‘TOYOTA’ FORMULA HOLDEN ON THE MARKET

The 'Toyota Lexcen' backed Formula Holden raced by John Smith is on the market. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

ONE of the cars that lined up on the grid for the first Formula Holden race in Australia is on the market.

Andrew McInnes has put his immaculately restored Ralt RT21 up for sale, and this particular chassis has an interesting history dating back to the early years of the category.

Originally used by the Pavesi team in the 1987 International Formula 3000 Championship, the car was brought to Australia by Dave Mawer and converted for the new Australian-based category, with the installation of a race-spec version of the then-new Holden 3.8-litre V6 engine among the changes.

Veteran open-wheel identity Elwyn Bickley drove the car in the inaugural Formula Holden races at Mallala in 1989.

The Formula Holden era of open-wheel racing in Australia is covered in our new book Racing the Lion: An Illustrated History of Holden in Australian Motorsport, a 400-page hardcover book paying tribute to the marque’s rich competition history spanning over seven decades.

It’s now in stock in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop – click HERE to order!

John Smith took over driving duties later in 1989, which led to a cheeky bit of guerrilla marketing with ‘Toyota Lexcen V6’ signage added to the RT21’s bodywork.

Smith was then one of the lead drivers of Toyota’s factory touring car effort, while Toyota had recently released the V6-powered Lexcen road car into its showrooms – a car that was effectively rebadged Holden VN Commodore.

Unfortunately, Smith had a massive accident in the car at Phillip Island in 1990 that led to a total rebuild.

Warwick Rooklyn aboard the Mawer Ralt RT21 at Oran Park in 1992. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

The car was later raced by two-time Gold Star winner Rohan Onslow, Sports Sedan star Keith Carling and Formula Ford champion and Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winner Warwick Rooklyn.

After passing through the hands of several owners McInnes purchased the car and returned it to its 1990 Toyota Lexcen livery, the Ralt returning to the racetrack for the first time since its rebuild at the 2019 Phillip Island Classic.

The car has a Motorsport Australia Certificate of Description (COD) and is fully race-prepared with spares.

Click here for the full listing on my105.com.

Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.