"The Green Eyed Monster"
When this car debuted in 2001 race fans were stunned, for two very important reasons. Firstly, the car's exquisite livery of charcoal and silver set a new benchmark in the design and presentation of racing cars. The addition of green headlights to the car for that year's V8 Supercar Bathurst 1000 caused the above nickname to be coined, and gave it a place in Great Race history.
The second reason the car had such an impact was the driver, Craig Lowndes. He of course was Holden's "poster boy" and had won titles and the Great Race for "the General". He had been recruited by Ford to be the public face of the brand, and to bring with him his racing talent and competitive ability to help stop Holden's dominance of V8 Supercar racing, particularly at the Mount Panorama classic.
Lowndes was part of the Gibson Motorsport operation in 2001, and with a change of ownership, became part of the OO Motorsport team the following year. A thoroughly professional outfit, the team was owned by Sydney businessman Bob Forbes. Forbes was himself a racer of considerable ability. He competed at Bathurst for 13 consecutive years, from 1969 in a Fiat 125 (second in class C), through to 1981 in a Camaro with Kevin Bartlett (polesitter for that year's race). In 1974 Forbes and Wayne Negus in a Torana L34, finished as runners-up to the Goss/Bartlett Falcon.
For the two years that the car raced at Bathurst in this livery the drivers were Craig Lowndes and experienced campaigner, Neil Crompton. In 2001 the car finished, but down the order. The following year the AU was 8th in the shootout, but during the race overheating problems resulted in a DNF after lap 127.
Racing cars gain fame for a variety of reasons. In the case of the "Green Eyed Monster" it was because it captured the imagination of racegoers with its stunning looks. A 600hp monster could look cool as well as purposeful.
The car has been kindly loaned to the National Motor Racing Museum by owner Bob Forbes