story by Speedcafe
Erebus Motorsport has honoured iconic touring car privateer Graeme Bailey by recreating two of his famous liveries to run on its cars at the Rabble.Club Sandown 500.
The 1986 Chickadee Commodore Graeme Bailey and Allan Grice drove to victory at Bathurst
The Melbourne squad has revived the classic Chickadee colours Bailey raced with success in the Australian Touring Car Championship during the 1980s.
Will Brown and codriver Anton De Pasquale will embrace the retro spirit by running a colour scheme Bailey used to take a Class B win behind the wheel of a Toyota Celica at Sandown in 1982.
Team mates David Reynolds and co-driver Luke Youlden will honour the vintage Chickadee VK Commodore SS that Bailey and Allan Grice scored a surprise victory in the 1986 Bathurst 1000 with a special livery on their #9 ZB Commodore.
Bailey was present for the official retro livery launch at Erebus Motorsport’s Dandenong workshop which has opened its doors to the public today.
The 75-year-old, retired racing driver and former chicken farmer from New South Wales’ Central Coast described the livery tribute as an honour.
“It’s an honour to see the recognition and I feel proud to be involved,” said Bailey.
“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.”
Reynolds is eagerly awaiting the chance to drive a recreation of one of his favourite liveries from the past which reminds him of last year’s shock Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victory.
Car title sponsor Penrite Oil led the project to reproduce the livery having seen the colour scheme replicated in a computer 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,” said Reynolds.
“It’s very cool not only for what it achieved, but it reminds me of our win in a lot of ways.
“It was a win against-the-odds; a little team who started second on the grid and defeated the favourites, exactly like we did.”
Supercars rookie De Pasquale, who was born almost 10 years after Bailey’s Bathurst success, believes the liveries on both Erebus Commodores is a fitting way to pay tribute to the great privateer.
“Retro round has always been cool but to be part of it now is special,” said De Pasquale.
“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.”
Both cars will take to the track for the first time during opening practice for the Sandown 500 on Friday at 1040 AEST.