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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Joan Richmond collection(48)

    Letter and envelope from Joan Richmond - Baghdad
    Letter and envelope from Joan Richmond - London
    Envelope to Mrs John Richmond
    Driving goggles and tin belonging to Joan Richmond

    The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

    Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.