1937 Australian Grand Prix

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Australia  1936 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
handicap race
Date 26 December 1936
Location Port Elliot-Victor Harbor Circuit [1]
near Victor Harbor, South Australia
Course Temporary road circuit
Course length 12.55 km (7.8 mi)
Distance 32 laps, 386.16 km (240 .[2] mi)
Weather Sunny
Fastest lap
Driver Australia Tom Peters Bugatti
Time 5:47
First MG
Second MG
Third Terraplane Special

The 1937 Australian Grand Prix is a name which has been applied retrospectively to the 1936 South Australian Centenary Grand Prix, a motor race held on the Port Elliot-Victor Harbor road circuit in South Australia on Boxing Day, 26 December 1936.[3]

The 1935 Australian Grand Prix had been held at Phillip Island in April and no succeeding event had been planned. Eventually the Australian Grand Prix would be revived in April 1938 at Bathurst. The stature of 1936 South Australian Centenary Grand Prix, the largest such race held in the three-year gap, saw it later renamed and redated to become the 1937 Australian Grand Prix.[3][4][5]

The race was the first road race for cars to be held in South Australia, with special amendments to the Road Traffic Act required to allow the roads to be closed for that purpose.[3] A 7.8-mile (12.55 km) course was laid out specifically for the race on sealed public roads between the seaside towns of Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.[3] It was only used for racing on this one occasion. The race, which had 27 starters, was held over 32 laps for a total distance of approximately 250 miles (400 kilometres). Like most major Australian motor races of the period, it featured a handicap start, with the slowest cars starting first and other cars starting at timed intervals according to their predicted performance. The race was organised by the Sporting Car Club of South Australia and promoted by Centenary Road Races Limited of Adelaide.[6] It was open to factory built and catalogued racing cars and sports cars, irrespective of engine capacity, however other entries not meeting that description were also considered.[6]

The race was won by pre-race favourite Les Murphy, driving a MG P-type off a handicap of 40 minutes.[7] He finished over ten minutes clear of Tim Joshua driving a similar car with Bob Lea-Wright third [8] in a Terraplane-based special. Fifth placed finisher Ossie Cranston, driving a Ford V8-based special [8] off a handicap of 5 minutes,[7] completed the race in the fastest actual running time of 3 hours 20 minutes and 17 seconds.[9]


Winner Les Murphy (MG P-type), pictured during the race.
The Hudson Special which was driven by Frank Kleinig. Pictured in 2012

Results as follows.[2]

Pos No. Driver Car Entrant [7] Laps Time
1 29 Australia Les Murphy MG P-type / MG 0.8L L Murphy 32 3h 57m 36s
2 32 [10] Australia Tim Joshua MG P-type / MG 0.8L AI Barrett 32 4h 7m 40s
3 19 Australia Bob Lea-Wright Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L RA Lea-Wright 32 4h 9m 20s
4 20 Australia Alec Poole Oldsmobile Special / Oldsmobile AE Poole 32 4h 10m 29s
5 15 Australia Barney Dentry Riley Special / Riley 1.1L GB Dentry 32 4h 12m 32s
6 6 Australia Ossie Cranston Ford V8 Special / Ford 3.6L OS Cranston 32 4h 15m 47s
7 35 Australia Ron Uffindell Austin 7 Special / Austin 0.7L RS Uffindell 32 4h 19m 19s
8 27 Australia John Summers MG L Magna / MG 1.1L J Summers 32 4h 22m 18s
9 18 Australia Harry Beith Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L HJ Beith 32 4h 24m 01s
10 23 Australia John Dutton MG C / MG 0.8L JH Dutton 32 4h 24m 03s
11 9 [11] Australia Arthur Terdich Bugatti Type 37A / Bugatti s/c 1.5L 32 4h 26m 15s [9]
12 26 Australia George Martin AC 16/80 / AC 2.0L RH Wilkinson 32 4h 30m 43s
Ret 4 Australia Lyster Jackson MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L L Jackson 29
NC 33 Australia J. McDonald Amilcar J McDonald 28
Ret 22 Australia Alf Barrett Lombard AL3 / Lombard 1.2L AI Barrett 25
NC 31 Australia Colin Anderson Morris Cowley Special / Morris 1.5L AI Barrett 23
Ret 17 Australia Jack Phillips Ford V8 Special / Ford 3.6L JK Phillips 21
Ret 3 [7] United Kingdom Lord William Waleran MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L J Snow 20
Ret 30 Australia Jim Gullan Wolseley Hornet / Wolseley Motors Limited 1.3L J Gullan 17
NC 25 [12] Australia H. Abbott Austin 7 / Austin s/c 0.7L 11
Ret 1 Australia Jim Fagan MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L JH Fagan 10
Ret 34 Australia E.M. Winter Vauxhall 14/40 Special / Vauxhall 2.3L EM Winter 10
Ret 21 Australia Hylton Dale Bugatti Type 37A / / Bugatti s/c 1.5L Hylton Dale 9
Ret 2 Australia Tom Peters Bugatti Type 37A / Bugatti s/c 1.5L TM Peters 7
Ret 12 New Zealand George Smith Austin 7 / Austin GC Smith 7
Ret 13 Australia Les Burrows Hudson Special / Hudson L Burrows 7
Ret 7 Australia Frank Kleinig Hudson Special [13]/ Hudson WA McIntyre 5
DNS 14 Australia Bill Bullen Alvis / Alvis s/c 1.5L B McN. Clark

The entries of McDonald, Anderson and Abbott were "flagged off",[14] having exceeded the time limit rule.[2]


  1. ^ Front cover, Official Programme, SA Centenary Grand Prix, 26 and 29 December 1936
  2. ^ a b c Medley, John (1986). "1952". In Howard, Graham. The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 92–103. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d John B Blanden, A History of the Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 129
  4. ^ "Recognition" of the race as an Australian Grand Prix would seem to have occurred prior to the running of the 1953 Australian Grand Prix as the cover of the "Official Souvenir Progamme" for that race indicated that it was the "XVIIIth Australian Grand Prix"
  5. ^ A list of "Australian GP Winners" published on page 52 of the 1961 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport includes L Murphy as the winner of the 1937 AGP at Victor Harbor.
  6. ^ a b Centenary Grand Prix - Regulations for SA Event, The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 21 August 1936 page 7 As retrieved from trove.nla.gov.au on 12 March 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d John B Blanden, A History of the Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 132
  8. ^ a b John B Blanden, A History of the Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 147
  9. ^ a b John B Blanden, A History of the Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 148
  10. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, pages 132 & 143
  11. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 134
  12. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, page 136
  13. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, pages 132 & 137
  14. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928-1939, pages 148 to 150

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1935 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by
1938 Australian Grand Prix