#59 STP Ford Fusion NASCAR Hits The Track

Queensland Raceway recently saw the return to action of a piece of history. Marcus Ambrose made a mark on the American motorsport scene when racing NASCAR, and the car he won at the Watkins Glen track in 2008 was driven in anger for the first time since that win during the weekend in the middle of November, 2020.Ambrose piloted a Ford Fusion (Mondeo in Aussie speak) to a win in the Zippo 500 at the historic track. It first saw action in 1948, and is tinged with tragedy as a young boy was killed by a wayward vehicle during a race in 1952

Badged #59 and covered in famous decals including STP, the car had been brought to Australia in 2019 and is essentially in the condition it finished the Watkins Glen event in. Brett “Crusher” Murray, founder of well-known motorsports website Speedcafe, and a PR manager for many Australian drivers including Ambrose, brought the car to Australia from its storage place in a workshop in North Carolina. Unused for a decade, the car has been given new slick rubber, and a mechanical rebuild.It still has unused “tear-offs” from the race inside the cabin.

Brodie Kostecki was the driver lucky enough to turn the wheels of the Fusion at Queensland Raceway and was ecstatic after the drive: “That was a blast. You forget just how loud and how cool these cars really are. When ‘Crusher’ asked me to get involved in this project I couldn’t believe my luck. With COVID going on it is difficult to get the the US, but Crusher brought a bit of America to me. The car was started once after its rebuild in the US and basically it fired up straight away after a few systems checks today. We didn’t even have to charge the batteries.

I have driven similar cars in the past, but to be given the keys today to a car with such incredible history is something pretty special. The really cool thing is that the car is almost identical to the way it came off the track back in 2008 with every scratch, rub, dent and bump. Whoever buys this rig is going to be getting a pure race car with a pedigree that can be matched by no other car. There will only ever be one car that was taken to NASCAR victory lane by an Australian for the first time and this is it.”

The new owner Kostecki refers to will be the winner of the auction Lloyds Auctions is currently preparing for. Closing as of 7pm November 28, bids as of November 18 have topped $220,000 for the 800hp, 320kph NASCAR.

Said Murray after watching Kostecki’s laps: “It was incredible to see the car out there today in the hands of Brodie.The way it looks, the way it sounds, it all just brought back so many memories of that inaugural victory from Marcos more than 12 years ago. It will be sad to see it go from the collection, but I am sure the new owner will have the chance to enjoy it even more than I have. We have proven today that the car is in terrific shape and can be enjoyed at a decent speed with some confidence.”

A former winner of the Bathurst 1000, Paul Morris, was also in attendance, however Ambrose himself was unable to attend due to the timeframe required for Covid-quarantining. Morris observed: “It is quite remarkable that we have this car back in Australia considering its amazing history and what Marcos achieved both here and in the US. So many of the cars get cannibalised after events, but this car is how it was when it sat in victory lane. Whoever buys the car is getting one hell of a piece of Australian motorsport history.”

Ambrose however did get to see video of Kostecki’s laps. he said: “The guys sent me some video of the first few laps directly from the track today. The look and the sound certainly brought back some memories. It would have been nice to take up Crusher’s offer to drive it today, but by all accounts Brodie did a pretty good job and I think the smile on his face said it all.”

Video highlights of the race are online here.

To keep track of the bids or to place one, head to the Lloyds Auctions site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.