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Found: GRM’s Valvoline AUSCAR Falcon winner

GARRY Rogers Motorsport is heavily linked to Holden and Volvo from its time racing V8 Supercars, but many will have forgotten its previous Ford links from racing V8 Falcons in AUSCAR racing in the 1990s.

Now that era of the team’s racing history has come back into focus with the recent discovery of one of its former Valvoline-backed Falcon AUSCARs that has been purchased by a former GRM crew member.

The car, built in early 1994 and driven by Garry Rogers to his last competitive race win on the Gold Coast that year, was later driven successfully by Steve Richards.

The car has been acquired by Brett Smith, who worked with GRM on its AUSCARs back in the period and more recently races Sprintcars. He stumbled across the car in Bacchus Marsh in Victoria a few weeks ago.

His father Wayne was a champion in the Sportsman class for ex-AUSCARs and later stepped up into AUSCAR in a Commodore.

“I was out there at the motorbike track and rally park where the speedway used to be and they’ve built a little outlaw go kart track there, so I’d gone out to have a look there at the kart event a few weeks ago and there was the 34 car, just sitting in the paddock,” Smith told V8 Sleuth today.

The GRM build plate from March 1994 is still attached to the car. It was built up in the space of a month to replace a car crashed at Adelaide International Raceway. Photo: Brett Smith.

“I had a look at it, it had the hand sign written ‘Valvoline’ under the bonnet that Neville ‘Brushes’ Bolton had done back in the day, I could tell it was the car we had re-skinned at GRM (from EB to EF).

“Long story short, the car was owned by Winton, so I got onto Stephen Whyte (from the Benalla Auto Club, owner of Winton), it was put to the board and they agreed to sell it to me.”

The ex-GRM Falcon is currently a roller with no engine and odd wheels and will need a range of parts to be located to be returned to its original specification, though its new owner is yet to make a plan on the next steps.

“It’s currently sitting at my workshop; we’ll make a plan but we don’t know what we’re going to do with it just at the moment.”

Steve Richards at the helm of GRM’s #34 Valvoline Falcon at the 1995 Peter Brock Classic at Calder. The AUSCARs raced on the short circuit to support the five-litre V8 touring cars. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

Since its time with GRM the car had spent part of its post-racing life at Wakefield Park and Winton as a V8 drive/ride car.

It still sports a ‘Wakefield V8 Challenge’ windscreen banner strip, GRM’s former #34 and a blue, red and white Valvoline livery.

The chassis tag in the car says it was ‘Built 3/94, AUSCAR No 34’.

It’s understood there were at four AUSCAR Falcons built by GRM, however only three were raced by the team.

GRM has retained an unraced, brand new AUSCAR #36 Valvoline Falcon among its collection of race cars that was built just as the category was wound up in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It remains at the team’s Dandenong race facility.

WATCH: Garry Rogers on the V8 Sleuth Podcast

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