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Home  /  May 2018  /  Racing

Look, it’s all good news this morning for the more mature reader.

On Saturday, the world’s oldest racing driver competed in the K&N Pro Series West at Tucson Speedway. No, Michael McMichael has not flown to Texas after our stunning lack of success in Targa Tasmania, but later we do have some shocking news on Australia’s leading royal nude portrait painter that will make the impact of the GFC on the stockmarket like a fly hitting your windscreen at 200km/h.

Ninety-year-old Hershel McGriff, “The Legend”, and his family, will break every record known to persons of all sexes when he, his son and granddaughter drive in two 100-lap races in a Toyota for the Bill McAnally Racing team. McAnally’s other drivers include 16-year-old Hailie Deegan.

In an exclusive interview from the Old Peking Chinese restaurant down the road from the speedway, Hershel told me: “It’ll be up to me to turn the wheel in the right direction. When I get my helmet on, they won’t know who’s in there.”

Hmmm. Michael McMichael says much the same thing when he is leading a class in nude Tantric healing and awakening with elements of trance work leading to a degree in Tao Tantric Loving.


Hershel McGriff & Ray Elliot – Oldsmobile V8 5000 cc

But when it comes to the big questions, Michael is usually right.

Last week at his Stepney BMW transformation garage and nude portrait studio, we were doing a vertical tasting of Romanee-Conti wines with wine maker Bernie Noblet on the Skype from Burgundy.

Bernie took over from his dad, Andre, in much the same way as Chuck Windsor will take over from his mum Liz. Anyway, we were on to the Romanee-Conti DRC 1990, comparing it to Dr Tim Cooper’s Vintage Ale 2017, of which Tim says “if fine wine were beer it would be our Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale”. Tim said he was happy to do a bottle for readers of motoring in The Weekend Australian readers for $8. Always the practical one, Michael asked Bernie: “So what could you do a bottle of your red for?”

When Bernie said “35 grand plus freight”, Michael exploded. “Mais merde quoi Monsieur Bernie! At the Kensi around the corner from here you can buy Whistler Get In My Belly Grenache from the Barossa for $48.50 (less for cash)! I could buy a case of that and a case of Coopers and have change left over to buy a ­Hyundai i30N.”

Regular readers will know that when I was researching our upcoming must-read guide to supercars over $350,000 that won’t make you look like a drug dealer, Michael told me to forget all that and just tell them to buy the i30N.

Well, I hate to admit it, but our friends at Wheels magazine have proved him right. The April issue features the mag’s hot hatch megatest with a dozen (12, for younger readers) of the best performance hatches hitting the road to find which manufacturer of utterly banal automotive white goods can turn the old shoe into something infused with magic.

Lowest rated was the Mini Cooper S JCW. Then came the BMW 125iM Sport, the Subie, the Skoda, the Ford Focus ST, the Renault Clio RS220 Trophy, the Golf, the Peugeot 308 GT1 and the Honda Civic Type R (“a cut-price Porker 911 GT3”). The winner was the i30N, which Wheels said was a ­“superb driver’s car for an amazing price”.

Talking of rallies, don’t forget in two weeks more than 550 weirdos in 225 pieces of metal that could be vaguely described as cars will set off on an attempt to drive the 3800km from Brisbane to Darwin to raise money for the Cancer Council. This is the first year your Weekend Australian Rally Team won’t be competing but it still remains very personal for me as two of my sisters died from bowel cancer. See what you can do to support teams like Animal with Julie Pesch and Kate Woolston, the Enemas of Cancer, Man Chest Hair United and the Polyp Princesses.

One car that won’t be on the rally is Terry Maloney’s original 1954 FJ Holden, which has been in his family for more than 35 years.

Only 62,000 miles (no kilometres in those days) with all the original paperwork. Not so classic Holdens, Fords and Valiants are bringing big money these days. Last week, Shannons sold a 1977 HZ Premier for $38,000; a Holden Sandman for $37,000; a 1977 ­Charger for $43,000; a 1972 Monaro GTS for $82,000; and a 1972 VH E55 Charger for $115,000. Terry has a real fear his Holden will go to an overseas collector so get in touch at terry.maloney53@yahoo.com.au. Next week we will be looking in detail at the disgraceful attitude our government has to classic cars.

Finally, can I give you the short of the week opportunity? On Monday, short all the listed booze and hotel stocks. In a shock revelation I can announce exclusively, so like everything else you read it here first, that Michael McMichael is off the drink. Friends, don’t you worry about tax cuts and the economy, this is a real fiscal disaster. Expect hundreds of ASX profit warnings when directors understand the full impact.

I am suspicious of this latest move. I think he has received an invite to Meghan and Harry’s wedding at Windsor Castle next week and hasn’t let on. Dave Beckham rang me last night and said he and Vickie had heard the rumour from Elton John, who will be on the tools at the big event. Dave said that not only had Mick been invited to paint portraits at the after-party but he would be up front at the church with George, Charlotte and the rest of the family. “Can you just suggest nicely to Michael that when is he is doing nude royal portraits he doesn’t have to drop his gear as well,” Dave said.

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