SUPERCARS’ decision to run its Super2 class exclusively for Gen2 Ford Mustangs and ZB Commodores in 2023 has raised the prospect of some interesting car conversions.
With many of the current Supercars Championship cars owned by collectors, some are now scrambling for chassis they can update to ZB or Mustang bodywork.
WRITTEN OFF: The destroyed Car of the Future Supercars
Upgrading cars from one model to the next has long been commonplace, but swapping them between marques is less so, despite the advent of the control Car of the Future chassis in 2013.
Tickford Racing has already committed to doing just that, purchasing a chassis that was previously raced by Garry Rogers Motorsport as a Commodore, which it will campaign in Super2 as a Mustang.
V8 Sleuth takes a look at five ‘Frankenstein Supercars’ that currently exist, including one from the Project Blueprint era, and the ultimate outlier – a Commodore turned Sandman!
Conversion: FG Falcon to VE Commodore
Built prior to the control chassis Car of the Future era, this FG Falcon shell was to be completed as a dedicated Triple Eight ride car in 2009.
However, a deal struck with Holden midway through the year to switch to The General for 2010 meant it was finished with VE Commodore bodywork.
Ineligible for racing, it was used as the team’s test mule ahead of the 2010 season and then as a promotional car, famously driven by F1 champ Jenson Button at Albert Park and Bathurst.
It was sold overseas in 2013 and subsequently raced in Asia and New Zealand. Fitted with a Ford engine, it was sold to a private collector in 2017.
SBR COTF 22
Conversion: FG Falcon to E63 AMG
This was the first Car of the Future specification chassis built by Stone Brothers Racing in 2012, initially completed as an FG Falcon.
It ran just once in that form, a test at Queensland Raceway in mid-October, before being parked amid the team’s takeover by Erebus Motorsport and switch to Mercedes-AMG machinery.
Erebus rebuilt the car as a Mercedes and it made a belated race debut on the Gold Coast in 2014, replacing the damaged SBR24-EM02 that features later on this list.
It continued as Erebus’ #4 entry in 2015 and has since been retained by the squad as a Mercedes, despite a mooted half-and-half rebuild idea that would make it the ultimate ‘Frankenstein Supercar’!
Conversion: VF Commodore to Sandman
One of a batch of VF Commodores built by Triple Eight ahead of the 2013 season, this car was assigned to Jamie Whincup as the #1 Red Bull Racing Australia entry.
It was campaigned in the first 10 events of the year by Whincup, who won eight races – including three at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas – and led the championship ahead of the Sandown 500.
However, a persistent driveline vibration meant the car was benched and never raced again, rebuilt instead the following year with ‘Sandman’ panel van bodywork for use as a ride car.
It ran various Red Bull liveries in its Sandman guise and was used as the test mule for Holden’s ill-fated V6 turbo Supercar engine project, before being sold to Grove Motorsport in 2020.
Conversion: E63 AMG to ZB Commodore
Erebus Motorsport built this car as a Mercedes for Lee Holdsworth to drive in the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship, dressed in IRWIN Tools colours.
Holdsworth continued in the car during 2014, taking the first Erebus Supercars win at Winton, before it was heavily damaged in crashes at both Sandown and Bathurst.
Although the chassis was eventually repaired it never raced again. Erebus though retained it as a spare and rebirthed it in 2020 with ZB bodywork, albeit still running a Mercedes engine.
The unique ‘Mercadore’ has been driven by a host of pilots since its return to action, many of them youngsters enjoying their first taste of a Supercar as part of the Erebus Academy program.
Conversion: Altima to Mustang
Kelly Racing built this car as a Nissan Altima and campaigned it for Michael Caruso in 2018 and Garry Jacobson the following year.
It was then stripped back to a bare chassis ahead of 2020 and converted to a Ford Mustang amid the team’s switch to the Blue Oval.
The reborn car was driven by Andre Heimgartner in NED Whisky colours until being replaced by a new chassis midway through 2021, shortly after scoring a race win at The Bend.
It’s retained by Grove Racing (the successor to Kelly Racing) as a spare Mustang, attending the 2021 Bathurst 1000 in Penrite colours for technical insights in the television broadcast.