Walk­ing away

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -

West has lived at Tam­borine, on the flat coun­try out the back of the Gold Coast, for the past 22 years. He and his wife Deb­bie raised two daugh­ters and a son.

“I’m a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence, me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer. But I never did any of it. I was in the plas­tics in­dus­try, then started an ex­change com­po­nent business do­ing MacPher­son struts, steer­ing racks for Minis and stuff. I played in the tourist in­dus­try in the Whit­sun­days, then came back to in­dus­try.

“I was in New Guinea and the Solomons for a while on the yacht. So it’s been a very var­ied life.”

For a man with so much in his life, the decision to call time on mo­tor­sport was sur­pris­ingly easy. As he scaled the rac­ing ranks he was keen to dis­cover just how good he was. And when he’d an­swered that ques­tion to his sat­is­fac­tion, it was time to pull the pin. In any case, there was the mat­ter of fi­nanc­ing his rac­ing.

“If David McKay had still had a car for me to drive, I might have con­tin­ued. But I wasn’t in­ter­ested in work­ing on a rac­ing car five nights a week. There were all th­ese dusky maidens in the south Pa­cific that needed me.

“I raced twice at War­wick Farm in 1969 and then re­tired. There were other things. I could see after a sea­son in the For­mula 1 car that I wasn’t go­ing to worry Stir­ling Moss or Jim Clark.

“From the Mor­gan on, rac­ing was to find out how good I was. I wasn’t good enough, sim­ple as that. So it was stupid to spend my whole life just to drive eight times a year.”

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