Team 18 and Hino Australia have revealed a retro-inspired livery for Scott Pye’s #20 Camaro at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.
“Hino is renowned for our track record with Hino Team Sugawara racing trucks in the gruelling Dakar Rally,” said Richard Emery, vice president of 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,” he continued.
Following a one-two finish on debut in 1966 at California’s Riverside Raceway with a race version of the 1300cc Hino Contessas, the famous American automotive designer Peter Brock created a Hino ‘Team Samurai’ prototype, which he intended to enter in the 1967 Japanese Grand Prix and Le Mans.
“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,” said Emery.
“A merger with Toyota in 1967 ended Hino’s production of cars and racing program, and the ‘Team Samurai’ prototype remained just that, a prototype.
“The story of our involvement in car production is one that is rarely told. In 1953 Hino became a private car manufacturer, initially assembling another brand’s car under licence.
“The range was imported into various markets including Australia – the racing program with Peter Brock was a marketing exercise to promote Hino to the American market.
“Similarly, our long-standing involvement in Supercars including our partnership with Team 18 is a brand-building one that continues to reap rewards for us – this is the fifth time the Hino #20 Camaro will hit the track this year, we wanted it to truly stand out in front of one of the biggest Supercars spectator events this year,” concluded Mr Emery.
Team 18 team owner Charlie Schwerkolt added: “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.”