It’s unlikely anyone is more knowledgeable and as fond of their favorite carmaker than Don Martine is about MG.
A guest staying at the Martine Inn in Pacific Grove, California who appreciates automobiles and nature gets two treats. Not only do they experience classic accommodations across the street from the Pacific Ocean, but the location also pays homage to the British manufacturer.
The Inn is home to the proprietor’s museum of MGs and memorabilia. From paintings on the Inn’s walls to vintage automotive posters positioned around the property, all things MG are featured as is Martine’s legacy as a driver, mechanic and historian.
As Monterey Auto Week nears, Martine is our guest on Episode #97 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.
Martine guides podcast co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia throughout his Inn. He discusses his long history with MG. Martine’s father owned a 1949 MGTC and the younger Martine also witnessed Johnny Von Neumann drive his 1950 MGTD Special to victory at the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races.
Martine raced and owned the Von Neuman Special for 30 years. While often not driving the fastest or most powerful vehicle, Martine won on racing strategy. He discusses his track savvy and relationships with drivers.
The MG garage and cave-like and open-air displays areas at the Martine Inn include watercolor and oil paintings in automotive themes. Car-related auto posters, prints, photos, tools, signs and gas pumps are among other memorabilia.
Martine also has a restoration shop near the Martine Inn where he joins friends and mechanics to restore vintage MGs and share their respective passion for little, prideful vintage cars.
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Article Last Updated: August 14, 2019.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.