Isuzu Bellett: The club car that helped ’Bondy’ become a superstar

04 November 2013

The Isuzu Bellett was a stylish performance package, particularly the 1.6 litre GT version with its two-door coupe body as shown here. This example owned by Colin Bond’s team-mate Arthur Treloar is getting a high-speed workout at Sydney’s Warwick Farm Raceway in 1966.

Race and rally great Colin Bond was one of many young drivers learning their craft in the thriving Australian sporting car club scene in the 1960s, so the release of Isuzu’s Bellett 1500 sedan in 1964 and hotter two-door GT version in 1966 could not have been better timed. 

‘Bondy’ raced and rallied Isuzu Belletts with car owner Arthur Treloar prolifically during this period, which served as an ideal launching pad for a race and rally career that really took off as soon as Bond’s prodigious talent became evident.

These Bellett outings included some big step-ups from club competition too, with a 12 Hour international sports car race in Queensland and two starts and two finishes in the annual Bathurst 500 mile (800 km) endurance classic.

Those two races at Mount Panorama allowed Bond to learn the difficult track, which laid the foundation for his first and only outright Bathurst win when he returned in 1969 at the wheel of a brutish HDT Monaro GTS 350.

The list of other well-known drivers who had an association with Belletts in those days included rally ace Barry Ferguson, 1964 Bathurst 500 winner George Reynolds and touring car racing icon Peter ‘Racecam’ Williamson to name a few.