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Women racing drivers in the 1930s


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#1 Jackie

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 02:26

Yesterday I decided to do a bit of internet research about women who were racing in the thirties. I found some great information (a lot of which was supplied by members here!)

I'd love to have more information, though. The drivers I found information about - but would like more - are:

Kay Petre
Violet Cordery
Gwenda Stewart
Eileen Ellison
Fay Taylour
Elsie Wisdom
Dorothy Champney
Dorothy Stanley Turner

It seems that several started their careers as motorbike racers. Was that the normal route in those days?

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#2 Frank S

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 04:23

.
In case you haven't seen it, there is some mention of Fay Taylour
on the second of these pages

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 05:14

You need to get hold of a book called Atalanta by S C H Davis
Collectors Carbooks has one for sale at £45

#4 Rob29

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:29

Try also .'Fast Women' by John Bullock,which covers the same period,and should be easily available.
There is already a lot of info here on TNF if you try a search.
Madame Helle Nice-aka Helene Delangle.
Baronessa Maria Avanazo
Anne Itier

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 08:02

A few more:

Joan Richmond
Renée Friderich
Marguerite Mareuse

There's a typo in Rob's list above - it should be Avanzo, not Avanazo - and Anne Itier was also known as Anne Rose-Itier.

#6 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 10:54

Hello....how about telling us what your purpose in life REALLY is......

if you are a genuine enthusiast, then welcome and I hope you find what you are looking for :up:

If however, you are a journalist with a short span of attention and just seeking information for nothing as an expediant and because you are toov lazy to do the research...then piss off!! :blush: OOPS :rolleyes:

#7 KJJ

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 11:12

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
Hello....how about telling us what your purpose in life REALLY is......

if you are a genuine enthusiast, then welcome and I hope you find what you are looking for :up:

If however, you are a journalist with a short span of attention and just seeking information for nothing as an expediant and because you are toov lazy to do the research...then piss off!! :blush: OOPS :rolleyes:


Well Jackie seems to have been a member since 1999 with a first post to TNF in 2000 so the above comment seems to be way off target.

Anyway, what's the problem with journo's coming here, if we all learn a little in the process? Might make a change from discussing keyboard characters.

#8 Rob29

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 11:36

Yes,I.m sure the rest of us would like to apoligise to you Jackie,for that unwarranted outburst by our Ferrari fan. Re,your original question re. motor bikes,it seems that about the end of the 20s women were banned from 2 wheeled racing, incl.speedway,so might have moved to cars as next best option?

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 17:40

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
Hello....how about telling us what your purpose in life REALLY is......

if you are a genuine enthusiast, then welcome and I hope you find what you are looking for :up:

If however, you are a journalist with a short span of attention and just seeking information for nothing as an expediant and because you are toov lazy to do the research...then piss off!! :blush: OOPS :rolleyes:


Jackie is the daughter of Ford rallyman Eric Jackson, seen here in the midst of a snowball fight at Cortina d'Ampezzo when Ford were launching some new model or other. Bloke on his right looks familiar too.

Posted Image

I think you owe the lady an apology .... :rolleyes:

#10 Jackie

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 18:45

Thanks for your help, guys! And Vitesse ... you have made my day (week, year or even more) by posing that photograph. :) As soon as I've finished this post, I'm going to fax it to my dad in the UK - he'll be delighted to see it again.

You see, the majority of my dad's racing memorabilia was accidentally destroyed over twenty years ago - all I have is a Monte Carlo Rally number plate (from 1963, I think) and a battered tankard, incribed with the following: De Lacy Motor Club. Mintex Seven Dales Rally. It's on my desk as a pencil holder.

Members here have been wonderful in helping me replace some of the memorabilia; I've had scans of newspaper reports emailed to me from all over the world. You guys are the best :)

But just for 275 GTB-4, I'll justify my existence :)

Yes, my dad was a rallyman but I have recently discovered that Eileen Ellison was related to my son's father, and therefore to my son. This is why I have suddenly acquired an interest in the other drivers of the time and the era itself. I also want to create a website devoted to her life and the other drivers she raced. (Totally for fun, 275 GTB-4, not to make money or anything evil like that :) ) But I know nothing about that era and don't want to fill a website with inaccuracies. And the members here have been so helpful in the past . So I started three new topics here yesterday, this one, one about the golden era in general and one about Cholmondley-Tapper ( I read his book yesterday). So there you are, no lazy journo, sorry!

Right, just going to send that photograph to the old man ... :)

#11 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 09:41

Thanks Jackie...but you didn't have to go out of your way just for me......

happy that you are not just a Data Miner.......

People on the Forum are allowed to use the foulest of language.....however some seem to get sensitive under certain circumstances.........go figure :rolleyes:

no offence meant........back to where we were :wave:

#12 Jackie

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 15:39

No offence taken, 275 GTB-4  ;)

#13 Pete Stowe

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 17:14

Not racing, but maybe of interest, Eileen Ellison took part in two pre-war RAC Rallies:

1932 RAC Rally: no. 61 - Bugatti 1500cc - finished 199 of 232 finishers in Class 1 (cars exceeding 1100cc)

1935 RAC Rally: no.219 - open 30hp Lagonda reg. no. CPC 743 - 2nd class award. (a photo apparently appeared in the Motor magazine report)

(Source: British Rally Drivers Their Cars & Awards 1925-39, Donald Cowbourne)

#14 Jackie

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:59

Definitely interesting - thanks Pete! I had never heard of her competing in rallies before.

#15 Jackie

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 01:36

Vitesse, I sent that fax to my dad who, I promise you, was delighted :)

I tried to get more information from him about the event at Cortina d'Ampezzo, but the old bugger just tells me I've have to wait for his memoirs to come out (yeah, right, but he says he's 50% through!).

I wonder if anyone knows anything more about it?

He tells me that all the participants were current champions with a Ford connection (he was the current British Rally Champion).

He told me (he gives me these bits and pieces of info to whet my appetite!) that Henry Taylor had been in the UK Bobsleigh Team (sorry if this sounds a bit like Cool Running) and practiced a great deal and went round the bobsleigh track several times and posted an astonishing time.

The next day, says the old man, Jim Clark arrived, who had never even SEEN a bobsleigh track before, and blew Henry Taylor's time out of the water on his first attempt. Anyone know which other drivers were there?

I seem to remember that John Whitmore was, but it's a long time ago....

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 01:48

Harry Firth was there... I wonder if John Raeburn was too?

I think it was just Harry, who was there because of some Cortina wins he'd had. Bathurst... Ampol Round Australia Trial, something like that...

#17 Jackie

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 02:26

Hi Ray,

I'd love more info. The 'memoirs' are taking way too long.

The old bugger might be 81, but he's taking far too much time off to go on veteran rallies and stuff. At his age, I'd rather he settled down a bit :)

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 02:41

Well, I'm sure he's more advanced than old Harry is... and he's about 86 now...

Five or six years ago, sitting in his underpants in his loungeroom, Harry told me a lot of detail about something I wanted to know.

"All of this will be in my book," he chipped in, "we've got it all in notes and we're going to reveal it all in the book."

Then he went off and built himself a new house. I don't know for sure, but I think that book is still a long way off.

#19 Jackie

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 02:58

Yep, that sounds about right!

My dad told me the story about going off to meet his long-lost grandfather. The old bloke was ninety and up a ladder, painting the spouting :)

I would love it if my dad lived to 120, but that would mess up my inheritance; it would be great to have some dosh before I'm ninety :)

Any more info about the Cortina thing? I heard that afterwards, there was an event at Monza...

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#20 KJJ

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 09:08

I posted this on my blog a couple of months ago, it might be of interest to one or two here. From the days when drivers led interesting lives away from the track.

Gwenda Glubb's motoring exploits are well known - she raced variously as Janson, Stewart and perhaps most famously as Gwenda Hawkes in the pre-war period, a time when women were competing against men at the highest levels of the sport. The daughter of a general, the much decorated Sir Frederick Manley Glubb, her brother John is still remembered as Glubb Pasha, the commanding general of Jordan's Arab Legion. Perhaps better known as a record breaker rather than as a racer, Gwenda was the fastest woman at Brooklands, 135.95 mph and the outright record holder at Montlhery, (she lived in Paris for many years) with a lap of 145.94 mph in husband Douglas Hawkes' Derby Special. Adventure must have been in her genes for Gwenda's motoring skills had been honed in the First World War, where she saw active service as an ambulance driver with the Scottish Women's Hospitals on the Russian and Balkan fronts.

What many motoring historians seem to have missed is the central part played by Miss Glubb in what has been described as Britain's Dreyfus case, the public inquiry set up in 1919 by Churchill into the dismissal of Violet Douglas-Pennant, head of the Women's Royal Air Force. Miss Douglas-Pennant had taken over a service of 14000 young women supervised by only 75 officers scattered over 500 camps. Correctly diagnosing that the training of a new officer corps was a priority, Douglas-Pennant was frustrated at every turn by what she claimed was an alliance of lesbian female and chauvinistic male subordinates. Despite bringing some order to the chaos and training-up 450 new officers, Miss Douglas-Pennant was sacked in 1918 because of her unpopularity with her colleagues. The enemies of the Liberal Government saw that an inquiry into the sacking would be an opportunity for trouble-making, while the Government realised that such an inquiry could be turned to its own advantage by destroying Douglas-Pennant's reputation. Enter Miss Glubb.

Miss Douglas-Pennant had made various allegations in a private letter to Churchill, which he rather ungallantly had published in the form of a government White Paper. It was alleged for example that there was a good deal of sexual immorality at Hurst Park Camp, some of which even involved the Camp Commander and a young airwoman, Miss Gwenda Glubb. The 14 day inquiry - the salacious details were published in a Government Blue paper and lapped up by the press - found that there had been no impropriety between the officer and Miss Glubb, medical evidence was presented that showed that the "gallant little lady" was virgo intacta. Miss Douglas-Pennant was branded a snob, a prim and vindictive primadonna.

The affair dragged on for 20 years, being periodically raised in the courts and in Parliament by friends of Miss Douglas-Pennant who, it seems, had been driven quite mad by the whole affair. As for Gwenda Glubb, she was briefly married to the commanding officer accused of seducing her, Sam Janson.

#21 LotusElise

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 21:14

Gwenda has her own mini biography on my site, as does Elsie Wisdom. I'm still finishing my Kay Petre biog but it should be up soon.
Speedqueens

www.historicracing.com also has some information about the drivers you asked about, including Eileen Ellison IIRC.

#22 raoul leDuke

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 07:28

There is an excellent biography about Fay Taylor by Brian Belton about to be published by Panther Publishing. It concentrates on her speedway riding which was spectacular. She was one of the few exponents of the 'trailing foot' style of riding and almost certainly the only woman ever to master the technique.

I have a copy which I am about to review for www.historicracing.com

#23 KJJ

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 08:40

There's an interesting interview with the author of the Fay Taylour book here.

Taylour is another character who had an interesting life away from the track and although this book concentrates on her speedway career, I'm glad it seemingly doesn't shy away from discussing her politics. There's a photo of Fay and the young Moss which, whenever it crops up, always makes me wonder what Stirling's fate would have been if Miss Taylour's friends had won.

#24 Rob29

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 09:09

Originally posted by KJJ
There's an interesting interview with the author of the Fay Taylour book here.

Taylour is another character who had an interesting life away from the track and although this book concentrates on her speedway career, I'm glad it seemingly doesn't shy away from discussing her politics. There's a photo of Fay and the young Moss which, whenever it crops up, always makes me wonder what Stirling's fate would have been if Miss Taylour's friends had won.

An interesting link.Sounds like volume 2 will be of more interest to those here?

#25 KJJ

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 19:38

Most sites on the web name Dorothy Stanley Turner's co-driver at Le Mans in 1937 as Joan Riddell. S. C. H. Davis's book Atalanta has Enid Riddell. Anyone know who's right? If it's Enid then she may well be yet another of these pre-war women drivers with quite an interesting history away from the track.

#26 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 20:48

Enid AFAIK. There's some sort of connection between her and Hugh Hamilton - she owned K3 Magnette K3008, which Hamilton drove in the 1933 Mannin Beg and at Donington on August 19th the same year. She didn't apparently compete much with it, using it in the Paris-St Raphael in 1934 (1st in class, 2nd overall), 1935 (9th), 1936 (??th?) and 1938 (1st in class). In hillclimbs she set FTD at Pouges Les Eaux in 1934 and took 2nd in class at La Turbie in 1936, plus a class win in a climb which was part of Paris-St Raphael in 1935.

Source "K3 Register" by Mike Hawke

#27 KJJ

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 21:56

Thanks for this Richard. I'm wondering if she is the Enid Riddell who was a member of Captain Ramsay's Right Club and subsequently spent the war years in Holloway. If so she was close to the German spy Anna Wolkoff, as was another figure from the racing world, the Earl of Cottenham. This Enid moved to Malaga after the war where she owned a club called La Racasse.

#28 KJJ

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 12:10

Anyone know anything about a pre-war lady racer called Irene Schwedler?

In the late 30s her home address was "The Hut" Chequers Service Station, St Albans Road, Watford. Strikes me as being an unusual address for one of the Brooklands crowd.

#29 LotusElise

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 20:57

Irene crops up in John Bullock's Fast Women in a few places.
She sounded like quite an able driver in Brooklands handicap races but didn't go as far as competing at Le Mans or any of the Grands Prix.
I don't think it says anything about where she lived though.

#30 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 23:49

Miss Irene C. Schwedler took part in some Handicap races at Brooklands in the 30's.

I found those results

1931, October 17, BARC Meeting,
Women Handicap, 6.5 miles, 8 starters
1- Miss Fair Taylour, Talbot AV105 2970 cc
2- Mrs T. H. Wisdom, Invicta 4497 cc
3- Miss Irene C. Schwedler, Alvis 1645 cc


1932, June 18, BARC Inter-Club Meeting
Sport Long Handicap, 9 miles
1- Miss G. Hedges, Talbot 2276 cc
2- A. D. Taylor, Riley 1089 cc
3- Miss Irene C. Schwedler, Alvis 1645 cc

Stanley Cup (best Club of the day, on points)
1- Junior Car Club (H. J. Aldington/ Major A. T. G. Gardner/ P. F. Parker, 18 points
2- Women's Automobile and Sports Association (Miss G. Hedges/ Miss Schwedler/ Miss M. Allan, 17 points
3- Brighton & Hove Motor Club (holders), 15 points
4- Motor Cycling Club, 12 points
5ex- Cambridge University AC, 3 points
5ex- Light Car Club, 3 points


1933, July 8, BARC Inter-Club Meeting
Lightning Short Handicap, 6.5 miles
1- Miss I. C. Schwedler, Alvis 2511 cc
2- E. L. Bouts, Leyland-Thomas 7266 cc
3- Miss G. Hedges, Talbot 2276 cc

Stanley Cup
1- Frazer Nash CC, 48 points
2- Brighton and Hove MC, 25 points
3- Women's A and SA, 23 points
4- Mid-Surrey AC, 13 points
5- Junior CC, 6 points


1934, May 21, BARC Whit-Monday Meeting
Merrow Junior Short Handicap, 6.5 miles
1- D. A. Aldington, Frazer Nash 1496 cc
2- F. Allen, MG 747 cc
3- W. E. Humphreys, Alvis 1496 cc

P- Miss I. C. Schwedler, Alvis


1938, August 1, BARC Bank Holiday Meeting
The Talbot car race
1- C. A. Woodling, Talbot "10" Saloon
2- H. O. Radbbourne, Talbot "10" Saloon
3- Miss Fay Taylour, Talbot "10" Saloon

E-W. M. Couper, Talbot "10" Saloon
E- C. G. H. Dunham, Talbot "10" Saloon
E- I. C. Schwedler, Talbot "10" Saloon

#31 BOUZANQUET JF

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 16:57

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Enid AFAIK. There's some sort of connection between her and Hugh Hamilton - she owned K3 Magnette K3008, which Hamilton drove in the 1933 Mannin Beg and at Donington on August 19th the same year. She didn't apparently compete much with it, using it in the Paris-St Raphael in 1934 (1st in class, 2nd overall), 1935 (9th), 1936 (??th?) and 1938 (1st in class). In hillclimbs she set FTD at Pouges Les Eaux in 1934 and took 2nd in class at La Turbie in 1936, plus a class win in a climb which was part of Paris-St Raphael in 1935.

Source "K3 Register" by Mike Hawke


Hello new friends
(I am new on the forum)
Joan Ridell has also competed in March 36 at Paris-StRaphaël, car N°34, with her MG.
I have a picture of it but dont know the result !

Jean-François Bouzanquet

#32 KJJ

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 09:06

LotusElise and Marc - Thanks for the input regarding Irene Schwedler. I haven’t managed to dig out any biographical detail for her yet, other than the fact that she lived in a hut!

Jean-François - Thanks for this additional information regarding Miss Riddell and welcome to TNF. As I say above I believe her real name was Enid not Joan, although I would be happy to be corrected on this point..

Another lady driver from the thirties who led an interesting life away from the track was the actress Eirane Naismith , better known as Paddy - she herself spelt it Paddie. Naismith competed at Brooklands in the early 30s in a Salmson belonging to fellow actor and flyer and erstwhile Labour MP for the Everton division of Liverpool, Sir Derwent Hall-Caine. At the final meet of the 1934 season Paddie was brought before the stewards and fined £2 for persistently driving wide at the Fork turn. This was the same meeting where Fay Taylour refused to come in after crossing the finishing line and continued to lap the circuit. No doubt this confirmed the diehards’ opinions of lady drivers, although the fact that Fay’s fastest lap was second only to Straight’s Mountain Course record proved the girls were no slouches. I wonder if Paddie ever competed at Brooklands again?

Anyway both Miss Naismith’s acting and racing careers are long forgotten now - S.C.H. Davis described her as “red-haired Paddy Naismith, who believed thoroughly that the correct place for a throttle pedal was flat on the floor boards”. I presume that red hair was one of the reasons she was chosen in December 1940 as the subject of John Logie Baird’s first high definition colour television picture, lasting fame of a sort. You can see the image here

#33 rx-guru

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 11:04

Very famous in Scandinavia: Greta Molander. Born August 23 1908 at Ystad in the deepest south (Skåne) of Sweden but moved to Norway in 1938. Won the "Coupe des Dames" of the Monte Carlo Rally in 1937 and 1952. Did the Monte 19 times between 1933 and 1973.

#34 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 23:09

Miss P. Naismith at Brooklands

BARC September Meeting, 10 September 1932, The Ladies' Handicap, 9 miles
1- Miss P. Naismith, Salmson 1090 cc s/c, entered by D. Hall-Caine
2- Miss Fay Taylour, Talbot 2970 cc, entered by A. W. Fox
3- Mrs A. G. Gripper, Frazer Nash 1496 cc
4 + FL- Mrs Wisdom, Leyland-Thomas

Also entered- Miss E. Ellissonn, Bugatti T37 1496 cc

11 starters, 13 entered


Inter-Club Meeting, 7 July 1934, 1st Long Handicap, 9 miles
1- J. H. Day, Graham Paige 8 cylindres 5297 cc, entered by Miss K. M. Moodie
2- D. M. Dent, Frazer Nash 1496 cc (Frazer Nash Club)
3- Miss P. Naismith, Salmson Nine 1096 cc, entered by Sir Derwent Hall-Caine

8 starters


BARC Motor-Show Meeting, 13 October 1934, 1st Kingston Junior Long Handicap, 9 miles
1- R. F. Oats, Amilcar 1093 cc
2- A. C. Dobson, A. C. Bugatti 1496 cc
3- Miss P. Naismith, Salmson 1096 cc s/c, entered by Sir D. Hall-Caine

11 starters

#35 KJJ

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 12:04

Sammy Davis's book Atalanta mentions a Mrs Tolhurst who drove at Brooklands c1932-34. Anyone know more about her? I see her initial was S. Tolhurst. Can anyone confirm if she was Sheila Tolhurst (Mrs W. A. Tolhurst). If so I have her dates.

#36 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 18:49

At the BARC Inter-Club Meeting, Brooklands, 18 june 1932, Mrs S. Tolhurst (Riley 1089 cc) won the Racing Short Handicap, 6.5 miles, the car being entered by E. K. Rayson. This is all what I know about her.

#37 KJJ

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 22:57

Thanks for your replies to my queries Marc. Mrs Tolhurst was also a member of Kay Petre's Singer team in the Light Car Club relay race, 21st July 1934. I believe they finished 5th.

#38 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 23:06

Yes Ken, she was definitely Sheila Tolhurst: named as such in the BRDC Silver Jubilee Book (p143) in an article by Kay Petre.

#39 KJJ

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 15:43

Thanks Richard, Sheila Tolhurst, she married Major W. H. Tolhurst of the RAF in 1919, was the eldest daughter of Dick Marsh the Royal Trainer ( horse racing ), she was born 2 May 1901 and died 12 August 1981.

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#40 bill patterson

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:40

Eileen Ellison shared her ex-Earl Howe 3.0-litre Maserati with TP Cholmondeley-Tapper at Limerick in 1936

Did she continue her racing after witnessing the fiery accident of the Duke of Grafton's Bugatti Type 59 at Limerick?

#41 BOUZANQUET JF

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 10:26

Hello Friends
Sorry if I have missed a previous thread or answer, but I would like to know more about a "strange women racing driver" call......Bob/Roberta Cowell. I bought abook about him/her, Robeta Cowell's story at last Beaulieu jumble, but it doesnt say much about her cars and career after the 50'
Looking also for pictures from Roberta .....during the Alta and ERA times and during Emeryson and hill races of the 70' ?
Can any one help? Based in France, its difficult to find material and infos !
PS: sorry for my bad "english".....

#42 Jager

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 14:07

In 1930, Frenchwoman Odette Siko and Marguerite Mareuse formed the first all woman team at LeMans, finishing seventh in their Bugatti. Madam Siko was back in 1932, where she finished 4th outright in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 and again the following year in the same car but did not finish after competing 125 laps.

Also try this thread for "Women in LeMans" started in 2001 :

http://forums.autosp...8736#post418736

#43 KJJ

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 23:17

Does anyone know anything about these pre-war female racers?

Friedl Haerlin - a German film star but what did her motor sport career amount to?

Princess Hohenlohe, there seem to have been a few with similar titles, but was the motor sport version the same as Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe, the friend of Hitler and Lord Rothermere?

Ernes Merck, she died in 1927, what happened?

Emma Munz, a pretty Swiss miss?

#44 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 00:26

Originally posted by KJJ

Ernes Merck, she died in 1927, what happened?

She committed suicide on November 25th 1927.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Somewhat tastelessly, she featured in a Mercedes Benz advertisement the following year, reproduced in Beverley Rae Kimes' book "The Star and the Laurel": it's a painting which just oozes sexuality, showing a woman in bright red racing overalls with a large MB logo above the left breast.

Badly translated article about her

#45 KJJ

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:46

Many thanks for this Richard. Can anyone post the Mercedes advert Frau in Rot? Maybe TNF could do with some oozing sexuality.

There's some more on Merck and the others in this "translation".

I did a search through the text of "Hitler's Spy Princess: The Extraordinary Life of Princess Stephanie Von Hohenlohe" on Amazon, without finding any racing references. I'm tending to think it's a different Princess Hohenlohe, which would be a pity, as a woman Roosevelt described as "dangerous and clever....worse than ten thousand men" really ought to have some racing connections.

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:58

Originally posted by KJJ
Many thanks for this Richard. Can anyone post the Mercedes advert Frau in Rot? Maybe TNF could do with some oozing sexuality.


The poster used to be on the gallery section of the old MB Museum site. It's still there, but in a different form. However, they've seemingly corrected the date - not 1928 as Kimes says, but about 1924.

Can't link to it directly, but follow this link to the MB homepage, then click on the museum. You'll then see some small numbers top right of the screen. Click on 3 in the M column and that will take you to the relevant slideshow - it's the poster relating to the 1923 10/40hp.

http://www.mercedes-...world_Home.html

The site doesn't always load properly and if you get tooltips that say "undefined" when you try to click on the numbers, you'll have to try again!

#47 KJJ

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 14:59

There's an interesting TNF post about Baroness D'Elern who was killed in the 1930 Algerian Grand Prix here. For some reason this fatality doesn't appear on the very comprehensive Motorsport Memorial site - maybe I've missed it? Does anyone know anything further about the Baroness, forename, maiden surname perhaps?

Another racer - OK from the twenties not the thirties - Ivy Cummings. For those who collect such data she was born in London 27th October 1900, died (her married surname was Warren-Collins) 4th December 1971. I was reading, in a contemporary issue of the Times, that she led the 1925 Grand Prix de Boulogne for the first three laps before overturning in a ditch on lap four. Three laps by the way was over 100 kilometres. Is this correct? Not the greatest of fields but on the face of it something of an achievement a la Madame Junek.

#48 David McKinney

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 16:55

I think her Boulogne moment of glory was in 1926, not 1925
Also, there's a difference between a field of (mainly British) amateurs in 1500cc cars on a short - by the standard of the day - circuit, on the one hand, and on the other a race with many of the top European stars, in Grand Prix cars, one a circuit acknowedged as one of the most difficult in the world

#49 KJJ

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 18:48

Thanks, yes it was 1926. Not in the Junek class of course but still quite a good performance for a flapper? There's some film of Miss Cummings on the ITN site seemingly winning a race in France in 1921, see here. Anyone know what that event was?

#50 Gav Astill

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 19:31

At a drinks party this Christmas I got talking to a couple who had no interest in cars or racing whatsoever, but who related the story of their dotty old Aunt Midge. After some probing I found out that her name was Violet Wilby (always known as 'Midge') and that before the war she was a competitor in Frazer Nash cars. This intrigued me so after some googling and sifting through my modest 'library' I established that she was regarded as a key member of the Frazer Nash 'Chain Gang' and competed in hill climbs, and possibly Brooklands. She was one of the band of die-hard traditionalists who bridled at F-N's modernisation (i.e. selling rebadged BMW's). The last straw came when she went away on holiday leaving her car at the F-N works for some minor repair, only to find on her return, that due to some administrative cock-up they had accidentally sold it!

Apparently she was a very formidable lady and decided that if F-N wouldn't make the 'right sort' of car, she would. Aided by Neil Watson and the engine designer, Albert Gough, she set up Atalanta Motors and between 1937 and 1939 made about 20 cars, mostly with 1.5 or 2.0 litre Gough designed engines, and 3 with the 4.3l V12 Lincoln Zephyr engine. With Midge's money they even sent a team to Le Mans in 1938, which sadly retired with hub failure very early on.

When she died (1990's ?) a number of cars were found in her garage including one or two F-N's, which were sold for big money. Midge Wilby's own Atalanta 2 litre has recently been restored to concours condition and was in a very recent Coys auction, for which a top bid of £90k was turned down. The car is, I believe, in the hands of Brian Classic, and the owner may want his restoration costs of £125k back. See;
http://prewarcar.com...sp?car_id=26826

That's pretty much what googling has found me, but I am very keen to know what the vast residual knowledge of you good TNF-ers can tell us about the redoubtable Ms Wilby, specifically about her competition career, and whether the family legend that she was the first woman to compete in the Monte Carlo rally is, in fact, true.

I await with interest