Written by Kerryn Caulfield, Executive Director of Composites Australia Inc.
Founded and co-owned by Bill Kain and Gordon Peters in 1978, Revolution was an industrious fibreglassing company specialising in making a large range of fibreglass products including hot rod bodies and aftermarket components, and was best known for making Hallett Ski Boats.
Recognising the opportunity to capitalise on the ‘kit car’ concept using the company’s fibreglassing and boatbuilding workforce skills, Revolution set about to produce a downunder high-performance sports car using readymade mechanicals from a V8 Holden panel van and ute. Named the ‘Perentti’, the body was inspired by the third generation Chevrolet Corvette, which at the time was the pinnacle of both muscle car and sports tourer.
According to Gordon Peters, fibreglass kit car bodies of the time were single skinned, the Perentti’s body was double skinned, with a wall thickness of between 3mm and 6mm. “Mechanically, the Perentti was based on a Holden HJ ute or panel van chassis. It was powered by a 350ci 307 V8 5 litre Chev Engine with a Turbo 350 Automatic Transmission. The motor was moved back and down by an inch which gave it better weight distribution.”
A safety feature was 25mm steel intrusion bars in the doors and body panels, in order to comply with Australian Design Rules standards. It was offered in kit and eventually “turn-key” form.
The Perentti was price pointed against the Brock HDT Group A SS Commodore classic touring car that was retailing in the early eighties for around $23,000. Revolution offered the Perrenti to the market in various stages of finish, from a $7,000 kit to a fully finished, road registerable and warrantied iteration for around $30,000.
The stringency and compliance costs of the national standards for vehicle safety in the form of the Australian Design Rules foiled the company’s plan to have the car ADR tested for limited production compliance, so as to sell 100 per year of the factory assembled completed cars with a factory warranty. The result was that only around two dozen were made until 1988.
A Perentti car was reimagined and modified for the 2015 post-apocalyptic action film, Mad Max, Fury Road to do battle for the cameras along with other iconic Aussie cars including Ford Falcons and Chrysler Chargers.