The First Hill-Climb


From: The West Australian, Monday 6 November 1916 p 8


The members of the Automobile Club of Western Australia assembled on the picturesque road to Kamunda on Saturday afternoon, when the first hillclimbing contest for motor cars, under the auspices of that body, was held.

In addition to the competitors there were a large number of members who motored out to witness the competition and established themselves with their cars at various points along the road, from which interesting views of stages of the competition could be obtained. By permission of the Darling Range Roads Board the contest was held over a two-mile stretch of the Perth-Kalamunda road, commencing from a spot at the foothill and containing a length of hillside making a telling demand upon the power of the motor and the skill of the driver.

The events - one was for cars driven by members, and the other for members' cars driven by ladies - passed on without any serious mishap. The only untoward incident occurred when the last lady driver, Miss Bromham in an Oakland car was negotiating an awkward corner where the gravel had worked a bit loose. The car skidded and the mud guards were damaged through colliding with an obstruction at the side of the road. Miss Bromham was unfortunately unable to complete the journey in the car, although she was not at all injured as the result of her experience.

The cars were sent away as nearly as possible at intervals of five minutes, and with the assistance of field telephones in charge of the Signalling Corps of the A.I.F. the officials at either end were able to report progress and check times. Through the efforts or Mr. F. W. Cato and members of the W.A. Motor Cycle Club. who acted as clerks of the course, the road was controlled in such a way as to avoid the possiblity of accidents.

Two of the competitors manifested a desire to protest against the interference which they experienced during their respective trips up the hill, but the judge (Mr. J. R. W. Gardam) was unable to accept them, and advised the competitors to communicate with the referee (Mr. A. Knapp).

Owing to the nature of the contest the cars were able to do their trip on the up-grade irrespective of the class in which they were competing and one of the earliest drivers for the afternoon was a lady. The method of deciding the points gained by competitors was arrived at by multiplying the horse-power of the cars by the actual driving time, and dividing the result by the weight of the car. By this means the merit of the performance was calculated on the most approved basis suggesting itself to the officials.

The hill-climbing contest was unquestionably a successful one, and the credit for the manner in which, despite the fact that the outing was the first of the kind undertaken by the club, the arrangements were carried out rested with the following officials Judge and starter, the president. (Mr. J. R. W., Gardam); referee, Mr. A. Knapp; timekeepers, foot of hill Mr. R. O. Law, top of hill Mr. K. T. Robinson, M.L.A.; marshals: foot of hill Mr A. Sanderson. M.L.C., and Mr: R. S. Sampson; top of hill, Mr. G. S. Nathan and Mr. H. LeQuesne; clerks of, the course, Mr. F. W. Cato and members of the W.A. Motor Cycle Club; weighbridge official, Mr. L. F. Atkins; calculator, Mr. A. Raphael; secretary and number steward. Mr. W. E. Hale. In addition to which the excellent work carried out by the signallers with their field telephones enabled the officials to control the event with ease.


The newspaper's presentation of results didn't translate too well into the format I need for this website, so I sorted them myself. Also, there was no table of Fastest Times, just the various classes. So I have added that table as well.


RAC Welsphool Rd Hill Climb, 4 November 1916

Handicap by RACWA competition horsepower formula (not the usual taxable HP).

Class 1: Members

1 C. Dent --Daimler --1.87 points
2 S. D. Eden --Daimler --1.91 points
3 C. Poole --Oakland --2.03 points
V. Cockram --Rolls Royce --Fastest Time of Day.

Class 2: Ladies

1 Miss V. Dent --Daimler --1.86 points (And fastest time).
2 Miss M. Armstrong --Cadillac --1.93 points
3 Mrs. Braham --Overland --2.40 point.

Class 1: Results on Scratch

1 V. Cockram 57.71 hp. Rolls Royce 3 min 00 sec
2 A. Adams-- 30.63 hp. Overland-- 3 min 16 sec
3 C. Poole-- 22.54 hp. Oakland-- 3 min 22 sec
4 A. Anderson-- 30.63 hp. Willys Knight-- 3 min 42 sec
5 P. W. Armstrong-- 40.12 hp. Studebaker-- 3 min 44 sec
6 J. A. Wittman-- 21.76 hp. Chevrolet-- 3 min 47 sec
7 F. E. Willmott-- M.L.A. 22.50 hp. Ford-- 3 min 48 sec
8 A. Adams-- 22.78 hp. Overland 75-- 3 min 52 sec
9 S. D. Eden-- 25-70 hp. Daimler-- 3 min 54 sec
10 C. Dent-- 25.70 hp. Daimler-- 3 min 55 sec
11 D. Dwyer-- 22.50 hp. Ford-- 4 min 00 sec
12 Skipper Bailey-- 30.93 hp. Hupmobile --4 min 1 sec
13 M. Crawcour-- 23.91 hp. Pullman --4 min 4 sec
14 A .G. Simpson-- 30.63 hp. Overland, --4 min 39 sec
15 A. F. Williamson--19.01 hp. Buick --9 min 14 sec

Class 2: Ladies on scratch

1 Miss V. Dent-- 25.70 hp. Daimler-- 3 min. 32sec
2 Miss W. Armstrong-- 40.04 hp. Cadillac --3 min. 34sec
3 Miss D. Ryan-- 21.76 hp. Chevrolet --3 min. 38sec
4 Mrs. Braham-- 22.78 hp. Overland --3 min. 59sec
5 Miss K. Molloy --22.50 hp. Ford --4 min. 8sec
Miss Bromham-- 22.54 hp. Oakland did not finish