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Rowley Park Speedway .... 'The place where champions gathered'
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Phil Hereen
The late Eric Stack
Mal Leo
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Ian Gear.. Alex Rowe Speedcar
Kym McConnell and Dave Parker.
Neil Munro Rod Lang at Gilman Speedway
The final lap for Bill Wigzell at Murray Bridge.
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SA Speedway Info

Motordrome Speedway.                                   

Motordrome Speedway was located on Anzac Highway Camden from 1935 to 1940.  Camden Motordrome was located on the corner of Anzac Highway and Morphett Road at Camden. The South Australian Midget Car Racing Association and the Auto Cycle Union ( A.C.U. ) hosted the Motordrome. Speedway Race Meetings were cancelled frequently due mainly to injuries. The official program cost 6d.and hosted drivers likes of Bill Allen ( U.S.A. ), D.Ekins, W.a. Clarke, Vic Greenand Bud Stanley etc. etc; also Solo riders Dick Wise, Les Fredericks, Jim West and Bob Hughes etc. etc; and Sidecar super star Spence Miller. Officials at the Motordrome were Clerk of the Course Wal. J. Murphy, Judge A.J. Moyle, Track Steward K.J. LumbersStewards S.R. Pitman and F.W. Mitchell, Starter J.H. Gilbert Track Manager G.L. Morris and assistant track manager was C.H. Newland. ( A picture of a Motordrome plauque and a 1936 Program in pictures.)

Waikerie - Ramco Speedway.

Waikerie Speedway also Known as Ramco Speedway. 1928. This Speedway was run at the Waikerie Race Course and conducted by the Mid Murray Speedways. Waikerie Speedway had a back straight where they would reach speeds of around 70 mph and got crowds of around 2000..... Waikerie Speedway still has a Speedway circuit known as Sunline Speedway Waikerie and currently runs a race meeting once a month.....

Smithfield Speedway 1926 - 30

Smithfield Speedway at Smithfield raced Solo's, Sidecars and Light Cars. Admission was 1/8 and tax 4d. Smithfield Speedway hosted riders likes of Harry Mangham who in 1928 won The Australian 15 Mile Solo Championships and The South Australian 5 mile Championships in the same year. Harry Butler won both the 5 mile South Australian and Australian Championships at Smithfield Speedway in the same year. other stars to compete here were Alan Lewis ( Victorian Champion ), Ned Kelly, Dick Wise, Max Hall, Jack Hanson, Vic Bogner and Len Stewart.

Burra - " Blink Bonnie" Speedway.

Burra Speedway was known as Blink Bonnie Speedway and was run by the Burra Sporting Car Club in March 1928 on Blink Bonnie Lagoon the year after Burra had snow. Blink Bonnie was known for its high standard of racing giving it the title of " Worlds fastest dirt track " due to local competitor Barney Rodgers and other competitors likes of M Hall, J. Williams, V Treloar and A Edgecombe. Officials were Messrs N H Pearse and W.H. McWaters. The Starter was Mr R.A. Lewis along with other officials G.H. Dollman, W.V. Bass, F Holmes, G Smith and H.E. Finlay.

There were other South Australian Circuits that came and went likes of Northfield Speedway ( North of Adelaide ) 1920, Thebarton Oval 1922 - 1928 ( The first commercial quarter mile Speedway on grass. ) and run under lights, Loxton September and October , Maitland Speedway ( Maitland Showgrounds ) 1923, Wayville Show Grounds 1926 / 27 until 1933 / 34 and reintroduced again in 1986 after 53 years, Moonta Speedway held at Kadina December 1926, Appilla January 1st 1927, Burra 1927, Port Pirie Oval 1927 - 1930, Jubilee Oval Adelaide 1929, Naracoorte 1929, Mount Gambier Oval 1931 and also at the Parafield Aerodrome in 1932, Wallaroo Beach Speedway in 1949 ( run by the Northern Y.P. Club ), Loxton Speedway 1954, Port Pirie one mile circuit 1956, Para-Line Speedway ( Campbelltown ) 1957, Bell Bay at Hamley Bridge 1956 to 1959, Thunderbird Raceway ( Virginia ), Coober Pedy Speedway, Strathalbyn, Roxby Downs, Port Lincoln etc. etc; more to come.

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Glen Dix.
Glen Dix OAM 2009. Glen Dix the great legend of the checkered flag at Rowley Park Speedway and other great motor racing events including every one of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix's, The Port Adelaide Football Club's Outback Oddysey, Bay to Birdwood events, Hill Climbs and many other Australian Motor Sport events..... We remember sitting on the Coglin Street mound and listening to the drunken yobbo's chanting " Dixie's a Dick Head "
Another one of the great memories of Rowley Park Speedway.
Glen Dix was born at Victor Harbor in 1934 and went to Riverton High School.
Glen Dix worked at Marine and Harbours at Port Adelaide for 40 years before retiring.
Glen loved both Motor Sport and waving the checkered flag bringing joy to both young and old. ( Glen Dix top left and above on board the Clem Smith Pace Car .. photo thanks to Scott Rackley ).

Harry Neale Memorial.

Harry Neale ( The Black Prince. ) was South Australia's greatest driver who started his racing career at Kilburn Speedway just after it opened in 1945.... Rex Sandy was with Harry Neale when he had his very first drive in a Speedcar....Both Harry and Rex were'nt sure about that drive as the car wanted to slide all the time because of the straight chain drive and Harry started to wonder if he would ever get used to it.... Harry Neale did get used to it well over the next six years and finally won his first Australian Speedcar Championship, the first of six firsts in this event.... Harry Neale was best man at Rex Sendy's wedding and Harry's gift to Rex was a New Zealand two shilling piece--- all Rex was worth! Rex kept that coin and made it into a key ring! Harry won the Australian Championship in the 1953 season after following Sir Jack Brabham for most of the race. Harry Neale won it again in the following seasons 1954 / 55 / 56 / 58 and 1959 beating divers likes of Bob Tattersal ( U.S.A. ), Jack O'Dea ( Victoria ) and Ray Revell ( N.S.W. ). Harry Neale and his Repco-Holden Speedcar held the Sydney Showgrounds 3 lap record in 1957 and in 1958 won the Australian Grand Prix and the World Derby held in Brisbane. Harry Neale at Skyline Speedway in one season had 36 wins and 2 minor placings from 39 starts ( a record that has never been broken ). Harry Neale was tragically killed at Claremont Speedway ( W.A. ) on February 6 1959 at the age of 39. Harry won six Australian Speedway Titles, eleven State Speedway Titles and many more heats and feature races.... The memorial after Harry Neale has been won by many big names... 1960 / 61 and 61 / 62 Dean Hogarth.... 62 / 63 Andy McGavin ( N.S.W. ).... 63 / 64 Jim Davies ( U.S.A. ).... 64 / 65 Bill Curnow.... 65 / 66 Kym Bonython.... 66 / 67 Bill Wigzell.... 68 / 69 Bruce Rickard.... 67 / 68 and 68 / 69 Joe Brandler.... 70 / 71 Peter Maltby.... 71 / 72 Doug Sunstrom.... 72 / 73 George Tatnell.... 73 / 74 again Bill Wigzell.... Other drivers to win are likes of Phil Herreen and Trevor Green.... When the Racing Drivers Association supported Speedcar Racing at Rowley Park in 1950 in preference to Kilburn Speedway some of the drivers including Harry Neale stayed at Kilburn and were not R.D.A. members. When Harry Neale finally came across to Rowley Park he found his favourite number 4 had been reissued to Peter Spicer. Harry then added the 1/2 to his number and the famous 4 1/2 came into existence - much to the delight and amusement of the Rowley Park crowd. Harry was 6' 4" tall and the joke was carried still further when sidecar passenger Shorty Schirmer arrived on the scene with the number 1/2 on his leathers.


Harry Neale 4 1/2 passes as Bob Downing is about to collide with 'Joe Blow.


Past winners Dean Hogarth, Kym Bonython, Bruce Rickard, Joe Brandler, Peter Maltby and Doug Sunstrom.


Harry Neale was written up in the Australian Woman's Weekly where he was reported as saying that if his fellow competitors couldn't drive like men they should take up knitting! Alan Golding distributed bags of knitting to all the other drivers at the next race meeting and when Harry Neale's car was pushed out onto the circuit he was confronted with all his competitors knitting furiously! Harry Neale's one word cannot be printed for the sake of women and children....

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Rick Harvey Memorial.

Rick Harvey was one of the most liked and a champion Speedcar driver at Rowley Park Speedway. Rick Harvey unfortunately died in 1956 as a result a serious road accident while on duty as a Police Officer. Richard Harvey 27 of Dover Gardens and Constable John Raggatt of Warradale Park were involved in a tripple smash hitting head on with the third Motorcyclist Giovanni Cragnolin from Glenelg who was killed instantly. Constable Raggatt and Rick Harvey both died later as a result of serious injuries including a fractured skull, concussion and a fractured leg. The accident happened on Tapley's Hill Road, West Beach at the turn off to the drive-in theatre.... A few years later it was decided to dedicate a race meeting after the popular driver for Speedcars.. "The Rick Harvey Memorial" with the first race meeting being at Rowley Park Speedway in the 1959 / 60 season.... The first ever winner was won by Kym Bonython.... 60 / 61 season also Kym Bonython.... 61 / 62 Bruce Rickard.... 62 / 63 Jim Davies (USA).... 63 / 64 Jim Davies (USA).... 64 / 65 again by Bruce Rickard.... 65 / 66 Bob Tatersall (USA).... 66 / 67 again by Kym Bonython.... 67 / 68 Joe Brandler... 68 / 69 Bill Curnow.... 69 / 70 Dennis Freeman.... 70 / 71 Greg Anderson.... 71 / 72 Dean Hogarth.... 72 / 73 again Dean Hogarth.... 73 / 74 George Tatnell (NSW).... 74 / 75 Bill Wigzell.... 75 / 76 Geof Pilgrim (WA).... 76 / 77 Doug Sunstrom.... and 77 / 78 again Dean Hogarth.... 78 / 79 Trevor McIntosh ( Trophy and Sashes for the 78 / 79 Rick Harvey Memorial were presented by Mr. Alf Shiels, former promotor of Rowley Park Speedway and owner of the car Rick Harvey drove for many years.... Rob Kelvin was also trackside with Alf ) and in 1979 / 80 the first winner at Speedway Park went to RexHodgson....

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Trivia.... Glenn Ridge remembers growing up in Adelaide with Rowley Park Speedway. Glenn Ridge the host of channel nines The Car Show went to Rowley Park Speedway with his family on friday nights and has many great memories including the smell of the methanol....

1960's Speed Boat Shine On had a 179 Holden motor in it until the present motor a 313 Chrysler. It won many events up to the seventies. The first owner was Brian Graves. He named the boat Shine On after his father who use to race at Rowley Park and was nick named Shine Graves. The boat was bought by the present owners about 32 years ago from Brian and it has been used ever since as a ski boat.

Stats from a Brisbane Poll in November 1973.... Speedway popularity in order .... 1. Production Saloons.... 2. Litre Speedcars.... 3. Solo's.... 4. Sidecars.... 5. late model Saloons.... 6. Modified Sprints and lastly ......Speedcars....... Im sure it would have been a different result if the poll was done in Adelaide.

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If you have any photo's, stories, information or advertising you would like put on this site please feel free to email us

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The Final night of an era

The final night of Rowley Park Speedway with the late Kym Bonython and George Tatnell .... April 6 1979 .... (Duration: 4:17)
of March 30, 2011 o'clock


     Rowley Park Speedway            "The Place Where Champions Gathered"  21st December 1949 to 6th April 1979....Rowley Park Speedway was at Brompton. Adelaide. South Australia just a 10 minute drive from the CBD. Rowley Park Speedway's circumference was 402.3 metres. (440 yards) or 358 metres (391 yards ) 1 metre out from the pole line. This Speedway was named Rowley Park Speedway after Mr. Enoch Procter ( Ted ) Rowley. This web site is dedicated to the great speedway circuit and other South Australian Speedway tracks likes of Thunderbird Raceway ( Virginia ), Riverview Speedway ( Murray Bridge ), Whyalla Speedway, Riverland Speedway ( Renmark ), Kilburn Speedway and Adelaide International Raceway etc. etc. in that era. We are also concentrating on Saloon Cars / Production Cars, Super Modified's / Sprintcars , Speedcars and Formula 500's/ TQ's from that speedway era. . Drivers likes of Bill Wigzell, Laurie Jamieson ( both raced at the first and last meetings ), Dean Hogarth, Steve Stewart, Darryl Downing, John Crowhurst, Robby Marchant, Moss Marchant, Bruce Rickard, Tony Orlando John Fielder, David King, Ian Jones, Mal Leo, Graham Benneche, Ivar Benneche, Bill Barrows, George Tatnell,  Zeke Agars, Sir Jack Brabham, Harry Neale, Phil Herreen, Phil Hosking,  Ray Skipper, John Moyle, Joe Brandler, Viv Wilks, Jeff Ongly,  Kym Bonython, Rick Harvey etc. etc:. We here from RowleyPark.com hope you find this speedway site both useful & entertaining.

Rowley Park Speedway today....  For more information on Rowley Park Speedway please go to History.

If you have any photo's, stories, information or advertising you would like put on this site please feel free to submit  or email us at rowleypark@hotmail.com

 Below Bill Wigzell and "Suddenly" early 1970's. More on Bill Wigzell in driver profiles.


Bill Wigzell, top Speedcar driver for 1973 / 74. Bill Wigzell accepts the Harry Neale Memorial Trophy by Harry's daughter Sue-Ellen Neale while Harry Neales best mate Rex Sendy looks on....

Bill Wigzell and "Suddenly" 2007. ( Bill Wigzell middle chatting with 2 fans )


Dean Hogarth and "Old Smokey"
Dean Hogarth a very successfull Speedcar driver who won 3 Rick Harvey Memorials and twice runner up in the South Australian Speedcar Championships in 1967 and again in 1972, both at Rowley Park Speedway.... . Photo courtesy of Michael McWaters.

 


John Crowhurst. Holden Monaro.

 


Brian Worthley. Ford Mustang.

Phil Hosking. One of his many Mini Coopers

 


Torana of Tony Orlando at Thunderbird Raceway. Virginia.

 


Phil Herreen in the Gardener Sprint Car owned by Clem Smith Motors. Clem Smith now owns Mallala Motor Sport Park. Clem Smith has owned Mallala Motor Sport Park since 1977.


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