Rare car requires bespoke parts

Fast and physical . . . Chris Glassier, of Dunedin, was unbeaten driving his Marcos LM500 in the four races of the Sports and GT class in the Classic Speedfest at Teretonga Park in Invercargill earlier this month. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE

In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes talking with Dunedin motorsport enthusiasts about their passion for their form of racing.

Grand touring car racer Chris Glassier, of Dunedin.

What’s the history of your race car – a Marcos LM500.

It was one of two built in the United Kingdom in 1993 and it won the British GT Championships the next year. I bought it from New Zealand Formula 5000 driver Ken Smith in 2013.

What drove you to buy it?

Highlands Park – it was when it was announced the motorsport park was going to be built and I got excited. I wanted something that was unique and I found it but it comes with it’s challenges – it’s hard to get parts for – you have to make them or get them made but we’re getting on top of it and it’s starting to run good.

How can the car be improved?

A bit of suspension tuning to try to make it faster.

What do you do for a crust?

I’m a motor mechanic.

Where have you raced it?

I won a modern classics race at Highlands Park, and won the odd race in the Mainland Muscle Cars Race Series and I’ve been running it in classic car races now and I won four from four races in the Sports and GT class in the Classic Speedfest at Teretonga Park in Invercargill earlier this month.

Unique motoring . . .The engine of Chris Glassier’s Marcos LM500 car.

What did you win?

A chocolate fish. There’s no trophies in the classic class – it’s supposed to be gentlemen racing.

What do you mean by ‘supposed to be’?

For most of the drivers when the helmet goes on, the horns come out – everyone wants to win.

How fast have you driven it?

It doesn’t have a speedo so I don’t know but I’d guess about 150mph [240kmh] on the straight at Teretonga Park.

What does it feel like at that speed?

Good. I love it – the faster the better.

Are you tired after the race?

Yeah, it’s a physical car to drive – there’s no power steering.

What’s next for it?

Highlands Park in April hopefully. We have some vibration issues at high speed we need to sort out but we’ll get on top of that.

What’s the other car in your shed?

My original race car – a 1965 Ford Cortina Mark I GT. My brother Michael bought it in 1989 and we competed in pre ’65 class and street races in Dunedin and Wellington. The last time I raced it was when I won both races in the Wellington Street Race in 1993. I want to restore it – back to its original race condition – so my kids or my brother’s kids can have a wee play, but that’s a long-term project – I’m having more fun with the Marcos at the moment.