Race stalwart s time for a change
John Hurney. Picture: Alex Forrest

If you've driven a car at Barbagallo Raceway at some stage over the last 44 years, chances are you've benefited from the work of John Hurney.

He's one of those people who clubs and associations treasure because they do the work of 10 through their motivation to see the club's cause succeed.

Mr Hurney is a past president of the WA Sporting Car Club, which runs Barbagallo Raceway, and has for many years been involved in WA motorsport as an official, a driver trainer, prodigious safety advocate and competitor.

His work was recognised in 2006 when he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to motorsport in WA.

As a competitor, Mr Hurney's most recent steed has been this immaculate 1974 TVR 3000M. He has been using it to compete in the WA Speed Event Series, which comprises a rigorous schedule of hill climbs and sprint events throughout the year.

Now though, he's decided to retire from the series and move into single-seater racing. Hence, his immaculate TVR is up for sale.

John Hurney has spent the last seven years developing his rare 1974 TVR 3000M into a potent racing car, but having recently bought a Lola Formula Holden open wheeler, it's time to sell the TVR. Picture: Alex Forrest

"As far as I'm aware there are only three of this model TVR in WA," Mr Hurney said. "It's got the Ford Capri V6 powertrain in it but the engine that's in it now is a pretty serious piece of kit.

"It's got all-steel internals, race pistons and triple Weber carburettors."

He said the 3.0-litre engine now produced about 280hp (208kW).

However, when Mr Hurney bought it, the TVR was far from the pared-down, finely tuned track weapon you see here. He said the previous owner was a woman who, after the car had begun to fall into disrepair, decided to return it to roadworthy condition.

"She'd started to repair it, but then she met a chap and they got married and had a family," Mr Hurney said. "She decided she didn't need it anymore and I bought it from her.

"We built it up as a speed event, racing and tarmac rally type of car. I bought it in 2005 and it took three years to get it going; it was really just a collection of parts, so we went back and started again."

Mr Hurney said he was initially drawn to the car because of how unusual it was. Second, he said he knew the 3000M's basic chassis design would make it an excellent basis for a race car.

"This particular model, for its age, is actually a really sweet- handling car," he said. "Even though those Ford motors are heavy, the engine is a long way back and the car's got very good weight distribution.

"It also has a double-wishbone suspension all around and it handles incredibly well for an older car. It's got Spax shock absorbers and I've been through a couple of sets of springs just on trial and error, and a couple of front anti-roll bars."

Motoring - Classic Finds 27/10 - A familiar view for many of its competitors: the TVR's low-slung rear end.   Picture: Alex Forrest

He said the car was now very well sorted. It had a limited-slip differential, close-ratio four-speed gearbox, custom-built exhaust and CAMS-homologated roll cage.

He said one part of the car he would be particularly sad to let go was its Stack racing tachometer, which he imported especially from the UK.

"This is the third rev counter I've had in the car," he said.

"It's just a beautiful piece of equipment and it's one of the best things I've ever bought."

He is asking $50,000 for his racing TVR, which comes with a barely run-in new engine under the bonnet plus a rebuilt spare engine, a range of spare parts and a trailer to tow it all home.

·Mr Hurney can be reached on 9341 2860 or 0414 280 433.

The West Australian

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