Friday, December 07, 2007

The ATCC (The Pre-V8 Era)

Before the Ford-Holden duopoly that is V8 Supercars, the Australian Touring Car Championship had a nice grab bag of cars from many countries, with varying engine displacements and set-ups. Before we delve into the current battle between Ford and Holden, let's look at some past ATCC champions (that were not Falcons or Commodores). As the Australians eventually figured out, if you can't beat them, ban them.
1983. Allan Moffat, the Moses of Mazda racing, beat out all competitors in '83 with this rotary powered RX7.
1985. The legendary Jim Richards won his first ATCC title in this John Player Special BMW 635CSi. This is probably the most beautiful car to win the title.
1986. Robbie Francevic won the '86 title in a turbocharged Volvo 240, which made other three-box saloons look virtually Giugiaro-esque.
1987. Jim Richards regains the title, this time in a John Player Special E30 M3. The car is now sponsored by a garage door maker and raced (successfully) at vintage events.
1988, 1989. Dick Johnson (that's his real name) won back-to-back championships in this red Ford RS500, which some of you may recognize, vaguely, as Stateside's Merkur XR4Ti.
1990. Jim Richards continued his dominance in 1990, when he took the championship in the above Skyline R31 and the newer R32.
1991, 1992. Richards wins two more titles in this Skyline GT-R, also known as Godzilla. At this point, the natives were growing restless. Foreign models were sidelined, disfavored by the rules, or outright banned.

The dawn of the V8 Supercar era approaches.


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