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HomeNewsBathurstOne-of-a-kind Toyota Camry to make Bathurst return

One-of-a-kind Toyota Camry to make Bathurst return

THE last Toyota Camry to compete in the Bathurst 1000 is making a return to the Mountain this year in the Bathurst 6 Hour production car classic.

Driven by David Ratcliff and the late Ron Searle in 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 in the production car class alongside the Super Tourers of the day, the car is understood to be the only V6 Camry ever built and raced as a production car in Australia.

The car is included in V8 Sleuth’s book focusing on the cars of the 1990s that competed in the Bathurst 1000 – it’s on sale at a super price here for you to add to your collection.

Hervey Bay business owners and racers Darren Goddard, Russell Greaves and Shane Logan of 710 Motorsport have purchased the Camry and are returning it to its 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 livery for its Mountain return.

They’ve already had the car out running in the Queensland Circuit Racing Championships prior to commencing the livery restoration.

“We really wanted to showcase the history of the car’s 25 years of racing in Australian production cars by taking it back to its original 1998 livery from when it ran the Bathurst 1000 with the Super Tourers,” Logan told V8 Sleuth.

“And with just over 30,000 kilometres on the clock, all racing, it has to be the lowest kays of any Camry in Australia!

“We have just removed the ‘OZendurocup’ livery in preparation for the original livery to go back on. Some of the red paint (the livery carried after the livery Ratcliff ran the car in) came off with the wrap revealing some of the old livery painted underneath.

The car’s former red livery appears during work to strip the car’s most recent livery wrap. Photo: Supplied.

“I have been blown away by the interest and support for this car with lots of competitors wanting to come and chat about the car.

“It seems so many people have stories about seeing this car or are blown away by a Camry keeping them honest on track. A recent Instagram post from a Japanese page that I was notified of had nearly 25,000 likes and hundreds of positive comments.”

The Camry was a regular in the GT-P Series and Australian Production Car Championship with firstly Ratcliff and later Alan Holgersson and then AJ Lewis at the helm.

Ratcliff and Searle won Class C in the 1998 Bathurst GT-P 3 Hour in the car, the same year the former won the class in the Australian Production Car Championship.

The car also competed in the 2001 Sandown 500 run for Nations Cup, GT-Performance and GT-Production cars from the PROCAR Series.

The Camry last ran in the 6 Hour at Bathurst in 2017.

The 2024 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour will be held on Easter Sunday, March 31.

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