‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray

Around Australia Trial winner


‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray was one of the great characters of Australian motor sport.

A Bondi garage proprietor and taxi owner, Murray used a six-year-old Ford, dubbed the Grey Ghost, to win the second REDeX trial in 1954.

He raced a D-type Jaguar at Bathurst and was in the BMC works team in the first of the cross-world marathons, the 1968 London to Sydney.

At the start in London, his Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent was a little too close to Jack, who had a spare fire-cracker which quickly found its lit way into the pocket of the Prince’s Tweed sports coat!

This was soon after Jack had illegally water-skied up the Thames River past the Houses of Parliament before scarpering from the pursuing police.

After his REDeX trial win, Jack was keen to claim all the provisional prize money that was offered. At least two spark plug companies had provided provisional prize money and Jack’s V8 Ford had left and right hand side bonnets.

All of which went well until both companies ran their success ads in the newspapers the next day, both claiming victory!