EREBUS MOOTS ‘HALF-AND-HALF’ FALCON-AMG CAR RESTO

Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith, digitally altered by V8 Sleuth

Erebus Motorsport is considering rebuilding one of its former Supercars into a radical ‘half-and-half’ hybrid, showcasing its history as both a Ford Falcon and Mercedes-AMG.

The idea would result in a ride car that looks like an FG Falcon on one side and an AMG E63 on the other, with some creative fabrication work required to make it meet in the middle!

The chassis in question is SBR COTF 22, which was built by Stone Brothers Racing during 2012 as a Falcon as part of the team’s commitment to Ford’s Car of the Future efforts.

It completed a single shakedown at Queensland Raceway featuring FG Falcon bodywork and a Ford motor before being parked while the now Erebus-owned squad developed its new AMG package.

The car during its shakedown in October 2012. Pics: Supplied

The car was subsequently stripped back to its bare Car of the Future control chassis bones and then rebuilt as a Mercedes, sitting at the team’s workshop as a spare and renamed EM00.

It was eventually pressed into service for Lee Holdsworth to finish the 2014 season in place of the chassis that sustained heavy damage in a rollover during the Bathurst 1000.

Holdsworth’s replacement Ash Walsh, and later Dean Canto and Alex Davison, campaigned the car during 2015 before Erebus switched from Mercedes to Holdens for ’16, ending its racing life.

As well as the various chassis, Erebus retains a significant stock of engines and spare panels from the E63s and is keen to add another element to its ride day and promotional program.

The car being driven by Dean Canto at Phillip Island in 2015. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

“We’ve got one Merc complete that we’ve used for a couple of ride days and we’ve got one we put a ZB body on to use as a ride car and show car,” Erebus boss Barry Ryan told V8 Sleuth.

“We’ve been talking about the car that was a Ford and that it’d be a chassis worth doing something with.

“We’re thinking of doing some tricky fab work with it, making it a Falcon on one side and a Merc on the other.

“It could be too crazy an idea, but it’d be funny. It’d be an interesting thing to do.”

Ryan stressed that it’s currently only an idea and he’s keen to hear fan feedback before any work is done on the project.

“We want to know what fans would prefer to see it as: a Falcon, an AMG or a half-and-half?” he said.

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If the car is built as a ‘half-and-half’ it’d carry an AMG engine.

SBR’s engines were taken over by Jim Stone as part of the team’s sale and the IP recently was utilised to help Kelly Racing in its switch to Ford.

Ryan is confident that a split car is technically possible, adding: “The point of that generation of car was that you could put any bodywork on the chassis.

“Our fabricator Jimmy [James White] can do anything, it’s just how you merge the panels together to make it look nice.

“But we want it to be something you can actually drive.”

EM00 and its chassis plate pictured at Erebus in mid-2020. Pic: an1images.com

The current presence of one Mercedes and the AMG-powered ZB in the team’s ride and promotional program gives Erebus some unique tools to entertain fans and sponsors.

The latter ran for the first time in its current guise at Winton late last year and now wears the Boost Mobile colours being campaigned by Brodie Kostecki this season.

Explained Ryan: “With the current engine rules you don’t want to wear your engine out on ride days, so you need a ride car and we had all those Merc engines sitting there doing nothing.

“The boys took that car out just before Christmas, a couple of our mechanics took it to Winton and drove it, Terry Wyhoon drove it first just to make sure it was alright and then the boys had a drive.

“We’ll probably use it to bring some karting kids through so they can experience a Supercar too. It’s a good asset.”

The AMG-powered ZB runs without key parts of the current Commodore aero package, including the rear bootlid gurney flap and undertray, so as not to breach Supercars testing regulations.