Racer shows off 'wife with wheels'
BRIAN Henderson refers to his Datsun 2000 as his “wife with wheels”.
The racing veteran has had the vehicle for more than a decade and brought it to Morgan Park at the weekend to show it off at the Historic Queensland Race and Regularity Championships.
“There’s a historical significance to this car, and for many cars here,” Mr Henderson said.
“It’s been a rally car since it was produced.”
Mr Henderson and fellow racing driver and friend Warwick Steed said most cars on the racing circuit have been carefully nurtured by each of their owners.
“Half of the fun is maintaining and bringing to life the older vehicles,” Mr Steed said.
“Mine was a pile of rust when I got it and look at it now.
“If you maintain the vehicles, then they stay good.
“It’s also hard to find parts for the older ones if you ruin them, so you have to drive sensibly.
“You want to come home in one piece and your car too.”
The pair says while a lot of their retirement savings goes into their racing hobby, it is worth every cent.
“You’ve got to be a little bit more creative,” Mr Henderson said.
“Because you don’t have the big budgets like the professional racers, and you’re driving vehicles that are 40 years old, you’ve got to look after what you’ve got.
“How do you make a small fortune from racing? Start off with a large one!”
The pair have had their fair share of bumps and hurdles in the course of racing but said the sport was by and large a safe one.
“If you compare statistics, it’s safer than it is driving in the street,” Mr Steed said.
“But we’ve all come off at some stage though – if you haven’t, you’re not trying hard enough!”
The visit to Warwick at the weekend wasn’t the first for the pair.
The drivers said they enjoyed returning to Morgan Park.
“It’s a terrific race plan,” Mr Steed said.
“Everyone is really friendly. It’s got such nice camaraderie and it’s a well-run event.”
So what is it about racing that keeps the pair hooked?
“The challenge, the development of your racing skills, and also being able to ride something that you have maintained and helped put together,” Mr Henderson said.