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HOLDEN VK COMMODORE SS GRP A
#11 DRIVERS: LARRY PERKINS / DAVID PARSONS
1986 JAMES HARDIE 1000
LIMITED EDITION OF TBA PIECES
Biante Model Cars are proud to present the second addition to the Biante Larry Perkins Collection, the 1:18 Scale Holden VK Commodore SS Group A driven by Perkins and David Parsons in the 1986 James Hardie 1000.
Think Larry Perkins and greatness at Mount Panorama instantly comes to mind. Perkins’ legendary standing in Australian motorsport was built on six Bathurst 1000 victories between 1982 and 1997, three of which came in cars his team built and engineered under the banner of Perkins Engineering. His 1986 #11 Enzed Holden Commodore VK was the first in a long line of Commodore touring cars to be built by Perkins Engineering until the end of 2008, when his operation closed and became the foundation for Todd and Rick Kelly’s modern-day Kelly Racing V8 Supercar outfit. The very first Perkins-built car was actually owned by New Zealand car sales entrepreneur Colin Giltrap, with major backing coming from Enzed hose and fittings service. It was also the beginning of a long association with Perkins and tyre manufacturer, Dunlop.
Perkins signed up Tasmanian dairy farmer David Parsons as his partner for the ’86 endurance season, having previously driven in the same squad as Parsons at the Holden Dealer Team. After its debut in the Castrol 500 at Sandown was troubled by brake problems, the Enzed Commodore headed to the Mountain as something of an unknown quantity, until Perkins topped the timesheets on the opening day of practice.
Off track, Perkins was embroiled in a bitter war against CAMS, General Motors Holden and his former employers, HDT, over the legality of new conrods made available for the engines of the Mobil HDT cars and selected privateers before the event. Perkins argued that the ‘heavy’ conrods were not homologated and increased the horsepower of the rival engines, which they achieved by raising the rev limit from 6400rpm to over 7000rpm. The conrods were eventually made legal and available to all teams, but Perkins stuck with the tried and tested earlier version.
A new engine went into the car for Friday’s qualifying session after the team’s ‘gun’ power plant failed, but Perkins still earned a spot in the Hardies Heroes Top 10 Shootout. Despite a carburetor miss, Perkins pushed the limits of the Commodore to qualify fourth fastest with a spectacular 2m19.433s lap and a top speed of 257.48km/h down Conrod Straight.
When the flag dropped on Sunday morning, Perkins hauled the Enzed machine into third and he and Parsons ran competitively in the top five for the first three hours of the race. But the #11 Commodore came to a halt at the top of Mountain Straight early in Perkins’ second stint. An overheating bearing in the car’s Getrag gearbox had led to the transmission shearing its internals, which left Perkins with no gears and stranded. The car returned to the pits on the back of a tilt-tray truck and the team set about replacing the gearbox. In true Perkins style, he rolled up the sleeves of his driving overalls and got involved in the changeover himself! Around 50 minutes later, the Enzed Commodore rejoined the race and ran strongly to the chequered flag. The car was classified in 25th position overall with 140 laps completed, 23 less than winners Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey.
While the 1986 James Hardie 1000 did not deliver the result Perkins and Parsons were looking for, this car had announced the arrival of Perkins Engineering as a touring car force to be reckoned with. A year later, Parsons returned to the Mobil HDT and became a Bathurst winner when he and Peter Brock assumed command of the #10 entry started by Peter McLeod. Perkins would go on to win the race with Gregg Hansford (1993) and Russell Ingall (1995, ‘97) during a period where he and his team continually rose to another level on the biggest day in Australian motorsport. Produced in die-cast with fully opening parts and high detail including additional tooling modifications to the wheels, tyres and drivers side window ducting, this is an impressive addition to this new drivers collection from Biante. Included with this model will be a signed Certificate of Authenticity by Larry so ensure you place your pre-orders as soon as possible to avoid missing out.