Back to farm­ing

Australian Muscle Car - - Man -

When I de­cided to do this ca­reer ret­ro­spec­tive and in­ter­view Ge­orge, I gured he’d be one of those blokes who would still live in the same place and have the same phone num­ber he al­ways had. I sim­ply pulled out my old con­tact book from the 1980s, modi ed the pre xes to ac­count for changes over the years, and gave him a call… sure enough, he an­swered and was happy for me to visit.

It’s 26 years since he qui­etly hung up his hel­met. He had re­turned to ‘the farm’ – 1000 acres he bought in 1972 at Tal­malmo on the NSW side of the Mur­ray – and he’s still there, al­though tech­ni­cally it’s not the same place where I’d rst in­ter­viewed him maybe 40 years ago. No, he’s ac­tu­ally moved… about 5km over the hill to a smaller 100-acre prop­erty that ad­joins the orig­i­nal.

What he calls the ‘new house’ was ac­tu­ally built 18 years ago, but it was only a year ago that he nally sold the big farm, with a view to re­tir­ing for good. He still has a cou­ple of hun­dred sheep but even­tu­ally he and Margie, his wife of al­most 40 years, will cut the house block off and set­tle down to some quiet time.

Ge­orge couldn’t wait to get me out to his big ma­chin­ery shed, where he keeps the Mazda MX5 track car he bought al­most four years ago. For a long time he drove it to Win­ton for track­days, but the sus­pen­sion is now so stiff that it has to be trail­ered. Al­ways a good de­vel­op­ment driver, and a trained me­chanic, Ge­orge loves work­ing on the car and driv­ing it, but has no in­ten­tion of rac­ing again. He is 75, af­ter all. He’s happy just turn­ing up at a track­day and hav­ing fun.

Fury was never mo­ti­vated by tro­phies – just as well see­ing how Nis­san seemed to al­ways sab­o­tage his chances on the track – and his house is no­tably bereft of sil­ver­ware or even pho­tos of his rac­ing past. He raced for per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion and seems con­tent with his lot.

And the school bus he fa­mously drove through­out his rac­ing ca­reer? Well, he only stopped driv­ing it in 1995, af­ter 23 years.

Ge­orge loves watch­ing F1 and Mo­toGP on TV, but has been to only one race meet­ing since he re­tired from rac­ing. That was Bathurst 2014, when Nis­san Aus­tralia took him along to drive his old Blue­bird on the oc­ca­sion of the 30th an­niver­sary of his bril­liant pole po­si­tion there.

He’s not much of a Su­per­cars fan, and was sur­prised when I asked how he felt about Nis­san’s with­drawal. He was aware, but clearly not af­fected by it.

“I don’t know what they’ve ever got out of it to be hon­est. They’ve sunk a lot of money into it and I’m not sure how it equates to what their aim is… The Nis­san name I guess was in the fore­front a lit­tle bit, but it was never re­ally suc­cess­ful, so I can see their point.” Re­united with his old Blue­bird Turbo at Win­ton four years ago (above); back home on the farm at Tal­malmo, with au­thor David Has­sall.

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