A FORMER privateer car that competed in the Bathurst 1000 and BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship has popped back up after lying dormant for 20 years.
The Toyota Carina E raced by former privateer Milton Leslight in the late 1990s has been bought by his brother Darryl, who intends to return it to its original livery and specification from when it was understood to have been built new in Britain.
He’s embarked on a research mission to confirm the early history of the car, which is believed to be one of the factory TOM’S GB cars from the 1993 British Touring Car Championship, potentially that of the late Will Hoy.
Hoy and then-teammate Julian Bailey famously collided in that year’s BTCC at Silverstone, the former tagged by the latter into a roll-over! See the video below!
It’s thought the car was then raced by James Kaye in the 1994 BTCC before it spent time in Asia, where Leslight purchased it in 1997 before returning it to Australia.
The car was late arriving at Bathurst that year and wasn’t able to make it onto the track, though competed in the 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 with Leslight and Denis Cribbin – the car was running at the end but had completed insufficient laps to be classified as a finisher.
The 1993-spec BTCC TOM’s Carinas were notable by being right-hand drive (cars built for Belgium for example, were left-hand drive) with blue interiors to match the blue external livery of sponsor Omega Express, features that the Leslight car still retains.
“I’m keen to race it,” says Leslight of his plans for the car.
“I’m keen to put it back to ’93 specification and back to how it was originally in the British Touring Car Championship.
“The Enny car of ’94 had a more attractive livery from my point of view but I’d lean more to putting it back into its original ’93 works livery. Will Hoy was very prominent in the BTCC in the early 90s.”
Leslight also owns a pair of Group C touring cars, the former Bob Morris/David Seldon Suttons Isuzu twin cam Gemini and ex-Colin Bond Masterton Homes Ford Capri.
If you have any information on the history of the Toyota Carina from the BTCC in 1993/94 or South-East Asia in 1995/96/97, worked at TOM’S GB or know anyone that may have information from the period that could assist, get in touch with V8 Sleuth here and we’ll connect you!