IN THE final years of the Walkinshaw-run Holden Racing Team, the factory squad set a new standard for one-off liveries in the Supercars Championship.
Take 2015 as an example.
In addition to its regular livery, HRT rolled out special colours for pre-season testing, ANZAC Day, a 1997 retro celebration, a Star Wars partnership and the 25th anniversary of the team.
The man responsible for the design of those liveries was Peter Hughes, who recently revealed a range of unused regular season HRT livery concepts from the team’s history.
Here he shares a selection of one-off liveries that didn’t make it to the track, featuring everything from Chevrolet to iconic Holden retro colours and movie tie-ups.
Prints of Hughes’ art, including remaining copies of the recently released ‘HRT – The Lost Cars’ are available via his website.
Chevrolet – Circuit of the Americas 2013
Pete says: “This livery was initially requested by Holden Motorsport to mock-up a Chevrolet branded HRT car for the V8 Supercars round in Texas. The idea was dropped, and Holden eventually went with something more patriotic (adding the Australian flag to the rear-quarter panels and roof of the regular season livery).”
Star Wars – Bathurst 2015
Pete says: “The first idea for the Star Wars tie-up in 2015 included replacing the traditional Racing Helmet with the latest Stormtrooper Helmet on the doors. Unfortunately, Disney artwork cannot be altered so themes started being developed around full Star Wars full murals (and resulted in the final ‘Dark Side’ and ‘Light Side’ designs.”
1988 and 1969 Retro – Sandown 2016
Pete says: “This was my instigation. I wanted HRT to have two final retro cars for Sandown’s retro round. I chose 1988 and 1969 as they are iconic and worked easy enough with the sponsors at the time. Unfortunately, neither went ahead as Holden, nor HRT would pay for the livery applications. Car #2 won in the normal season livery, the last win for HRT.”
Gunmetal metallic – Bathurst 2016
Pete says: “I tried a unique livery for Bathurst in 2016 as it was ‘HRT’s last as HRT’, with a focus on a bright red lion and helmet and gunmetal metallic. Again, as much as everyone liked it, neither Holden nor HRT was willing to pay for the application and activation, so it didn’t go ahead.”
Marvel Studios – Bathurst 2016
Pete says: “The Star Wars promotion in 2015 was really successful, so there was a big push to repeat the dose the following year with Marvel Studios. Initial talks were namely Ironman and Captain America to promote the movie ‘Civil War’. Unfortunately, it never went further than these concepts as the deal didn’t eventuate.”