- Brett Murray
- Gold Coast
Australia’s first winning car in NASCAR competition, which Marcos Ambrose drove to victory in a Nationwide race at Watkins Glen International Raceway in 2008, has been put on the market for the first time.
The #59 STP Ford, which is considered an important part of Australian motorsport history, sat in storage in an old workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina for more than a decade before being mechanically rebuilt last year and shipped to Australia.
It has been relocated it to Queensland where it has been in storage and serviced.
The STP Ford has not been touched cosmetically since appearing in victory lane at the Zippo 200 and still has all the major bumps and bruises as well as the remaining windscreen tear off strips that were unused during the race.
“It has been fun to have this car in the collection, but it is time for it to move on to its next owner,” said the owner in a recent interview. “We had it rebuilt thanks to some NASCAR guys I had met and become friends with through Dale Earnhardt Jnr in North Carolina. “Mechanically we had to do some things to bring it up to scratch, but cosmetically it has not been touched. There are even some Gatorade splash marks still on the roof and windscreen. “Owen Kelly, who enjoyed his own NASCAR career, helped me with the logistics to get it back here. “The Charlotte-based guys sourced all the original 2008-spec parts, including the Roush Yates Engine bits and it is now almost identical to the car that rolled into victory lane at Watkins Glen in August 2008. “I am just glad we have the car in absolute original condition and that we managed to get it back to Australia where hopefully it will be eventually be enjoyed by local fans either on track, in a collection or both.” Ambrose said he was pleased to see the car back in Australia and hoped it sold to a locally-based fan. “It is great that the owner has held on to the car for all this time and that it has made its way back to Australia,” said Ambrose. “I don’t get too emotional about this type of stuff, but it would be cool to have it remain in Australia because of its significance. “It is quite amazing that the car looks as it did when we rolled it into victory lane.” The car was recently serviced for a shakedown at Queensland Raceway where it was driven by Supercars driver Brodie Kostecki under the watchful eye of Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris. The car comes with a new set of mounted road-course racing slicks.
THIS CAR IS NOW ON PERMANENT DISPLAY AT THE GOLD COAST MOTOR MUSEUM - 107 KRIEDMAN ROAD, UPPER COOMERA, QUEENSLAND.