The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Monday 14 November 1904 p 7
RACES AT MORPHETTVILLE.
A motor Derby is a new spectacle for South Australians, and there was quite a Continental atmosphere about Morphettville Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, when the Automobile Club held its first meeting in aid of charitable institutions. One has to develop a taste for this form of amusement, and the public will require considerable education before the appreciation of the novelty shall grow into the frenzied enthusiasm of European gatherings. The great majority of the Australian people have a wholly inadequate idea of what a big motor contest tueli as the Gordon-Bennett Cup Race means. In France and Germany it has become the national sport with the pomp of regal patronage. It is the pastime of the affluent aristocracy. Mr. S. V. Edge, who is pre-eminent among motorists, has remarked that in France the roads are so perfect that it is as safe to travel 60 miles an hour in an automobile as it is to sit on a sofa. He has registered a speed of 83 miles for the 60 minutes. Mr. Tucker, M.P., will be interested in these particulars. The member for Arcadia is, of course, opposed to what Mr. Edge calls the exhilarated individual who has a propensity for knocking down trees and colliding with other vehicles. This, however, is only a phase of motoring as interpreted by the driver who ought to be at home feeding the chickens.
The racing on Saturday afternoon was fairly interesting. Even by the kindest critic the fixture could not be regarded as a complete success, but the offcials are not to be blamed for the fact, that the excitement never rose above zero. They embarked on a rather difficult venture, and there was nothing in the shape of experience to guide them. In the circumstances the arrangements were creditable, and an excellent effort was made to please the spectators, who turned out in good force. It was in every respect a society function, and the ladies, gay in their summer “conceits,” gave the fine stretch of velvety green lawn a pleasing and refreshing brightness. As a rendezvous the Morphettville Course, with its pretty flower gardens and plots of green sward, was delightful. The course, however, was somewhat heavy for the motors, and militated against record times. The bicycles bumped with unabating consistency, and the cars, with one or two exceptions, failed to secure that pace which the onlookers had eagerly expected. In fact, doubt was frequently expressed whether a contest was actually in progress.
With such an extensive route some difficulty was experienced in perfecting a satisfactory start until Superintendent Booker, to the tune of a hearty peal of laughter, fired the baby cannon, his imposing proportions dwindling the weapon to ludicrous insignificance.
The fear was entertained that the meeting would result in serious accidents, but there was not even an 'incident.' South Australia possesses some capable drivers, and the ease with which they manipulated the cars created a most favourable impression. The officials were:— Judges, Messrs. Seward, M.P., and W. B. Foote; starters, Superintendent Booker and Mr. W. C. Kellet; stewards, Dr. Shepherd and Messrs. Price.MP., V. Lewis, H. Nicholls, and J. Mullins; lap scorer, Mr. G. Blockey; sports committee,; Dr. Gunson and Messrs. J. R. Baker and B. Thomson; timeteepcr, Mr. W H. Stevenson; marshal, Mr. H. H. Coipe; handicapper, Mr A.E Lykke; secretary', Mr. H. Bernard.
The results were: — Motor Bicycle Handicap (two laps, open to club members only— A D Tyler, Sphinx, 2¾ hp, scr.; N. Jackson (Lewis, 2 hp) 600 yds , C Bray (Allison, 3½ h.p.), 125 yds. Time, 4 min. 4 secs. Motor Bicycle Race (two laps, open) —W Baulderstone - (The Rose, 3¼ hp, scr), Mr.W. Davey (Allison, 3½ h.p.), 100 yds.; J H Gilbert (The Rose, 3 h.p.), 13o yds. Time, 4 min 1 sec . Tourist Car Race (three miles, with full complement of passengers, averaging 10 stone or over;.— E S Rymill (Darraq 15 hp) scr., A Allison (De Dion 12 hp) 450 yards, time 6 min 16 sec. Car Stopping Competition (cars were driven along finishing straight abreast, at about 15 miles an hour. At fall of q white flag brakes were applied and the distance from the back wheels of cars, when signal was given until a standstill was measured, and the driver pulling up in tbe shortest distance declared the winner).— Mrs. Thomson (De Dion, 8 h.p.); A. D. Tyler, (Sphinx, 8 hp).
Voiturette Race (up 6½ h.p., two miles).— W. Higginbottom (Oldsmobile, 5 h.p.), 300 yd; Dr. Shepherd (Oldsmobile, 5 h.p.), 300 yds.; T. P. O'Grady (Humberette, 5 h.p, 180 yds. Time, 5 m. 32 sec
Starting Competition (for motor cars). First Heat. At starting signal, driver started motor by handle, cars then raced. The first four cars past flag (100 yds. from finish) raced on to white line at finishing post, upon which the front wheels were stopped. Any competitor stopping short of line proceeded forward until he reached indicated mark. Any competitor ovcr-running mark reversed to line indicated. Full complement, to weigh 10 st. 7 lb. (average) or over. E. S. Rymill (Darracq, 15 h.p.); A. D. Tyler (Sphinx Brown, 8 h.p.) V. Lewis (De Dion, 8 h.p.). : Second Heat.— W. Higginbottom (Oldsmobile, 5 h.p.) S. T. Thomas (De Dion. 12 h.p.) H C. Drewe Humberette, 5 h.p.). Final.— . S. T. Thomas. A. D. Tyler. E S. Hymill.
Heavy Car Race (7 h.p. and over, three miles).— E. S. Rymill (Darraq, 15 h.p.), scr.; A. Allison (De Dion, 8 h.p.), 500 yds.; Dr. Gault (De Dion, 8 h.p.), 1,000 yds, Time, 5m. 19 2-5 sec.
Reverse Race, scr., 200 yds.— R. Emslie (Oldsmobile, 5 h.p.); V. Lewis (De Dion, 8 h.p.). Time, 8 hp, time 51 sec.
Edited by Terry Walker, 28 October 2011 - 10:29.