V8 legend’s championship, Sandown and Bathurst-winning car inspires TW Steel timepiece …
STORY: V8 SLEUTH
IMAGES: AN1 IMAGES (GRAEME NEANDER)/SUPPLIED
THE famous Holden Racing Team Commodore VR that took Supercars legend Craig Lowndes to clinch his ‘triple crown’ of victories in 1996 is being celebrated in a new limited edition timepiece.
TW Steel and Holden have collaborated to produce a timepiece inspired by the V8 legend’s famous blue and white Commodore in which he won the Australian Touring Car Championship, Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 in his breakthrough 1996 season.
The Dutch watch brand has launched the Holden ’96 VR Commodore Limited Edition based on its Volante collection with only 350 numbered timepieces produced.
Click here to order now and ensure you don’t miss out on this piece, which retails for $399 and is available from TW Steel and selected retailers nationally from December.
The car celebrated by this new timepiece – HRT chassis number 033 – was named ‘Gabrielle’ by the Holden Racing Team when it was built in 1996, gaining instant attention due to its controversial diagonal roll cage bar that ran through the front passenger seat area.
In fact, the specialist media of the time dubbed the car the ‘Supercar’, ironically the name that the V8 racing category itself would adopt two decades later.
Debuted by Lowndes at the Calder round of the ’96 Australian Touring Car Championship, this special car won the Lakeside, Barbagallo and Mallala rounds of the championship and helped Lowndes to become the youngest-ever champion at age 21 – a record that still stands to this day.
He and Kiwi ace Greg Murphy teamed up to drive the car to victory at the Sandown 500 in Melbourne and followed up to complete the ‘triple crown’ by sealing victory at the Bathurst 1000, in doing so becoming the youngest-ever combination to conquer Mount Panorama in ‘The Great Race’, another record that still stands.
Their #1 Commodore from 1996 has been the inspiration for the TW Steel Holden ’96 VR Commodore Limited Edition.
This unique timepiece is based on the Volante collection and features a 48mm, 316L steel case with stainless steel bezel and screwed crown. It’s powered by a state-of-the-art Miyota movement and sports a luxurious, hardened mineral crystal with sapphire coating.
The dial is emblazoned with the famous car’s racing number and the case back proudly features race stats, the car’s chassis number and nickname and the Holden logo of the era.
The strap is genuine dark navy leather with white stitching – in keeping with the ’96 VR Commodore’s racing colours – and is finished off with a steel clasp.