This is a 2004 Holden Rodeo that was built for the Australian Safari Rally by the Holden Rally Team for none-other than Australian racing legend Peter Brock.

Brock piloted this race-prepared pickup truck alongside navigator Ross Runnalls. It’s powered by a 5.7 liter LS1 V8 which sends power to all four wheels via a 6-speed Holinger sequential gearbox, a triple-plate clutch, and an Albins transfer case.

Fast Facts – An Australian Safari Rally Holden Rodeo

  • This vehicle is a highly-modified Holden Rodeo pickup truck from the 2004 model year. It was built into a safari rally truck by the Holden Rally Team in Australia, a project overseen by Todd Kelly. Two purpose-built Holden Rodeos were made side-by-side, the example shown here is “Number 05.”
  • It would be this truck, Number 05, that was driven by one of Australia’s most famous drivers, Peter Brock. He was joined by navigator Ross Runnalls in the cockpit, and the two men competed in the grueling 2004 Australian Safari Rally.
  • The rebuild process for both of these trucks was extensive. They were fitted with 350+ bhp 5.7 liter LS1 V8s, 6-speed Holinger sequential gearboxes, uprated front and rear suspension, significantly improved brakes, a full competition-spec roll cage, and much more.
  • The example you see here has been restored back to excellent condition and is now being offered for sale out of Thornleigh in NSW, Australia on Collecting Cars. It comes with its original CAMS Log Book (still current), a 2004 Australian Safari Rally Identity Card carrying Peter Brock and Ross Runnalls photographs, and a slew of other documentation.

Who Was Peter Brock?

From the early 1970s well into the 2000s, there was one name that was perhaps above all others in the Australian racing scene – Peter Brock. Nicknamed “Peter Perfect,” “The King of the Mountain,” or just “Brocky,” he became one of the most successful drivers in the Australian professional racing scene, winning the Bathurst 1000 endurance race 9 times, the Sandown 500 touring car race 9 times, the Australian Touring Car Championship 3 times, and the Bathurst 24 Hour race.

Above Video: This is a clip of Peter Brock racing at Bathurst in 1993. He’s chatting and laughing with the commentators as he flies around the track, seemingly completely relaxed even though his gearbox is on the way out and he has to physically hold it in second gear to stop it popping out.

Peter Brock would win 48 races from 212 starts, taking 57 pole positions, and competing in a diverse range of series including open-wheeled racing, V8 supercars, touring cars, and rally. He would work closely with the Australian state of Victoria on campaigns to reduce drink driving, this was the reason his racing number was “05,” as 0.05% is the blood alcohol limit in Victoria.

Later in his career Brock would work closely with the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) on a series of modified Holden performance cars for the road. This was the time the “Energy Polariser” he liked to fit to cars began to rub some people the wrong way, and ultimately he left Holden and went out to work independently. Though he would work with Holden again in the future.

Brock was still regularly racing in the 2000s when he was into his late 50s and early 60s. In September of 2006 he would be tragically killed in an accident while competing in his Daytona Sportscar in the Targa West ’06 rally near the town of Gidgegannup, approximately 40 miles north of Perth, Western Australia.

The Holden Rodeo

The Holden Rodeo was a series of pickup trucks offered in the Australian (and wider Australasian) market over three generations between 1980 and 2008. The truck was actually developed and built by Japanese automaker Isuzu, and at various times it was sold as the Isuzu Faster then later as the Isuzu D-Max.

Holden Rodeo

Image DescriptionWith its 350+ bhp 5.7 liter LS1 V8, this Holden Rodeo is considerably faster than any of the stock vehicles that left the factory.

The Rodeo was classed as a compact pickup truck, being considerably smaller than the standard sized pickups being used in the United States. It was offered in a variety of body styles including single cab, double cab, and chassis cab for tradespeople who needed their own custom rear end.

The third generation Holden Rodeo would debut in 2003 and be sold until 2008, when it was succeeded by the similar Holden Colorado which was essentially a righthand drive version of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.

The Australian Safari Rally Holden Rodeo Shown Here

The vehicle you see here started life as a standard 2004 Holden Rodeo, but it was soon rebuilt by the Holden Rally Team in Australia overseen by Todd Kelly. The original engine, transmission, transfer case, and rear axle assembly were all removed, as was the original interior, suspension, and brakes.

The rebuild was focused on the shell of the Rodeo and it would include new longer-travel suspension, uprated brakes, a new independent rear suspension system in the rear sourced from a Mitsubishi Pajero, and a completely new drivetrain.

A new 5.7 liter LS1 V8 was sourced, this is the same engine used in the C5 version of the Chevrolet Corvette which produces approximately 350+ bhp, though this can vary depending on the level of tune. This engine sends power back through a 6-speed Holinger sequential gearbox, a triple-plate clutch, and an Albins transfer case to all four wheels.

The head engineer behind this project, Todd Kelly, was authorised to keep Number 05 after its racing program had been completed. It was then given a full restoration by him and the team at Kelly Racing.

Holden Rodeo 4

Image DescriptionAs you can see, the interior has been completely stripped out. A pair of racing seats and harnesses have been installed, along with a full roll cage, and all the essentials needed for competing in the Australian Safari Rally.

It now presents in excellent condition throughout and it comes with its original CAMS Log Book (still current), a large collection of development notes, build diagrams, two keys, a 2004 Australian Safari Rally Identity Card carrying Peter Brock and Ross Runnalls photographs, a build photo album, a Holden Rally Team Australian Rally DVD, and team photographs from the 2004 Australian Safari Rally.

It’s now being offered for sale out of Thornleigh in NSW, Australia on Collecting Cars as a unique piece of Australian motorsport history. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Collecting Cars

Published by Ben Branch -