JUST AUTO LEGENDS HONORARY MEMBER: Andrew Miedecke
JUST AUTO LEGENDS 05/01/2012
Since as early I can remember, like most boys, I was infatuated with toy cars and trucks. My first favourite was a coal truck (my dad had a coal mine so that fitted). I would guess that I was 4 or 5 years old at the time.
I can remember clearly the moment I decided I wanted to be a racing driver. My mother had been a horsewoman in her day and was family friends with a Melbourne Olympian equestrian. While I loved cars, I was determined to be good at something and we had horses at home so I started horse riding. Early one morning, when I was 9 or 10, I was trotting my uncooperative horse down the road on a training ride. The horse came up as I came down...with a delicate part of the male anatomy in between. It was bloody excruciating and as I was clinging onto the horse’s neck, I remember thinking, “These bloody horses hurt too much. I think I will be a racing driver instead!”
My passion is driven by my love of cars. My first job at 16 was in the parts department at the Launceston Holden dealer. They had a boat dealership that no one wanted anything to do with. I ended up being the only one on the stand at the Launceston Show and did really well, not that I was paid commission back then. Since then, apart from a couple of breaks, I have always been in the auto industry. I have my own dealership now in Port Macquarie. The group employs about 60 people and I still get a buzz out of going to work.
I would guess I spend at least 100 hours per week on auto in same way, shape or form. Being in the car business, along with both my sons being car mad - George is a racer and Harry is in my business in Sydney - auto is a constant topic. With Targa in the Perana, Touring Car Masters in the Camaro and the Daytona that I drive for Richard Bendell (Motec), I compete 14 or 15 times a year. On top of that, I have been to the US four times this year alone to see my son George race. The last trip was to see two of George's late model races, Martinsville Nascar and the World of Outlaws in Charlotte. It’s clear to see that cars are pretty much my life.
My favourite road car that I’ve ever owned is a C63 AMG. I lust after an Aston though. My favourite racing car is my Ralt RT4, plus of course the OXO Ford Sierra. My Camaro is getting pretty close to my heart too, because I am having such a good time in it. And my Perana - I built that from scratch and it is a great thing to drive. I do get quite fond of my cars so I have a small collection, a March 763 I raced in the British F3, a one-owner XW GT and a pristine MK 1 MGB.
I have been and am on several industry councils through my role as managing director of the Miedecke Motor Group. I was the driver standards advisor to V8 Utes from 2007 to 2009. I started at a time when the driving in the category was virtually out of control. I made a difference there.
I think that being able to race at the highest level, whilst starting my car dealership from scratch, is the achievement I am most proud of. Some of my employees have been with me over 20 years so it’s a really efficient and happy business. While I did try and do too much in the Sierra days (owning the team, and being driver and team manager as well as running a car business), at least I have it now - a life outside of motor racing. Touring Car Masters is a chance for me to tidy up some “unfinished business" in my career.