Erebus Motorsport is paying tribute to another iconic privateer, with the unveiling of special one-off liveries ahead of next weekend’s Sandown 500.
The Penrite-backed Commodore will flaunt the colours driven to victory by Bailey and Allan Grice in the 1986 Bathurst 1000, just weeks after they finished third at Sandown.
Trading the usual red and gold wreath for their original 1930’s script, Penrite Oil introduced the concept after finding a modernised version of the car on an online game.
“This has to be one of my favourite cars and even though I was only one when it raced, it was a standout growing up,” driver David Reynolds said.
The Chickadee Racing VK Commodore SS marked a major feat for the privateers, with no serious support from Holden and without big-bucks backing.
It was one of the greatest Bathurst triumphs by a little team with a big heart, similar to that of David Reynolds and Luke Youlden last season.
“It’s very cool not only for what it achieved, but it reminds me of our win in a lot of ways,” Reynolds said.
“It was a win against-the-odds; a little team who started second on the grid and defeated the favourites, exactly like we did.”
Industrial equipment supplier Hare & Forbes has also got behind the accolade, displaying their branding across the rear quarter of the #9, the same as it appeared on the Chickadee Commodore.
Although famous for the ’86 victory, Bailey’s career emerged in the late 1970’s, becoming a front-runner in two-litre touring cars.
Anton De Pasquale and Will Brown continue to embrace the theme; their Holden channelling the 1982 Sandown Class C-winning Chickadee Toyota Celica.
“Retro round has always been cool but to be part of it now is special,” De Pasquale said.
“The car looks really cool – it’s great to pay tribute to that generation of cars and drivers and particularly Graeme (Bailey) and what he achieved.
“The old livery looks great on the new body and I’m looking forward to getting on track and hopefully we can have a bit of Graeme’s success.”
Bailey won the two-litre class at the 1980 Bathurst 1000 in the same car, although it ran a different livery.
The car also played an important part in Australia’s motorsport and television history, with the first-ever Racecam installed at Bathurst to talk viewers around the circuit.
Erebus’ tribute has been embraced by Bailey, who was there to uncover the team’s Commodores in Dandenong today.
“It’s an honour to see the recognition and I feel proud to be involved,” Bailey said.
“They look the goods, obviously I am very familiar with the cars but they’re instantly recognisable.
“The Celica days for me was a more family affair, but obviously the Commodore was the big achievement.
“It gave everyone something to talk about, it was a very good feeling to beat them.”
Both cars will be on track at Sandown Raceway for the first time Friday morning.