A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland


Sprint Cars at Rowley Park

Rowley Park the Place where Champions Gather I was twelve my best friends Bobby was right into racing cars especially Speedway Sprint cars.

Bobby’s neighborhood friend was Gary Hoffmann of Hoffmann Dry Cleaners, Gary’s dad Murray Hoffmann raced a Speedcar at Rowley Park competing Friday nights at Rowley Park.  In those days I could hear a broadcast of Rowley Park on the radio Friday nights.  I had several favorite drivers, Arne Sunstrom, Harry Neale, Kym Bonython and Murray Hoffman were the drivers I followed.  My brother told me Arne Sunstrom was the best driver, Bobby like Murray and I was hedging all bets. 

I remember the first time at Rowley Park with my brother Donald; I spent the night trying to find the right spot to view the racing. Most people watched from near the fence but not on the bends.  The bends had plenty of available places to stand, a good spot until the cars drifted around the bend spraying anyone standing there with ‘dirt’, not a good spot.

Best part of the night, walking through the Pits.

Arne Sunstrom with Kym Bonython (car 2)

12 November 1958 the Meikle Pulse-Jet Cooper was also demonstrated at Rowley Park Speedway.

Jet cat at the Speedway 1958

Jet car experience, a 12-years-old perspective. The noise of the jet engine was truly deafening. The jet pulses 30-foot flames from the back end. In the race between a Sprit car starting at one side of the track and the Jet on the other, it was said the Jet burnt 2 gallons of benzine per minute. Well spectacle it was, but not sure the race met expectations. Memorable Yes!

Internet link at charlesleith.com/cars-for-sale/1951-cooper-500-jap-the-pulse-jet-car

Photo from https://www.goodwood.com/grrc/columnists/doug-nye/2017/1/doug-nye-jet-engined-1951-cooperthe-jet-age-racing-car/
Murray Hoffman – Car 82, he is standing in the light grey overall with his crew on either side.
Murray’s son Gary
standing behind Car 83, with his crew on either side.

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