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'Enterprise' - 1931 Aussie LSR contender

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#1 UK6

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 10:06

Dear Auto Historians,
I write to you from Australia in the hope that you may help me determine the fate of any drawings/technical material relating to the 1930's Aussie LSR contender "Enterprise" as constructed by Wizard Smith and Engineer Don Harkness. Unfortunately this purposeful and striking looking car which had a strong resemblance to Segrave's "Golden Arrow" did not meet expectations and was "cut up" according to sources.

Please see a reference to a "British Motoring Historian - Mr Ted Inman Hunter" in the following attachment who may know the whereabouts of technical documents associated with this historic car.


I am not an aero engine specialist, but I believe the Enterprise utilised a Napier Lion engine and not a RR unit. It would be interesting to learn if this engine, which was reputed to have been scrapped in the 1950's, was in fact an ex Schneider Cup engine as reported!

Thank you in anticipation of your kind help.

Brett Boughton
Western Australia


#2 David McKinney

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 10:58

I would imagine Inman Hunter is long gone

I believe he was associated with the Aston Martin company before the war - someone at AMOC might know of any descendants (who no doubt will have thrown the drawings away...)

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 11:43

There are a few mentions of 'Enterprise' in this thread:

Land speed record cars - where are they today?

which contains this post from David Manson which might be the source of the info in Brett's link:

A long way back, the Fred H.Stewart Enterprise was mentioned.

I have been told, as rumour only, that the cut-up chassis was buried under engineer Don Harkness' later workshop, now the site of the Drummoyne R.S.L.Club, on Victoria Road in the Sydney suburb of Drummoyne.

When the British motoring historian (and film editor) Ted Inman Hunter was in Sydney in the 1940s, he asked Harkness about the 'Enterprise', and Harkness went and found a huge file of drawings and gave them to him, more or lrss oncondition that he took them as far away as possible, as he (Harkness) never wanted to see them again.

At this time the Rolls engine was inatalled in the basement of the Bank of New South Wales head office, 341 George St., Sydney, powering an emergency generating plant. When (rarely) fired up, it shook the building, and sent fine jets of water everywhere from its vast number of small, inter-cylinder water hoses. Sadly, it was scrapped in the 1950.

But Inman Hunter was a careful man, and those drawings might still exist?

David Manson

It might be worth contacting David to see if he has any more info.

#4 UK6

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 13:17

Thank you David and Tim,
I hope that the drawings weren't thrown away - as it would be an interesting link to a very brave "enterprise"!