Today he's happy just to be a tour guide. "If you've got time tomorrow, you should check out the Melbourne Cricket Ground—it's one of the great sporting stadiums. I think they do tours," he says before we part.

He shakes my hand and heads into the balmy night in the city where he can fool himself into thinking that he's still plain old Aussie Eric, the family man and race-car nut who remembers who he is just enough to forget what he does.