Life af­ter rac­ing

Australian Muscle Car - - Man -

While Martin may have been done with rac­ing, rac­ing was not done with Martin. There were out­ings in Ford and Holden fac­tory se­ries pro­duc­tion cars in the late 1960s, as we will soon see. Then, when the prime mus­cle car era ended, af­ter an ab­sence of nearly a decade, he teamed with his for­mer boss David McKay at Bathurst in 1979 in, of all cars, a Volvo. Then, an­other decade later, he re­turned to the Moun­tain with his son Matt in a Bob Holden Corolla.

In the early 1980s he bought a share of the iconic Fer­rari 250LM and with McKay ven­tured to La­guna Seca in Cal­i­for­nia in 1984. Here, in ‘vin­tage rac­ing’ as the yanks call it, he as­tounded the lo­cals by beat­ing all but for­mer Shelby fac­tory racer Bob Bon­durant in a Co­bra. He was in­tro­duced at the event to Aus­tralian col­lec­tor Kerry Mano­lis and over sev­eral years raced a ver­i­ta­ble ar­ray of clas­sic rac­ers from Fer­raris to Maser­atis to Jaguars and Alfa Romeos at iconic venues in­clud­ing Monte Carlo, Nur­bur­gring and Sil­ver­stone.

Martin’s last race was at the 2006 Tas­man Re­vival in the ex-Mil­dren Rac­ing Brab­ham BT23D with an Alfa Romeo V8, as raced by Frank Gard­ner and Kevin Bartlett in 1968-69. At the age of 67 he made sure he was pre­pared, in­sist­ing on a cou­ple of tests and get­ting him­self t at the gym. He nished a ght­ing sec­ond to John Smith in a much faster Lo­tus 49 Cos­worth Ford.

Be­low: Spencer Martin in a Brab­ham-Alfa V8 chased by John Smith’s Ford Cos­worth V8 Lo­tus 49 in the 2006 Tas­man Re­vival race at Eastern Creek. Martin has raced a num­ber of clas­sic ma­chines in his­toric rac­ing, in­clud­ing his old Fer­rari 250LM.

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