Benzina Magazine…

Posted: February 21, 2023 in Fotos, Sports Racers
Arthurs Seat. Port Phillip Bay at right, Bass Straight in the distance, next stop King Island then Tasmania (N French)

I’ve taken a step sideways from my motor racing core and have started contributing to Benzina Magazine, a quarterly classic-car mag.

It’s the brainchild of Australian classic motoring and historic motorsport entrepreneur Jack Quinn. We have just put away issue #6, it’s published in Australia and the UK, so you Pommies should be able to find a copy too.

What was it Frank Gardner and Jim Hardman taught me at Calder in 1975? Very comfy in here all day, steering heavy, ‘box devine (N French)
Test of the toupee near Flinders, the exhaust note at speed is six-cylinder sonorous. Victorian B-roads at present are shit, they must have Covid, but the independent suspension front and rear is well up the challenge though. Hang on Dr King, purple will not catch on by the way (N French)

My feature in this issue (#6) is an historic treatise and driving impressions on the AC Ace Bristol, the first and best of the breed. I co-wrote a piece on the late Australian racer/businessman Reg Hunt too. #5 on back-issue was an article on the Lou Abrahams and Ted Gray Tornado V8s.

Check the mag out, we’re still locking down the ‘standard mix of articles’ so do give me your impressions on the good, the bad and the ugly.

Nico French is the photographer, a talented, fun guy to work with, a Lotus driver so say no more. The venues in-shot are Arthurs Seat, Shoreham and Flinders on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The car is Bob King’s 1960 Ace, a machine delivered to its original Australian military-man owner in Europe but otherwise always resident here.

(N French)

The 2-litre BMW derived, two-OHV, Bristol triple-Solex fed straight-six is good for circa 135bhp in this tune, more than enough for the 1960 light, spaceframe chassis car. These magnificent machines have racing-roots, it shows in every aspect of their performance.

Photo Credits…

Nico French

Shoreham looking at Point Leo (N French)

Nothing beats a pert, perky, two-handful rump. No fat, no frills and no baubles. Perfetto…


  1. McCarthy, Andrew says:

    Nice on Mark … and Frank would say ‘… don’t sit like a girl with your legs together …. The knees brace against with the gearbox tunnel and the door , keeping your left foot against the floor pushing ya bum into the seat … and don’t cross your arms and keep your head horizontal to the road , don’t lean in to the corner ..!!”

    Kind regards,

    Andrew McCarthy
    Senior Client Adviser
    Bell Potter Securities
    Ph: 03 9235 1634
    Fax: 03 9235 1635
    Mob: 0412 127 845

  2. bill hollingsworth says:

    I am a reformed magazine junkie. Once the internet started to happen the need for magazines started to wane. I still love and read my pre 1970 magazines whose qualities of art and writing are peerless. I do not like how computer graphics which could yield fantastic results seem to gravitate to a corporate style that renders them all the same be it for a company report or a magazine. The Rodder’s Journal which for me is the best of contemporary car magazines is on its knees. I think the future of car magazines is for specialist editions on 2 or 3 particular topics including a review of an historic event like the upcoming Longford revival which is linked to a blog. I hope I don’t sound too negative.

  3. greg moss says:

    Is Nico related to John French, the Age photographer I used to work with last century?

  4. David E M Thompson says:

    Dr. King, take heed. The world famous dancer Isadora Duncan died on 14 September 1929. The long scarf which she was wearing became caught in the wire wheels of the Bugatti in which she was riding.

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