Back to farming
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.