Craig Lowndes’ 1998 Australian Touring Car Championship winning Holden Racing Team Commodore is being restored to its former glory, having sat destroyed for over two decades.
Lowndes raced this VS model Holden for the bulk of the 1998 ATCC, taking victory in 10 of the 23 ATCC races it contested before the young star switched to a new VT for the final two rounds.
The VS was later sold to Nemo Racing and involved in a sickening startline crash at Oran Park in 2000, in which driver Paul Morris was slammed from behind by Mark Larkham’s Falcon.
Morris managed to extract himself from the flaming wreck despite what scans later revealed were three cracked vertebrae and raced at Calder just three weeks later in a different chassis.
Both of the cars involved in the Oran Park crash were declared write-offs by their respective teams – Mark Larkham talks about the ultimate fate of his Mitre 10 Ford Falcon AU in the V8 Sleuth Podcast.
The crashed Commodore was stripped of its parts and resigned to display duties at Morris’ Performance Driving Centre at Norwell on the Gold Coast.
While the mangled mess made for an eye-catching exhibit in its own right, the car has been sought-after by collectors in recent years given its history with Lowndes and HRT.
Dunlop Series team and renowned Holden V8 Supercar restorers Eggleston Motorsport purchased the car from Morris late last year and are now in the process of returning it to its 1998 form.
The full history of this Commodore and its remarkable resurrection is detailed in our new book, HRT The Cars: 1989-2016 – Second Edition, now available in the V8 Sleuth Superstore.
This 400-page Second Edition book features updated information and never-before-published photographs covering all 45 Commodores to race under the ‘helmet and lion’ HRT banner.
Presented in the same format as our recent sell-out ‘The Cars’ titles covering Dick Johnson Racing and Perkins Engineering, the collectors’ publication is limited to 3000 individually numbered copies.