Car racer not slowing down soon
IMMEDIATELY before a high-speed motorcar race, as Stanthorpe racer John Anderson sits behind the wheel, there's no nerves. He's as relaxed as ever.
"I've been doing it all my life, and this is my domain. When I'm sitting there in the race car, all strapped up, I'm as calm as can be. I could go to sleep,” he said.
Mr Anderson, whose wife Gidge sits watching anxiously from the sidelines, said he owns six race cars, which he keeps in his shed, two of which are replicas of cars he's owned previously and will never race.
The rest of his vehicles, the 66-year-old said, he races.
"I just love it. It's an addiction. The speed has a lot to do with it. And the side-by-side racing with the other cars.
"I bought a NASCAR - it has the number 43 on it - two years ago from America and had it shipped over.
"I knew that was the kind of car I wanted.
"I'm a NASCAR fan and I could see it was a really good car.
"It cost about $50,000.
He has bought three cars in America, and in 2016 was invited by the person he bought "number 43” car from to race in Washington State, near the Canadian border.
"I was going over anyway, so I went and raced his car. It was identical to the one I'd just bought.”
Mr Anderson, who has lived in Stanthorpe for five years, said he races his NASCAR at Queensland Raceway, or Willowbank.
"I bought another car from Victoria last year - it has the number 51 on it - and I want to race it at Morgan Park in Warwick. It's a Gemini with a rotary-powered engine.”
Mr Anderson - who grew up on a farm at Ashford, halfway between Texas and Inverell, started racing in Texas just after his 17th birthday.
"I went to a race meeting and I wasn't 17.
"I had my L plates and I went with a friend.
"And I was back there a month later with my first race car, and my Ps.
"My dad was into race horses, and I didn't tell him I was building a car.
" The first time he saw it was when I was towing it to a race meeting.
"He said to my mother, 'Well, there's nothing we can do about it, so we might as well go watch him'.
"He became a big fan.”
Mr Anderson's most treasured car is his orange "number 8”, a replica - which took him three months to build - of the first car he raced.