Early Group A days

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Man -

The 1985 sea­son saw the in­tro­duc­tion of the in­ter­na­tional Group A rules with O’Brien on the side­lines. He was ap­proached to drive Lawrie Nel­son’s pri­va­teer Ford Mus­tang at Bathurst that year – and cringes at the mem­ory. “I helped him sort it out and make it drive­able. I was five sec­ond a lap quicker then Lawrie af­ter two ses­sions. He was a bit ca­sual. There were elec­tri­cal prob­lems in the race and I didn’t get a drive.”

For 1986 O’Brien was ap­proached by fel­low Ford stal­wart Mur­ray Carter to build a Nis­san Sky­line DR30. Whilst this mar­riage of con­ve­nience would work on the track – the duo fin­ished a strong 10th over­all at Bathurst de­spite start­ing 42nd af­ter an oil fil­ter blew off in qual­i­fy­ing – it was a dif­fer­ent story off the track, as O’Brien rue­fully ex­plains.

“It was a hand­shake deal with Carter, 50-50. I bought a new car di­rect from Nis­san. My me­chanic Grant O’Neill went to Carter’s Mel­bourne work­shop to build the car. I was the one tip­ping all the money in. Fred Gib­son (from Nis­san Motorsport) was good with parts and tech­ni­cal sup­port. Af­ter Bathurst Carter told me he was do­ing all the ATCC rounds in 1987.” In dis­pute was who owned the car. “I got my le­gal coun­sel in­volved and even­tu­ally we set­tled on the steps of the Supreme Court in Can­berra. I re­ceived two post-dated cheques for $25,000 each and he got his car.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.