1950 Australian Grand Prix

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1950 Australian Grand Prix
Formula Libre race
Race details
Date 2 January 1950
Location Nuriootpa, South Australia
Course Temporary road circuit
Course length 7.04 km (4.375 mi)
Distance 34 laps, 163.9 km (102 mi)
Weather Sunny
Fastest lap
Driver Australia Rupert Steele
Australia Doug Whiteford
Alfa Romeo
Time 2'27
First Ford
Second Alfa Romeo
Third Ballot-Oldsmobile

The 1950 Australian Grand Prix was a motor race held at the Nuriootpa Road Circuit in South Australia on 2 January 1950.[1] It was organised by the Sporting Car Club of South Australia,[2] promoted by the Barossa Valley Vintage Festival Association [1] and staged over 34 laps of the 7.0 kilometre circuit for a race distance of 164 kilometres.[2] The race, which is recognized by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport as the fifteenth Australian Grand Prix,[3] was a Formula Libre race.

The race utilised a handicap start with cars commencing progressively, slowest through to fastest, at timed intervals;[2] the declared winner of the Grand Prix however, was the driver with the fastest elapsed race time, regardless of handicap.[2] All other official awards were based on the handicap results, with an additional trophy awarded to the handicap winner and prize money paid for the first nine handicap places.[1] Doug Whiteford, driving a Ford V8 Special, known as 'Black Bess', won his first Australian Grand Prix, completing the race distance almost three minutes faster than Rupert Steele, driving an Alfa Romeo.[2] Jim Gullan, driving an Oldsmobile-powered Ballot Special recorded the third fastest race time and was also the official handicap winner.[2]


The Ford V8 Special in which Doug Whiteford won the 1950 Australian Grand Prix. The car is pictured in 2014.
Jim Gullan won the handicap award driving a Ballot Special.
The MG TC Special with which David Harvey recorded fourth fastest time and placed second on handicap. (Pictured in 2016)
Pos [2] No. [2] Driver [2] Car [2] Entrant [1] Laps [2] Time [2] H'cap Pos [2] H'cap start [2]
1 5 Australia Doug Whiteford Ford V8 Special / Ford 4.2L D Whiteford 34 1h 24m 53s 5 1m 45s
2 6 Australia Rupert Steele Alfa Romeo 8C / Alfa Romeo 2.3L PJR Steele 34 1h 27m 51s 9 1m 45s
3 21 Australia Jim Gullan Ballot Special / Oldsmobile 3.9L J Gullan 34 1h 29m 23s 1 7m 45s
4 30 Australia David Harvey MG TC Special / MG 1.3L DG Harvey 34 1h 33m 49s 2 11m 00s
5 22 Australia Bill Willcox Dodge Special / Dodge 4.1L WH Wilcox 34 1h 34m 11s 10 8m 20s
6 32 Australia Steve Tillett MG TC Special / MG 1.3L SD Tillett 34 1h 34m 37s 6 11m 50s
7 33 Australia Ron Kennedy MG TC / MG 1.3L RJ Kennedy 34 1h 34m 41s 3 11m 30s
8 35 Australia Don Cant MG TC / MG 1.3L DP Cant 34 1h 35m 05s 4 11m 55s
9 27 Australia Howard Keil HRG Special / HRG 1.5L FAO Gaze 34 1h 35m 57s 8 9m 40s
10 26 Australia Norman Steele HRG Special / HRG 1.5L NC Steele 34 1h 36m 08s 7 9m 40s
11 19 Australia Granton Harrison Phillips V8 Special / Ford 3.9L GT Harrison 34 1h 37m 39s 11 7m 45s
12 29 Australia Vin Maloney MG TC Special / MG 1.3L VA Maloney 34 1h 40m 14s 12 10m 40s
13 38 Australia R. Vinall MG NA / MG 1.3L RK Vinall 34 1h 46m 42s 13 13m 00s
Ret 25 Australia Peter McKenna BMW 328 / BMW 2.0L Peter McKenna 33 9m 05s
Ret 34 Australia D. Douglas MG TC / MG 1.3L AP Douglas 32 11m 55s
Ret 20 Australia Dennis Curran Curran Ford V8 Special / Ford 4.0L DE Curran 30 7m 45s
Ret 16 Australia Ken Tubman MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L KV Tubman 28 4m 50s
Ret 31 Australia Ken Jackson MG TC / MG 1.3L IN Jackson 25 11m 20s
Ret 40 Australia Phill Harrison MG P / Vauxhall 1.4L P Harrison 21 13m 00s
Ret 24 Australia Bob Brown Alfa Romeo Tipo B / Ford 4.0L RS Brown 21 9m 00s
Ret 3 Australia Charlie Dean Maybach Special Mk.1 / Maybach 4.2L HC Dean 21 0m 30s
Ret 23 Australia L. Robinson Bugatti / Dodge LD Robinson 15 8m 40s
Ret 11 Australia Peter Denman Hudson Special / Hudson P Denman 13 2m 50s
Ret 36 Australia E. Truman MG TC / MG 1.3L EC Truman 11 11m 55s
Ret 17 Australia Bill Patterson MG TC / MG s/c 1.3L GW Patterson 6 5m 05s
Ret 39 Australia Max Galt MG NA / MG 1.3L M Galt 4 13m 00s
Ret 4 Australia Eldred Norman Double Ford V8 Special / Ford 7.8L E de B Norman 2 1m 25s
Ret 15 Australia Otto Stone MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L Otto Stone 1 4m 50s
Ret 2 Australia Lex Davison Alfa Romeo Tipo B / Alfa Romeo 3.0L AN Davison 1 0m 30s
DNS 1 Australia Tony Gaze Alta FAO Gaze - 0m 00s
DNS 12 Australia Stan Jones HRG S Jones - 3m 25s [1]

The above results rank all finishers based on actual race time, regardless of handicap.[2] Officially, race results were based on handicap placings, with the exception of the actual Australian Grand Prix title itself, which was awarded to the driver setting the fastest race time.[2]

It is not known if the cars of McKenna and Douglas actually retired from the race or were still running when the race time expired.[2]


  • Fastest lap: Rupert Steele and Doug Whiteford – 2'27 (73.47 mph, 118.2 km/h) [2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Programme, Australian Grand Prix Carnival, 2 January 1950, Nuriootpa Road Circuit, South Australia
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Howard, Graham (1986). "1950". In Howard, Graham (ed.). The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 148–157. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5.
  3. ^ Records, Titles and Awards, 2002 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 14-3

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1949 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by
1951 Australian Grand Prix