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Anzac
Owned by Norm "Wizard" Smith   Select Image to Enlarge
Norm Wizard Smith's racing car
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Cutting from the Argus Newspaper about Wizard Smith , 30 January 1930
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Photograph of Norman "Wizard" Smith beside the "Anzac" car which is being refuelled, 1925 - 1935 (Don Harkness Archive Collection)
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Norman "Wizard" Smith at the wheel of "Anzac" car on race track, c1930 (Don Harkness Archive Collection)
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Anzac" car [with Harkness & Hillier staff?] at Five Dock, 1928-29. Norman "Wizard" Smith and Don Harkness at right. In the background is the Five Dock Ice Works. Caption on reverse reads 'Anzac not finished 1928-29'. (Don Harkness Archive Collection)
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Norman "Wizard" Smith at wheel of the "Anzac" car talking to Charles Ulm, c1930 (Don Harkness Archive Collection)
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The car "Anzac" on beach with crowd, c1930 (Don Harkness Archive Collection)
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Group portrait of men on beach with "Anzac" car in background, c1930 Don Harkness was approached by racing driver Norman Leslie 'Wizard' Smith (1890-1958) and former Lord Mayor of Sydney Jack Mostyn to build a car for Smith's attempts to break the Australasian one mile and the world ten mile records. The result was the "Anzac" with a Rolls Royce aero engine and a Cadillac chassis. Following the creation of an Australian record of 128.571 miles (206.909 kilometres) per hour at Gerringong, the team took the "Anzac" to Ninety Mile (Kaitaia) Beach, New Zealand, where it achieved an unofficial record 148 miles (238 kilometres) per hour. It is not known which beach is shown in this photo. (Don Harkness Archive Collection)

Determined to contest the world land speed record, Smith asked racing driver and engineer Donald Harkness to design and build a racing car, the 'Anzac', using a Rolls-Royce aero engine and a Cadillac chassis. Aware of its inadequacies, he concentrated on Australasian records and, while searching for a suitable site for his speed runs, set new inter-city records in New Zealand.

When testing it at Gerringong, New South Wales, on 1 December 1929, he created an Australian record of 128.571 miles (206.909 km) per hour.

Next month, at Ninety Mile Beach, north of Auckland, he set an unofficial Australasian ten-mile record at an average speed of over 148 miles (238 km) per hour.

 

 

 

The car with no name

Rules are rules.

In this letter to the Attorney-General, world record racing car driver Norm ‘Wizard’ Smith asks if he can retain the name ‘Anzac’ on his racing car. Not an unreasonable request given Mr Smith’s new status as the fastest man on land. ‘There is no doubt that this car is a national asset to Australia. It is to my mind a very fine advertisement’, he writes.

Unfortunately the government of the day thought otherwise and cited Statutory Rule 1921 in its response to Mr Smith:

'No person shall, without the authority of the Governor-General or a Minister of State … use the word ‘Anzac’ in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession …

Given that the photograph (above) of ‘Wizard’ was taken immediately after he worked his magic on a beach in New Zealand, one can only wonder at the expression on his face upon hearing that his request had been denied!

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Mr Smith's request to call his car ‘Anzac’,
6 March 1930 (National Archives Australia)

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Letter of Refusal (National Archives Australia)
 
 
 
 

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