The Story of Silver Wings

Page 1

A gentle breeze was whipping up the fine dust on a red claypan called "Lake Perkolilli" just a few kilometres north of the old gold rush town of Kalgoorlie fringing the Great Victoria Desert on August 18, 1927.

Since 1911 motorcycle and automobile racing had been conducted on the hard-baked surface of the lake. During its heyday, the main stand from the Coolgardie turf club was erected overlooking the course and thousands of people came from Perth and Kalgoorlie to enjoy the racing. Coolgardie was another gold rush town with a rip-roaring history - but the gold ran out, and the town slowly began to be dismantled and moved to build other gold towns.

On this day, a small team from Chrysler's WA dealership, Attwood Motors in Murray Street, Perth drove in convoy from the State capital and met a group of officials from the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia at the track. Only a handful of spectators, mostly media, were there.

Chrysler cars were the newcomers on the block in 1927. Walter P Chrysler began selling his cars in America in 1924. His cars began arriving in Australia shortly afterwards and quickly developed a reputation for good engineering and speed. In Australia they competed against well established British and American car firms.

With dozens of different brands on the market, record breaking was a good way to get noticed by the public when the first question most people asked as: "What's a Chrysler?"

In the next day they would set out to make the Chrysler brand famous across Australia.

Their task on this most remote of racing circuits was to break one of the most coveted Australian motor racing records: the 24 hour endurance record.

Australians had taken to record breaking with a passion. It was sport for devil may care motorists to race between the big cities lowering the records along the way.

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