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(Sydney Morning Herald)

I wrote a long article about Peter Whitehead’s successful 1938 ‘Australian Tour’ which culminated in his ERA R10B, Bathurst, AGP win on 18 April, here he is enjoying a ‘cleanser’ at the races duration, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/16/peter-whitehead-in-australia-era-r10b-1938/

This piece is a ‘photographic update’ of the earlier tome. It’s interesting the way photos sometimes ‘pop up’, in this case as a result of someone clearing out a house and finding a cache of photos of a man who was clearly a Whitehead fan ‘in period’.

Most of the shots were posted on an antiquarian website with a blog devoted to identifying unknown objects, via that medium they found the primotipo article above. Go figure the ways of this internet world! The photo’s existence 80 years later is indicative of just how much general press interest there was in Whitehead’s visit with the ‘fastest car to come to Australia’ at the time .

I received the assistance of a ‘panel of expert mates’ to ID the shots, many thanks to racers/fettlers/historians/enthusiasts John Medley, Patrick Ryan and Greg Smith for their ‘smarts’! Mind you there was not a unanimous view on all of the shots, opinions from others welcome.

ERA Australia Shots…

PW either during the 1938 AGP, Bathurst or at Rob Roy, Christmas Hills, Victoria. Whitehead ran with number 1 at both events, won both and set course records. Bathurst expert Medley says its Mount Panorama and Melburnian Rob Roy regular Pat Ryan’s vote is for the Clintons Road, Christmas Hills short ‘climb.

As you will see Whitehead is sans any form of head protection, not even the vestigial ‘cotton bonnet’ of the day; mad given Bathurst’s surface.

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(Sydney Morning Herald)

The next 3 shots are of Whitehead going down the long Conrod Straight ahead of (ID Stephen Dalton) Barney Dentry’s #14 Riley. It would have been pretty wild, flat out in that ERA without helmet atop the gravel surface pinging past the gum-trees close by at around 150mph.

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(Dave Sullivan Album)

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Two shots ago but cropped closer to the cars; Whitehead and Dentry down Conrod (Dave Sullivan Album)

Refuelling R10B with fuel and topping up the radiator at Bathurst. Crew member Kenneth Maxwell at left.

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(Sydney Morning Herald)

UK ERA R10B shots…

Start of the 1937 Donington GP, 2 October 1937 won by Bernd Rosemeyers #5 Auto Union Type C from the #3 von Brauchitsch and #1 Caracciola Mercedes W125’s

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#2 Lang DNF gets the jump at the start in his W125 Benz from #4 MB Seaman DNF, #1 MB Caracciola #5 AU Rosemeyer and #3 von Brauchitsch MB on the outside. The next group comprises the 2 AU’s of Hasse 5th and Muller 4th. #8 are the Mays and #16 Whitehead ERA B Types both DNF (The Autocar)

The next photo is of Peter Whitehead leading Dick Seaman’s famous Delage at Donington during the Junior Car Club 200 Mile race and Andre Cup on 29 August, Seaman won the event in 15S8 Delage from the earl Howe and D Briault/Keith Evans ERA B Types.

The race was contested by a mix of 1500cc Voiturettes and Grand Prix cars; mainly Alfa Tipo B/Monza and Bugatti T51’s.

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(The Autocar)

The Walker/Whitehead ERA leads the Seaman Delage at Donington in 1936, date unknown.

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(The Autocar)

Hector Dobb’s Riley leads the Whitehead/Walker ERA R10B at Brooklands.

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The Walker/Whitehead ERA ahead of a Bugatti, MG K3, MG NE at Brooklands

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Credits…

Thanks again to John Medley, Patrick Ryan and Greg Smith for your period knowledge

Dave Dempsey and antiquers.com, Dave Warner Album on ‘The Nostalgia Form’ via Terry Walker

Tailpiece: ERA ‘Peter Partners’ Walker left, and Whitehead celebrating a race win, by Walker perhaps? at Donington in 1936…

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(The Autocar)

 

 

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Comments
  1. Fantastic stuff! Thank you for all your posts.

  2. Rob says:

    Thank you from me as well. Always a great read!

  3. Clive Benton says:

    Did you know that Peter Whitehead’s 1938 Rob Roy Hillclimb silver tankard winner’s trophy comes up for auction – lot 213 – at the Graham Budd Sporting Memorabilia Sale in London on April 25th?

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks for letting me know Clive,
      It’s not of personal interest but the Victorian Historic Racing Register or MG Car Club (who now rub Rob Roy), may be interested, the VHRR do have a fine collection already.
      Shall alert someone at each club
      Thanks again,
      Mark

      • Clive Benton says:

        That’s great thanks Mark. I hope it finds a suitable home. Wonder if the current owner of R10B is aware of this?

      • markbisset says:

        No idea Clive, no idea who it is either!, but he or she may well be interested, the wonderful thing about these ERA’s is that pretty much all of them are ‘forever young’! M

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