Rosemary Smith

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Rosemary Smith at the Rally de Monte Carlo in 1965

Rosemary Smith (born 7 August 1937) is a rally driver from Dublin, Ireland. Smith initially trained as a dress designer.

Smith entered her first rally as a navigator. After deciding that navigating was not to her liking she switched to driving. She came to the attention of the Rootes Group's Competition Department who offered her a works drive.[citation needed]

In 1964, she took the ladies prize on the Circuit of Ireland Rally driving a Sunbeam Rapier.[1] In 1965 Smith (Hillman Imp) won the Tulip Rally outright.[2]

Smith was controversially disqualified from the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally, after winning the Coupe des Dames, the ladies class. In all ten cars were disqualified. "Rosemary Smith said she would never compete again unless the decision were reversed."[3]

Other competition successes included an outright win in the 1969 Cork 20 Rally. Smith has won the ladies' prize several times on the Scottish Rally and on the Circuit of Ireland Rally, twice each on the Alpine Rally and on the Canadian Shell 4000 and once on the Acropolis Rally. She also has numerous class wins to her name.[citation needed]

In 1965, Smith appeared as a guest on an episode of What's My Line. Arlene Francis, Mark Goodson, Ginger Rogers, and Bennett Cerf were on the panel and successfully guessed her "line" as a racecar driver.[citation needed]

On 10th May 2017, Smith did a test drive with the show car of Renault F1 on the Circuit Paul Ricard as part of a filming day. This made her the oldest person to drive a 800bhp race car.[4]


  1. ^ Motor Sport, May 1964, Page 373.
  2. ^ Motor Sport, June 1965, pp. 471-72.
  3. ^ Competition Press & Autoweek, 12 February 1966, pp. 1, 6.
  4. ^ Renault UK, 79 year-old Rosemary Smith takes The Ultimate Test Drive, retrieved 13 July 2017 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mowat-Brown, G. (2003). "Imp : The Complete Story". The Crowood Press.

External links[edit]