Australian motor racing legends in pole position to rev up bidders at the next Collectables auction

. July 23, 2007

Historical automobilia belonging to the late Joan Richmond and Peter Brock comes onto the market for the first time.

Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was in the first women’s team to win an international motor race at a time when women in motor racing were very rare. Richmond won the International 1000 Mile Race held at the Brooklands track in the United Kingdom in 1932 co driving her Riley Nine with fellow woman driver Elsie Wisdom in a race where women and men competed on an even playing field.

Born in rural NSW, Richmond turned to motor-racing as an alternative to horse racing. A fine horsewoman, Richmond harbored a passion to one day become a professional jockey. As females were banned from competing, Richmond was forced to shift her attentions to motor-racing.

Initially she competed in minor motoring events such as hill climbs and then built up her skills to compete at the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island where she came fifth. It wasn’t long before she was seeking the thrill of competing at the Monte Carlo Rally and in 1931, accompanied by five friends, Richmond set sail for Europe with a Riley sponsorship agreement entailing the use of three cars under her belt.
All three cars successfully completed the Monte Carlo Rally and whilst in Monte Carlo, Richmond had a chance encounter with local racing hero Louis Chiron who taught her valuable lessons in driving fast safely. Fueled by the international experience, Richmond decided to prolong her trip, staying with family in the United Kingdom. It was here that she met experienced English woman driver Elsie Wisdom who was to become her racing partner in the infamous 1,000 Mile Race. This was to be the start of a long and distinguished motor racing career in which Richmond would race cars for Riley, Singer, Triumph, MG, FIAT, Delage and others.

The historic collection belonging to Richmond is being offered for sale by Richmond’s close friend and biographer who has been the custodian of the collection for many years. Particularly intriguing lots in the sale include the 1000 Mile Race winning trophy (estimate $4,000-6,000), a vintage racing suit ($1,000-1,500) and a gold cigarette case in the shape of the Riley insignia given to her by Victor Riley ($1,500-2,500). The collection also features numerous photographs including unpublished images of Richmond racing at the Australian Grand Prix and unpublished photographs taken by Richmond of motor racing legend Tazio Nuvalari in the 1933 Nice Grand Prix.

Accompanying the Richmond collection are items belonging to the recently deceased Peter Brock (1945-2006). Brocky or ‘The King of the Mountain’ as he is commonly known, is arguably Australia’s greatest ever motor racing driver. He had a passion for motor racing from an early age and began officially competing in the late 1960’s. His long career saw him win Bathurst a record nine times.

Brock made his Bathurst debut in 1969. His first win came in 1972 driving a Holden Torana LJ XU1.

Brock is well known for his achievements with Holden Commodore and other highlights from the auction relate to this partnership. They include the racing helmet he wore when he won Bathurst 1000 in 1983 and his number 05 arm band.

The items are being offered for sale by a former marketing employee at Holden who was intricately involved with the racing driver and forged a strong friendship with him.
The sale of both celebrity drivers’ automobilia will take place on Sunday 12 August at Bonhams & Goodman’s Melbourne rooms at 12noon.

Category: Auction News

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