HERO – ERA 1 Launch

June 23, 2023
HERO-ERA and Prodrive car cover

I was thrilled to get the call to stand in for their in-house photographer this weekend. Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation were launching their HERO-ERA 1 historic rally car….

Tony Jardine, Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Jackie Oliver, David Richards & Richard ‘Tomo’ Thompson introducing the HERO-ERA 1

Head of Communications at HERO-ERA, Tony Jardine introduced the leading motorsport figures to the gathered crowd. HERO-ERA Chairman, Tomas de Vargas Machuca outlined the project that had covered the last 18 months. He was joined by former F1 driver & Le Mans winner, Jackie Oliver. To his left was the CEO of Prodrive, David Richards and Senior Engineer, Richard Thompson. Prodrive’s engineering has been at the leading edge of all kind of motorsport for many years…. The HERO-ERA 1 was sure to be incredible if they have built it.

rally car unveiled at launch event
The moment has come…. do the honours gentlemen
1967 Mustang historic rally car
In all her glory…. HERO-ERA 1, 1967 Mustang historic rally car

They had taken what was described as a rusting ‘basket case’ of a 1967 Mustang Fastback. Handed it over to Richard ‘Tomo’ Thompson who with his engineers breathed Prodrive’s World Rally Championship winning knowhow into every nut and bolt. What appeared from under the cover was a 400bhp state-of-the-art historic desert rally machine! Click here to watch a short film about it’s journey to where we are today

Spectators enjoying the launch of HERO-ERA 1
Spectators enjoying the launch of HERO-ERA 1
Spectators enjoying the launch of HERO-ERA 1
Spectators enjoying the launch of HERO-ERA 1

The crowds gradually moved off to look at other things around the grounds during the Bicester Flywheel event. It was was time for some to have a much closer look… some got the best view of all.

engineer shows 2 boys inside rally car
Prodrive’s chief engineer Richard ‘Tomo’ Thompson shows 2 young lads around the HERO-ERA Mustang
cockpit of HERO-ERA 1 Mustang
The Office
No Tools please
No Tools Please

3 pm arrived… it was time to take the Mustang through the crowds to the test track. Where Tomas and Jackie would have a couple of laps each to try it out in front of the spectators. It certainly turned some heads as she made her way there…

Making her way to the test track…
Making her way to the test track…
The HERO-ERA 1, 1967 Mustang historic rally car is a real head turner…

First up was Tomas and under firm instructions from Tomo to “give it a proper go…” He duly obliged and lit the rear tyres up as he launched off the line….Could have done with a navigator though 🙂

HERO-ERA 1, Mustang historic rally car
HERO-ERA chairman, Tomas de Vargas Machuca launches into his demo laps
HERO ERA 1 launch at Bicester Heritage
HERO-ERA chairman, Tomas de Vargas Machuca telling Tony Jardine just how much he enjoyed that…
American muscle meets British Heritage
HERO-ERA 1 Mustang historic rally car
Jackie Oliver brings the Mustang back in after his demo laps
Tony Jardine enjoying Jackie Olivers comments after his demo laps

2 quick laps of the figure 8 track and Tomas brought the car in for Jackie’s turn at the wheel. He looked to have enjoyed his demo too judging by his face and comments afterwards…

Jackie Oliver telling Prodrive CEO David Richards how good the HERO-ERA 1 is…. He already knows, they built it :))

Even on this short demo it was clear the HERO-ERA 1 Mustang is awesome. It would be great to see it out in the wild on a proper historic rally…. I am available # JustSaying!!!

By Skelly

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