The Ford Sierra Cosworth RS 500 was driven to victory in the 1988 Tooheys 1000 by Tony Longhurst and Czech-born Tomas Mezera. It is the original winning vehicle, restored to the condition in which it raced in October 1988.
The car was built by Tony Longhurst Racing under the guidance of touring car legend Frank Gardner, in late 1987. It campaigned in the 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship as the Freeport Motorsport entry but was rebadged as the Benson & Hedges racing entry at the conclusion of that championship in order to compete in the 1988 Great Race.
Featuring a turbo-charged Cosworth engine, these nimble and very potent cars were the “weapon of choice” of many of the top drivers in the late eighties, even Holden stalwarts like Peter Brock had to drive them, if they wanted to be competitive.
The Sierras dominated the 1988 race, filling the first three places, with this car always the fastest. Together with Frank Gardner’s astute team management and top young drivers, the Benson &Hedges Sierra was always the best package. The car was sold and ran in the Australian Touring Car Rounds in 1989 before being purchased by Colin Bond, as a spare car, for the Caltex Racing Team.
This vehicle was kindly donated to the City of Bathurst by W.D. & H.O. Wills Company in October 1994.