Life after racing
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.