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Letter from Joan Richmond - Montelimar


Letter from Joan Richmond - Montelimar

Object information


This letter was written by Joan Richmond to her mother while enroute from Monte Carlo to London. She writes about the reception the Australian participants received:

'Wonderful dinner given by International Sporting Club. Thoroughly enjoyed same. Special mention was made about us. Rather nice considering none of us had won anything or figured at all conspicuously in the Rally. Sunday afternoon we were all presented with plaques for having arrived on time and without loss of points. A grand function it was too. We all formed up in order and processed up to the Prince's Palace and everyone in turn drove up to raised platform arrangement on which sat the Prince (quite a fine looking old man) his daughter and the Presidents of nearly all the motoring clubs of Europe or their representatives. We three were asked to drive up together, which we did with great noise, and received a special cheer.'

Physical description

A three page double-sided handwritten letter on hotel letterhead paper which reads "LES RELAIS DE L'EMPEREUR / MONTELIMAR, VALLEE DU RHONE". The letter is dated "27th January 1932", and it begins "My Darling Ma / Just a brief note to tell...". The last page ends "... all my love my darling, take / care of yourself. / Joan / Have you learnt to drive?".

Statement of significance

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.

Object information

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