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Australian Grand Prix drivers before 1950


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#1 HistoryFan

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 21:18

I read about Allan Tomlinson died today. What I want to know: Were there Australian GP drivers in Europa GP races before 1950?

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 21:23

Not that I can recall

There was however a New Zealander, T P Cholmondeley Tapper (1936)

#3 D-Type

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 21:29

Can S F Edge be considered an Australian?

#4 john medley

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 21:35

Where would you like to start? Would Gordon Bennett races be included?
Where would you like to finish? Would Bernard Rubin as entrant be included, after his driving career?
More anon, when I have time.

#5 HistoryFan

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 17:33

We can all mention and then discuss about them.

#6 Bauble

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 19:03

Had Australia been discovered at that time?

#7 D-Type

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 20:24

How does the classic statement go? "I went to Gallipoli as an Englishman and came back an Australian"

#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 21:11

Freddie McEvoy? Never drove a GP car AFAIK, but did race in the 1936 Vanderbilt.

John Snow competed in the 1938 Antwerp race, run to the sports/racing category of the International Formula.

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 21:25

Rubin would be a better candidate - two Le Mans appearances (including one in first place), two Mille Miglias, at least one TT and a Coppa Acerbo

But again, nothing in a Grand Prix car, though as Mr Medley hinted, he was later an entrant of GP cars for other drivers

Edited by David McKinney, 04 August 2011 - 21:25.


#10 David Shaw

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 21:25

Had Australia been discovered at that time?


No, but it was already dominating England at cricket.

#11 john medley

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 21:48

Few would know of Gregor Laxen although I believe we have seen his crankshaft on this forum

#12 john medley

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:39

Firstly, we have to define our terms.

Bauble's nice slice of wit is relevant, because SF Edge for example had his first car race in Europe (1899, Paris-Bordeaux, De Dion tricycle, retired) before Australia was Australia, and SF Edge came from what was later Australia( and plenty of relos still turn up).

We also have to define what "Europe GPs" were: surely they were not pre 1950 Formula One, because that would mean we would be looking at the past through the prism of the present -- faulty analysis, as so many on TNF have previously and properly pointed out. We probably would need to include any event in Europe which was called a Grand Prix -- if that is what History Fan intended when History Fan started this thread. Since there were races of significance even before the term "Grand Prix" was introduced, should they be included in our analysis? SF Edge, again, ran in(and won) several of these. And "Grands Prix" were often for cars other than "Formula One" cars -- so 1500cc and sports car races of the 1930s for example would thrust forward names like Freddie McEvoy and John Snow. What about other "Grands Prix" like for example the Cork GP and innumerable French events? You will find Australians there. Also, while they were not in Europe, what about Grand Prizes? HD McIntosh was an entrant in several of these and other big USA events, and had as drivers names like Hemery, Bruce Brown, and Oldfield( again, depending on definitions)

Gregor Laxen. for one was a real Grand Prix driver, unsuccessfully conducting a Weigel 8 cylinder of immense engine length in the 1907 Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France. Was this his only Grand Prix? The later advertising from Laxen's Motors of Young NSW doesnt tell us. Bauble can check the flat bit of his map: Young was formerly called Lambing Flat.

Was Bernard Rubin( see David McKinney's post above) a GP driver? He was certainly a driver in a leading role in races for sports cars, and later a GP and other entrant for various luminaries including "Tim" Birkin, with whom he passengered in a race or two

Not all that long ago the Indianapolis 500 was included( oddly, I agree) in the World Drivers Championship. Did that make the race a "GP"? Ralph De Palma almost won that a long time ago, with a riding mechanic/fellow Mercer team driver the unfortunate Rupert Jeffkins, born in Maitland , Hunter Valley, NSW.

I dont know how History Fan wants us to define "European Grands Prix before 1950", but there are more names that crop up. Worthy of mention(depending on definition) can perhaps be included Harry Hawker, Reginald Empson(killed in Kay Petre's 1939 road accident), Harold Cooper, Sidney Cotton, maybe even Joan Richmond and The Unfortunate Wilkinson who outbraked himself and flung Craig's Prince Henry Benz over a Brooklands banking long before World War One. Worthy of more detailed study, not least because it was never easy for Australians to make their way to Europe but more particularly to England aka The Mother Country aka Home, are the others who competed there. Grands Prix? Dont know

#13 Bauble

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 13:19

Without intending to give any offence to anybody, this particular query calls to mind the adage;

"If you ask a silly question, you get a silly answer".

Now I am not implying the question IS silly, just that asking in fairly wide terms leads into all kinds of dark corners.

But great fun all the same.

G'day cobber!

#14 HistoryFan

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:37

I mean Grand Prix like FRench Grand Prix, German Grand Prix and so on.

#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:09

I mean Grand Prix like FRench Grand Prix, German Grand Prix and so on.

HistoryFan - surely you know by now that a statement like that makes things less clear?

Prior to 1920, there was only one "Grand Prix" - plus the American Grand Prize. As John Medley has said, the only Australian driver in either of those was Gregor Laxen.

After that, Grands Prix proliferated - but some were much less "grand" than others.

You've suggested the French and German races, by which I suppose you mean all national Grands Prix. However, the two you have picked were both run for sports cars on more than one occasion.

So, we could take it to the next level and select only Grandes Épreuves. But that too brings a problem of definition, since even when they were sports car races, the French and German GPs were Grandes Épreuves. Added to which, the RAC Tourist Trophy and the Indianapolis 500 were included.

Perhaps we could specify races to the then current International Formula? That includes quite a number of events below national level and even a few which are not much better than club races.

But ultimately - unless you wish to widen the selection to include 1500cc and/or sports car (and/or Formule Libre races between 1920 and 1939) the answer to your original question is:

Gregor Laxen.

Edited by Vitesse2, 06 August 2011 - 10:13.


#16 Bauble

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:44

I suspect that we all know what the original question relates to, but there are too many pedants on TNF.

There are many terms used in any sport that can have a very wide interpretation, but the true believer KNOWS WHAT IS MEANT WHEN THEY ARE USED.
So let's have some sensible answers to the question. come on chaps I know you can do it!!

Personally I suspect the correct answer is that there were no Australian 'Grands Prix Drivers' prior to Jack Brabham, but some smarty pants will argue.

And they know who they are.

bauble the intrepid.

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:29

I suspect that we all know what the original question relates to, but there are too many pedants on TNF.

There's a very active poster in Paddock Club who uses the term "precisian". I rather like that.

There are many terms used in any sport that can have a very wide interpretation, but the true believer KNOWS WHAT IS MEANT WHEN THEY ARE USED.
So let's have some sensible answers to the question. come on chaps I know you can do it!!

I was always taught to "say what you mean, not mean what you say". Between us, I think John and I have more than answered HistoryFan's question by seeking to narrow down what he actually meant. The "rules" are different before 1950, as I'm sure you are aware. There are also lots of errors, half-truths and misinterpretations which are perpetuated because nobody bothers to verify and correct them.

Personally I suspect the correct answer is that there were no Australian 'Grands Prix Drivers' prior to Jack Brabham, but some smarty pants will argue.

And they know who they are.

bauble the intrepid.

The first Australian driver to participate in the World Championship for Drivers was Tony Gaze. Of course you may consider that the 1952 Belgian, British and German Grands Prix are not "true" Grands Prix because they featured F2 cars. But then you'd be the one being pedantic ...

#18 Bauble

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 15:43

The first Australian driver to participate in the World Championship for Drivers was Tony Gaze. Of course you may consider that the 1952 Belgian, British and German Grands Prix are not "true" Grands Prix because they featured F2 cars. But then you'd be the one being pedantic ...


NO! No! No! I am a child (?) of the fifties and my first Grands Prix was the 1952 British, so I concur with your prognostication that Tony Gaze was the first Ozzie to compete in 'modern' (can we agree on that terminology) GP events. The question was, of course, asking about pre 1950 races and I would assume (always fatal) that the question probably refers to Formula 1 events, in which case I have no idea if any Antipodeans entered such races. I cannot recall any from my sketchy knowledge of post 1950 Formula 1 events.

If I detect a slightly censorious note in your reply Vitty, I hope you will accept my most humble aplogies for any (unintended) offence.

Moi Pedantic? Non!

#19 HistoryFan

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:12

We had the European championship in the 30s and we had the car manufacture championship in some years in the 20s - and that were GP races, such Grand Prix I was talking about.

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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:24

We had the European championship in the 30s and we had the car manufacture championship in some years in the 20s - and that were GP races, such Grand Prix I was talking about.

Okay, thank you.

In which case the answer is that no Australian drivers took part.

:)

#21 275 GTB-4

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 22:59

Firstly, we have to define our terms.

Bauble's nice slice of wit is relevant, because SF Edge for example had his first car race in Europe (1899, Paris-Bordeaux, De Dion tricycle, retired) before Australia was Australia, and SF Edge came from what was later Australia( and plenty of relos still turn up).

We also have to define what "Europe GPs" were: surely they were not pre 1950 Formula One, because that would mean we would be looking at the past through the prism of the present -- faulty analysis, as so many on TNF have previously and properly pointed out. We probably would need to include any event in Europe which was called a Grand Prix -- if that is what History Fan intended when History Fan started this thread. Since there were races of significance even before the term "Grand Prix" was introduced, should they be included in our analysis? SF Edge, again, ran in(and won) several of these. And "Grands Prix" were often for cars other than "Formula One" cars -- so 1500cc and sports car races of the 1930s for example would thrust forward names like Freddie McEvoy and John Snow. What about other "Grands Prix" like for example the Cork GP and innumerable French events? You will find Australians there. Also, while they were not in Europe, what about Grand Prizes? HD McIntosh was an entrant in several of these and other big USA events, and had as drivers names like Hemery, Bruce Brown, and Oldfield( again, depending on definitions)

Gregor Laxen. for one was a real Grand Prix driver, unsuccessfully conducting a Weigel 8 cylinder of immense engine length in the 1907 Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France. Was this his only Grand Prix? The later advertising from Laxen's Motors of Young NSW doesnt tell us. Bauble can check the flat bit of his map: Young was formerly called Lambing Flat.

Was Bernard Rubin( see David McKinney's post above) a GP driver? He was certainly a driver in a leading role in races for sports cars, and later a GP and other entrant for various luminaries including "Tim" Birkin, with whom he passengered in a race or two

Not all that long ago the Indianapolis 500 was included( oddly, I agree) in the World Drivers Championship. Did that make the race a "GP"? Ralph De Palma almost won that a long time ago, with a riding mechanic/fellow Mercer team driver the unfortunate Rupert Jeffkins, born in Maitland , Hunter Valley, NSW.

I dont know how History Fan wants us to define "European Grands Prix before 1950", but there are more names that crop up. Worthy of mention(depending on definition) can perhaps be included Harry Hawker, Reginald Empson(killed in Kay Petre's 1939 road accident), Harold Cooper, Sidney Cotton, maybe even Joan Richmond and The Unfortunate Wilkinson who outbraked himself and flung Craig's Prince Henry Benz over a Brooklands banking long before World War One. Worthy of more detailed study, not least because it was never easy for Australians to make their way to Europe but more particularly to England aka The Mother Country aka Home, are the others who competed there. Grands Prix? Dont know


Speaking of Harry Hawker...nice tribute flight about to happen....

http://projecthawker2013.com/

[Motorsport connection: Aircraft have rivets and powerful engines and some cars have those as well]