Interview: Martin White from John White Race Engines

We chat to Martin White who runs John White Race Engines, a family-owned competition engine workshop in Queensland

Photographers: Peter Bateman

Martin White runs John White Race Engines, a family-owned high performance engine workshop in Queensland. We caught up with Martin back in 2012 to find out more about the family’s passion for racing – which was the foundation of the business

WHAT do you do, Martin?

I run John White Race Engines, which my dad founded in 1971. We’ve just moved from Wooloongabba in inner city Brisbane up to Narangba. We’ll have a lot more room!

It must be quite a job, moving a 40-year-old business.

Just when you think you’ve moved a lot of stuff, you come back and find more! We’ve had a lot of rain up here too, so it has been tricky moving all the machinery as the ground’s soft.

You used to get your kicks drifting a twin-turbo Mustang (below). What are you driving these days?

After I sold the Mustang, I built a Group N XT Falcon that was a lot of fun. Now I’m working on a Falcon Sprint so I can race in events like Muscle Car Masters.

Martin -white -mustangWhat engine will it run?

A 289. It will have quad Webers and make around 480hp and as much torque as I can make. The fastest guy in the class is running a 302 that we built, so hopefully we can keep up!

Is classic racing a big part of the business now?

Yep. Dad founded it on drag racing and boats, which we stilll do, but I’m focusing on the circuit stuff now. It’s a real adrenalin rush. To get the same charge at the drags, you have to spend a lot of money and it is over very quickly!

Does your old man still get involved?

He’s got a ’64 ’Vette that he’s raced on the eighth-mile and at the nostalgias. Now he’s building an alloy 383 for the circuit.