Available: In stock
Biante Model Cars are very pleased to present the opportunity to place your orders for the 1:18 Scale Holden VL Commodore SS Group A driven by Larry Perkins in the 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship. Produced in high quality die-cast alloy with fully opening parts and highly detailed features, we are extremely privileged to also announce that this model will be the first edition in our new driver’s collection, the Biante Larry Perkins Collection. Exclusive to Biante Model Cars, this collection is endorsed by Larry Perkins and this model will include a signed Certificate of Authenticity by the legendary 6 time Bathurst winner making it a highly collectable limited edition.
The collapse of the partnership between Peter Brock and Holden in 1987 opened the door for the formation of Holden Special Vehicles to take the place of HDT Special Vehicles as the ‘place to go’ for hot road-going Holdens. It also formed the basis of the company’s racing program, though the pressure and enormity of the task in setting up HSV meant the company out-sourced the Group A touring car racing program for 1988 to long-time pilot and engineer Larry Perkins.
Perkins had set up his own team in 1986 under the Perkins Engineering banner and was contracted by Tom Walkinshaw to run under the HSV banner in the 1988 Shell Australian Touring Car Championship. Homologation delays meant that Perkins had to stick with the existing, carburettor-engine VL Commodore that he had debuted in late 1987, albeit given a new white, black, red and silver livery. The new fuel-injected ‘Walkinshaw’ Commodore (complete with wild rear deck lid spoiler and aggressive styling) was on the horizon, though wouldn’t appear until later in the year when the endurance races rolled around. The existing VL Commodore was the only weapon Perkins could take into battle and it was more a case of flying the flag than expecting to win the championship.
So Perkins fronted up for the opening round of the 1988 Shell Australian Touring Car Championship at Calder Park to take on the turbo Sierra brigade headed by the Shell cars of Dick Johnson and then-new-teammate John Bowe, the Caltex car of Colin Bond, the Freeport example of Tony Longhurst and Port Macquarie privateer Andrew Miedecke. Peter Brock and Jim Richards were in a pair of Mobil 1 BMW M3s, leaving Perkins as the top Holden contender supported by a range of privateers. He finished fourth in the opening 60-lap race of the season at Calder Park in Melbourne, though one lap behind winner Johnson and it was quickly apparent the turbo Sierras were over their growing pains and would simply be too quick all season.
Symmons Plains in Tasmania was far worse for Perkins when the ATCC visited the Apple Isle for round two as he didn’t complete a lap in the race when the diff failed on the opening lap. He again was a first lap retirement in the next round at Winton after contact with Johnson on the opening lap sent the Sierra spinning and the Commodore cleaned it up on the way through, putting both out of the race. A freak storm turned the next round at Wanneroo in Perth on its ear, Perkins surviving the big wet (which saw the race red-flagged and restarted) and finishing sixth, though again one lap down on winner Johnson. Eighth place at Adelaide International Raceway was followed by a fourth-placed result at Lakeside and then Perkins’ first (and only) podium of the 1988 ATCC at Sandown, where he finished behind the dominant Shell Fords of Johnson and Bowe. The tight confines of the now-defunct Amaroo Park hosted the penultimate round of the championship and the big V8 Commodore managed to finish seventh in the 70-lapper. Perkins rounded out the championship with another retirement in the last round at Oran Park, a clash with Colin Bond off the line damaging the steering of the #11 HSV Commodore and sending him into instant retirement.
The end result of the frustrating season would be seventh place in the 1988 ATCC for Larry Perkins with the debut of the new fuel-injected VL Commodore to follow in the weeks and months that followed the end of the Oran Park ATCC finale.