14.6 C
Mount Panorama
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeNewsGALLERY: Coca-Cola Supercars through the years

GALLERY: Coca-Cola Supercars through the years

EREBUS Motorsport will next season become the latest team to sport the iconic colours of Coca-Cola in the Supercars Championship.

Coke’s history in Australian touring car racing stretches back to Allan Moffat’s iconic 1969 Ford Mustang, pre-dating more modern connections with Wayne Gardner and Chris Pither.

NEWS: Erebus signs Coca-Cola as naming rights sponsor

Allan Moffat at Sandown in 1970. Pic: an1images.com / Ian Smith

V8 Sleuth takes a look back at each of the Coca-Cola cars courtesy of the AN1 Images Archive.

Coca-Cola’s grand entry to the V8 scene in 1994 came with the new Wayne Gardner Racing, which fielded Commodores for ex-World Motorcycle Champion Gardner and Neil Crompton.

SHOP: Save on Neil Crompton: Best Seat in the House

WGR was a new team for 1994. Pic: Supplied

There was also a Diet Coke Commodore on the grid in 1994, run by LoGaMo Racing for a young Paul Morris, who also campaigned these colours on BMWs from 1993-97.

RESTO: The Dude’s Diet Coke Commodore resurrected

This car did not race in the Bathurst 1000 after a testing crash. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Bathurst provided both the lowlight and highlight of WGR’s 1995; a tangle between the teammates at the ATCC sprint round was followed by a third place in the Great Race.

COLA CARNAGE! When Gardner and Crompton collided

Two crumpled Coke Commodores at the Bathurst ATCC round. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander
The WGR Commodores at the 1995 Tooheys 1000. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

WGR’s Coca-Cola Racing remained a two-car team at the start of 1996 before budget constraints meant it trimmed back to a single entry for Gardner.

HISTORY: What happened to the WGR Coke Commodores?

Gardner in 1996 at Phillip Island, a circuit where he’d shone on two-wheels. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Gardner started 1997 with a bang by winning the opening round under lights at Calder Park, but ended up missing three ATCC rounds due to a lack of funds.

AUDIO: Wayne Gardner on the V8 Sleuth Podcast

Gardner took the only round win of his V8 career in 1997. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander
Gardner celebrates victory. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

Although WGR was shut down at the end of 1997, Gardner retained one car and returned for selected events the following year, including the Bathurst 1000.

SHOP: 1998 FAI 1000 Classic now on DVD!

Gardner was joined by Paul Stokell for the 1998 FAI 1000 Classic. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Gardner struck a deal with Perkins Engineering to field a Coke-backed entry at Albert Park, Adelaide and Bathurst in 1999. This marked the end of the line for WG and Coke.

LIMITED STOCK! Perkins Engineering: The Cars book

Gardner aboard a Perkins-run VT in Adelaide. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

The next full Coke-sponsored entry to appear in Supercars did not come until 2020, when Kiwi Chris Pither inked a deal with Team Sydney (rebranded from Tekno Autosports).

Chris Pither at Albert Park in 2020. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Pither brought the Coke colours to Brad Jones Racing for 2021, co-driving at Bathurst with the car’s primary pilot Macauley Jones.

The Jones/Pither Commodore at Bathurst in 2021. Pic: Nathan Wong

This year Pither and Coke returned to the ex-Tekno team, now PremiAir Racing. Indigenous Round and retro-themed liveries added to the regular season look.

GALLERY: Every Supercars Indigenous Round livery

Chris Pither at the 2022 season opener in Sydney. Pic: Nathan Wong
The car sported this Indigenous livery for two events. Pic: Supplied
This retro scheme featured from Bathurst onwards. Pic: Nathan Wong
Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.

Latest News

Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.