HOW A PRO GOLFER UNKNOWINGLY BOUGHT A BATHURST LEGEND

Golfer Richard Green kept the car at his Melbourne home. Pic: Supplied

BATHURST victories don’t come much more famous than Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall’s last-to-first triumph on October 1, 1995.

Perkins’ second ‘Great Race’ win in three years came after a clash with Craig Lowndes off the start caused a flat tyre and dropped the Castrol Commodore back to last.

The Perkins and Ingall combination drove flat-out throughout much of the race and eventually pounced when the engine in Glenn Seton’s Falcon failed nine laps from home.

The full story of this classic fightback and the complete history of the winning car is told in our new book, Perkins Engineering: The Cars, 1986-2008, available for pre-order in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.

The Bathurst-winning car raced on with Perkins Engineering as the Castrol Cougars Commodore before being sold into private hands at the end of 1998.

Among its subsequent owners was Melbourne-based professional golfer Richard Green who, although dedicating his career to the fairways, closely followed racing.

“It was a dream to own a V8 Supercar,” explained Green, now 50, whose golfing CV features three wins on the European Tour and the 2004 Australian Masters title.

“From the age of 18 when I got my licence, I was extremely interested in car racing and once the V8 category started in 1993 I was hooked on those cars.

“Everything from the way they looked to the way they sounded was just awesome and during my early career as a professional golfer I used my motivation to own a V8 Supercar as a driving force to succeed.

“Once I’d earned enough money to have my own house with a shed big enough to look after a car like that it was time to have a look around.”

The car during a track day at Calder Park. Pic: Supplied

Incredibly, Green bought the 1995 Bathurst winning car in 2001 without knowing its history.

“I came across an ad in the back of an Auto Action magazine for a fully rebuilt, Perkins-built V8 Supercar and spares for $80,000,” said Green.

“The ad had no mention of it being an ex-Bathurst winner, just that it had competed in the then Konica Series with driver Chris Butler.

“So unbeknown to me I was buying a legend!”

Green used the car extensively for track days during his time with it, which included receiving tutelage from Cameron McConville at Calder Park.

“I was amazed at how well he drove the car and for me to see how he did it gave me the extra confidence to drive it better,” recalled Green.

“However, when it came to driving it at Phillip Island, I was not even close to the pace.

“Phillip Island is a track to be respected and let’s just say I gave the car and the track the respect it required!”

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Green looked after maintenance of the car himself, with occasional assistance from Larry and Jack Perkins, and eventually had it returned to its Bathurst livery.

He sold it in 2006 and subsequently purchased a 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car with which he stepped up to competitive racing as a hobby.

The 1995 Bathurst winning car has since passed through several private hands and currently resides in the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.