A patriotic kiddo prepares his very aerodynamic ‘Spitfire’ for a run down Cross Road, Fullarton, Adelaide in the Winter of 1941…

We all start to race somewhere, I ‘progressed’ from billycarts! I wonder if this dude took steps beyond the Unley Soap Box Derby to bigger and better automotive things in the years to come? Love the schoolkids formal cold weather attire- caps, cloaks, coats and ties very much to the fore.

The run down Cross Road, from ‘the old gum tree’ to Fullarton Road attracted a crowd of 15,000! people to watch 100 competitors achieve speeds of up to 70 km/h. The crowd is indicative, I guess, of just how starved people were of any form of entertainment during the long, bleak, difficult war years.

Photo Credit…

State Library of South Australia

Comments
  1. Emery says:

    Being an American who never has set foot in Australia, I had to look up the term billycart to be certain that it was what I imagined it was (it is). http://billycarthq.com/what-is-a-billycart/

    • markbisset says:

      Hi Emery,
      Its interesting to see the derivation of the name, i’d not wondered where it came from. I gather ‘Soap Box Derbys’ were (are?) a big thing in the US. Key ‘Soap Box Derby’ into the primotipo search engine too see a quickie article I did a couple of years ago.
      As a kid I cannot tell you the untold hours and fun we local kids had particularly during school holidays in building billy-carts and running them down the local streets with the steepest hills- sourcing ball-bearings from the local ‘servos’ (car service stations or garages) and all the rest. My mum has a gazillion shots of us as kids but none of the ‘carts sadly!
      Mark

    • David Thompson says:

      Except the contention in that link that, “(FYI the term ‘go cart’ is short for goat carts which were once pulled by goats, but now refer to a motorized cart.)”
      No. The “go cart” term was used for a baby buggy in the early 20th century. The guys who called their racing kart a “Go Kart” (trademarked) in the late 50s probably didn’t even know that.

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