1973 George Begg JM1
This was the first car that cemented the relationship between George and driver Jim Murdoch. It’s fair enough, then, to say this car was the start of something great.
The ‘JM’ in the vehicle’s name denotes that Begg worked on engineering the vehicle alongside the young Auckland man who had been mechanic and side-kick to David Oxton.
Jim Murdoch wanted to give driving a crack himself, and so he moved to Drummond and assisted George Begg with the design and build of the last two vehicles to come out of the ‘Toyshop’.
(The George Begg-Jim Murdoch pairing followed on from the successful partnership between George Begg and Fred McLean – whose collaborative efforts are denoted by the race cars dubbed ‘FM’.)
The first vehicle produced by George Begg and Jim Murdoch was this vehicle, a Formula Ford that showed a clear lineage flowing on from the earlier FM3 cars.
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While Jim Murdoch found success in the Begg JM1’s seat, arguably its greatest moment came when it was purchased by John Riley for his son Brett to drive. Brett Riley started in 31 races and won 25 of them – a remarkable record that sparked the young Riley’s passion and later success, including being a team mate of Nigel Mansell in a British FM3 team.
Built in 1973, the Begg JM1 had the reputation for being easy and smooth to drive. The start of something great, indeed.