SUPERCARS fan favourite TV reporter Mark Larkham last competed as a full-time driver in the championship in 2003 in the Orrcon Racing Ford Falcon AU known as MTEK-4.
Now the Falcon he drove in that year’s final round at Eastern Creek is very nearly complete again and ready to turn a wheel for the first time in just over two decades.
The car has been restored over the last two and a half years by a passionate Victorian-based collector, who told V8 Sleuth this week he intends to return the car to on-track running at this year’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival in March.
“We’re waiting on doing a dyno day with it before we take it onto the track, which will be the first time it’s been a complete car since 2003,” says the collector.
“We’ve got the car to probably about 85 percent as close as we’re going to get it as for original parts.
“It was essentially just a shell when we purchased it. It had the original diff housing, but everything else we’ve had to track down, including the fuel system, wiring loom from headlights to taillights, it’s been a big job.”
The car does feature an ex-Larkham engine and retains most of its original paintwork and period signage, ex-Larkham signwriter Gary Frampton integral in assisting with supplying the required artwork files for replicating decals on the repainted panels.
“One of the great things about this car is that it retains the majority of its original panel work,” the collector told V8 Sleuth.
“The paint inside the car, the engine bay, all underneath the car is as it last raced. We have painted the rear quarters, front guards and doors, but the rest remains original.”
The Falcon started its life in 2001 and debuted at that year’s V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst with Larkham and Wayne Gardner behind the wheel.
It became Larkham’s Orrcon Steel car in 2002 and was co-driven by future Indy 500 winner Will Power at the Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000.
Used by Jason Bargwanna for the first half of 2003, it reverted to team owner Larkham’s hands from Oran Park onwards and ran through to the end of that season.
Later used as a pitstop practice car, it was sold as part of Larkham’s sale of hardware when his team merged with WPS Racing and sat with a collector for more than a decade before the current owner purchased it in 2021.
Larkham will be back with the Repco Supercars Championship television coverage on Fox Sports, Kayo and Channel 7 starting at the season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500 at Mount Panorama on February 23-25.