Reliving 1936 grand prix

Cars 'n' Coffee group replicate 1936 grand prix in Victor Harbor and Port Elliot

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START YOUR ENGINES: Lester alongside his 1966 Mustang with Coffee 'n' Cars organisers Wes and Leith who is standing at the Information Bay by the Grand Prix plaque.

START YOUR ENGINES: Lester alongside his 1966 Mustang with Coffee 'n' Cars organisers Wes and Leith who is standing at the Information Bay by the Grand Prix plaque.

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Cars 'n' Coffee group will organise a drive to replicate the 1936 grand prix held in Victor Harbor and Port Elliot.

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The Cars 'n' Coffee group that meets on the second Sunday of the month at McDonalds Victor Harbor, rain or shine, is big on nostalgia.

So on Sunday, April 10, they have organised a "drive, not a race" honouring the 1936 Grand Prix that was held on a circuit around Victor Harbor and through the township of Port Elliot.

The classics of yesteryear in magnificent condition will grace the circuit.

Cars 'n' Coffee organiser Lester Williamson said it was expected more than 60 cars will be involved and it would be a spectacular sight watching the vehicles cruise through the region and in particular through the township of Port Elliot.

"We will have the classics, the MGs, Monaros, Hot Rods and sports cars all taking part.

"We will do two laps of the course, which includes Waterport Road, Adelaide Road, Port Elliot Road. To minimise traffic disruption we will do a rolling start and run anti-clockwise so it will be left hand turns only," Lester said.

"We will have the MGs front and centre for the start of the race, as an MG won the event in 1936."

Glen Dix and Bob Jennings are two men synonymous in motorsport and will be special guests on the day.

The event will start at 10.30am on Sunday, April 10, following Cars 'n' Coffee's regular gathering at McDonalds.

The information bay on the Adelaide Road entrance to Victor Harbor holds the stone with the 1936 Grand Prix commemorative plaque.

"Driving into Victor Harbor along the Port Elliot Road, check out the 1936 Grand Prix shed mural on the left hand side," Lester said.

An MGA with the mural in the background for Sunday's cruise around the old Victor Harbor Grand Prix track.

An MGA with the mural in the background for Sunday's cruise around the old Victor Harbor Grand Prix track.

The South Australian Centenary Grand Prix was held on December 26, 1936.

It was the first Australian Grand Prix (AGP) held outside Victoria and has been known over time as the 1937 AGP despite being held on Saturday, December 26, 1936 and named then as the 'South Australian Centenary Grand Prix'.

The Sporting Car Club of South Australia was formed in 1934 and played an active part in the celebration of 100 Years of European settlement of South Australia.

The piece de resistance of the organising committee of the South Australian Centenary Committee was SA's first real road race held - 50 miles from Adelaide - on the Fleurieu Peninsula on public roads between Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.

The event was run over 32 laps, 240 miles in total.

The race attracted the best cars and drivers from all around Australia, the limit men of the handicap race drove MG K3s and Bugatti Types 37 and 43 and more than 50,000 paying customers came to the event.

It was the biggest crowd ever to attend an Australian road race and the Centenary Grand Prix was won by Les Murphy (Victoria) over the Victor Harbor - Port Elliot circuit.

He averaged 68.5 miles an hour to win the first prize of £200 and a £50 gold cup.

The story Reliving 1936 grand prix first appeared on The Times.

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