Australia has a long history of running reliability trials. In the 1950's the Redex and Mobil Trials captured the imagination of this car mad nation. In 1979, Repco, the iconic engineering and car parts company, decided to run an around Australia trial in the tradition of these earlier endurance events.
The Marlboro Holden Dealer Team, who were in their early stages of dominating touring car racing, decided to enter a three car team prepared and managed by George Shepheard. The three Commodores were specially built for the Repco event and featured alloy boot lids and bonnets, XU-1 spec six cylinder engines, M21 (V8-spec) gearboxes and 200 litre fuel tanks. The driver/navigator lineups were the who's who of Australian and international motor racing and rallying:-
Peter Brock, Matt Phillip &Noel Richards
Barry Ferguson, Wayne Bell & Dave Boddy
Shekar Mehta, Rauno Altonen & Barry Lake
Brock, who ultimately won the race in this car, regarded the win as the highlight of his motorsport career. This was a big statement for the nine times winner of the Great Race at Mount Panorama. Barry Ferguson said that this trial was the toughest of them all. He would know as he had competed in all of the 1950's trials. Wayne Bell is a multi Australian rally champion. Shekar Mehta is a legend of world rallying having won the East Africa Safari on a number of occasions. Rauno Altonen is another legend of world rallying, and of course won the Great Race in 1966 with Bob Holden.
Kindly loaned to the Museum by owner Holden Motorsport