As often happens, when I was googling info on Maroubra Speedway I discovered some amazing cars which I’d never heard about – and they’re both Aussie too!
The coolest part is that these high res images are all displayed on the Powerhouse Museum’s flickr account so people can check them out – who said museums are old-fashioned and boring! Check out their historical pics here.
Now both of these cars were designed and built by Sydney engineer Don Harkness, and driven by Norm ‘Wizard’ Smith. First up is the Anzac, which used a Cadillac chassis and was powered by a Rolls Royce aero engine. During testing at Gerringong in 1929 it set an official Australian record of 206.909 kmh. It later set an unofficial Australasian record of 238kmh on Ninety Mile Beach in New Zealand.
Now this next car is f***ing amazing to look at! Remember it was screwed together back in 1931 – compare it to a restored Model A Ford! It was called the Fred H. Stewart Enterprise. The clumsy name was in honour of one of the financial backers of the project (and we thought that was a modern thing reserved for footy stadiums). Power came from a Rolls-Royce Schneider Trophy aero engine pumping out 1700hp! (the Schneider Trophy was a European sea plane racing series!). The Enterprise managed 260kmh on Ninety Mile Beach in NZ on 26 Jan 1932, however both the car and the campaign were plagued with dramas. Rumour has it Harkness soon after chopped it up and buried it at his workshop (which is now the site of the Drummoyne RSL). The Rolls donk was used at the Bank of NSW head office as a back up power generator!
For more information on these awesome cars and the blokes who built and raced them, check out the Australia Land Speed Racing website – they’ve got some awesome information on there!