annual Bathurst 500, then an endurance race for production cars, was the Holden Dealer Team’s first test, pitting the three HDT Monaro GTS 350 coupes against the favoured Ford Falcon GTHOs.

In a fairy-tale initiation, Bond and Tony Roberts took a stunning victory with teammates Brock and Des West third. The other team car was sixth.

There followed many more HDT (and HRT) victories in myriad motorsport events, the ascendency of Peter Brock, the Torana XU-1, A9X and L34, the Round Australia Reliability Trial and Repco Trial, Commodore race cars, the “Energy Polarizer” farce, Tom Walkinshaw’s involvement, the Lowndes/Skaife era, the advent of HRT and too many gifted and talented drivers to mention all behind the wheel of Holden vehicles.

goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, holden

TECH NEWS RELATED

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

Luxury cars should be state-of-the-art, lavishly equipped, spacious and comfortable. The BMW iX, the first of a new generation of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from the German maker, is all of that. But it’s also our top Luxury car because it does something else top-level models should do: break new ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Honda Jazz is the best Passenger vehicle of the year

Passenger is a COTY category that’s very much a sign of the times. Basically, it’s anything that’s not an SUV or ute – the two segments that absolutely dominate the New Zealand new-vehicle market. Sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, people movers… vehicle types that were once traditional but are now considered ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Honda Jazz is the best Passenger vehicle of the year

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Chevrolet Corvette is the best Sports & Performance car of the year

Who doesn’t love a mid-engined V8 sports car with supercar style? It’s easy to be wowed by the Chevrolet Corvette C8 and quite right too: it looks incredible and goes fast. It’s a real poster car. But it’s also a worthy and significant winner for a whole bunch of reasons. ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Chevrolet Corvette is the best Sports & Performance car of the year

6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Good SUV to Buy According to Cars.com

SUVs are all the rage these days. And for good reason—they offer the perfect blend of style, comfort, and utility. If you’re in the market for a new SUV, you’ll want to check out the 2023 Honda CR-V. For starters, the CR-V is known for its reliability. This is a ...

View more: 6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Good SUV to Buy According to Cars.com

The New Sequoia Hybrid 2023 MPG Beats the 2022 by $1,150 Every Year

Toyota’s new 2023 Sequoia Hybrid is gaining fans for its comfort, off-road prowess, and its good looks. But it’s also making its mark with great mpg compared to the 2022 version. The new 2023 Sequoia ditches its V8 and instead gets a new hybridized V6 that shows the power of ...

View more: The New Sequoia Hybrid 2023 MPG Beats the 2022 by $1,150 Every Year

US: Kia EV6 Sales Dropped To New Low In November

Are sales going to rebound?

View more: US: Kia EV6 Sales Dropped To New Low In November

Elon Musk responds to Joe Biden’s plan to electrify the great American road trip

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently responded to a post from US President Joe Biden, which referenced the electrification of the “Great American Road Trip.” According to Musk, there’s already a pretty good way to accomplish long road trips in the United States — at least if one uses a ...

View more: Elon Musk responds to Joe Biden’s plan to electrify the great American road trip

The 3 Most Reliable Ford Models According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

Ford is one of the most popular and well-known automakers in the world, but Ford isn’t well-known for being reliable. But while there have been a lot of unreliable Ford models, the American automaker has also made some cars that were more reliable than the rest. Here’s a look at ...

View more: The 3 Most Reliable Ford Models According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

Don’t Dismiss Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer as a Rebodied Ram Truck

Why Ferrari’s ‘SUV’ is really a sports car

Feeney hopeful of being 2023 Supercars championship contender

Marque keen to make difference

Clean car laws impact sales

2023 GMC Sierra prices up, start at $38,995 for Sierra Pro Regular Cab

The Best 2023 GMC Canyon Trim Isn’t Cheap

Roar Before The Rolex 24 Schedule To Feature Traditional Format

Kiwi’s epic burnout celebration

The 3 Most Reliable Honda Models According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

The IMF Now Has A Championship Dedicated For Female Riders

Buy a McLaren M8, Live Out Your Can-Am Dreams

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News