Retro ‘Hino Samurai’ livery for Team 18 at Gold Coast
Tuesday 24th October, 2023 - 9:00am
Scott Pye’s Team 18 Camaro will race at this weekend’s Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 in a ‘Hino Samurai’ retro livery.
While Hino is known as a truck manufacturer, the look harks back to its little-known history in cars, initially assembling other brand’s vehicles under licence before producing its own.
After a race version of the Hino Contessa finished one-two on debut in 1966 at California’s Riverside Raceway, famous American automotive designer Peter Brock created a Hino ‘Team Samurai’ prototype with the intention to compete in the 1967 Japanese Grand Prix and Le Mans.
However, it was ruled ineligible and never competed.
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“Hino is renowned for our track record with Hino Team Sugawara racing trucks in the gruelling Dakar Rally,” said Richard Emery, Vice President Brand and Franchise Development for Hino Australia.
“But this striking red livery is actually inspired by our brief, little-known foray into car racing in the 1960s.
“It was a hailed a styling triumph featuring in several magazines and displayed at motor shows, but ultimately it didn’t compete in the Japanese Grand Prix due to a steward’s ruling that it had insufficient ground clearance.
“A merger with Toyota in 1967 ended Hino’s production of cars and racing programme, and the ‘Team Samurai’ prototype remained just that, a prototype.”
Team 18 Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt said, “It’s a tremendous honour for Team 18 to showcase Hino’s historic Samurai livery on Scott Pye’s Camaro at the Gold Coast 500.
“This unique design pays homage to Hino’s short but remarkable history in car racing, a story that’s often overlooked.
“The 1960s was a fascinating period for Hino, and their ‘Team Samurai’ prototype, brought to life by legendary American designer Pete Brock, truly reflects their commitment to innovation and style and we’re proud to showcase that at Team 18.
“Our Hino #20 Camaro is set to shine on the streets of Surfers Paradise, and we’re looking forward to racing with the spirit and heritage of Hino by our side as we race in front of the thousands of fans at the Gold Coast.”
Pye added, “I’m really excited and proud to represent Hino, which has been a huge supporter of our team, but in particular this livery behind me looks fantastic.
“It was something in 1967 that never actually hit the track, So I’m excited to get on the circuit at the Gold Coast 500.
“The livery looks great, I think it’s really cool. It’s a nice twist on a retro livery.”
This weekend’s Gold Coast 500 will be Team 18’s first event since a restructure involving the resignation of Team Manager Bruin Beasley and departure of Mark Winterbottom’s Race Engineer, Manuel Sanchez, and Data Engineer, Julia McGarry.
Practice 1 starts on Friday at 11:30 local time/12:30 AEDT.