ICON | Gwenda Hawkes


Photo of motorcycle and car racer Gwenda Hawkes on a Trump bike with a J.A.P. engine in the early 1920s via OoCities.

"On a cold, rainy November morning in 1921 a small crowd gathered to watch Gwenda Hawkes, a slight, intense young Englishwoman, confidently straddle a curious two-wheeled American machine called a Ner-A-Car, which belied its pretensions to close relationship with the automobile by its appearance. At best it was a mere motorized scooter. It ran on all of one cylinder and its only means of stopping was a single rear-wheel brake. Under official scrutiny in daily runs of 190 miles, Mrs. Hawkes miraculously survived 1,000 grueling miles on the fragile machine over icy roads without a spill or breakdown...This was precisely the kind of challenge Mrs. Hawkes liked best. It was unusual, a little mad, and it was equal to anything any man had ever performed on the same machine—an accomplishment that she found especially satisfying." —Sherry Keen in an excerpt from Sports Illustrated's A Lady In A Man's Game: Racer Gwenda Hawkes broke speed records as some wives break dishes1958.

Photo of Gwenda Hawkes (then Stewart) in 1930 via Morgan Motor Company.

January 01, 2013 by Lizzie
Tags: 20s ICONS
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