Past president and current secretary Laurie McMahon had researched quite deeply to deliver his talk to Fraserburgh Men’s Probus Club on “the early years of motor racing,” but his early life in the automotive industry probably accounted for his enthusiasm in the subject.
Back in the late 1800s, France was the first country to develop an interest in showcasing large engined and heavy vehicles that could travel at the dangerous speed of 15-miles-per-hour, the men discovered.
Year by year, Mr McMahon showed – with helpful illustrations – how events in and around Paris quickly developed as lighter and faster vehicles were produced.
Germany and Italy soon joined in the competition for this very popular sport with Mercedes Benz and Fiat being early leaders.
America came in later, but cleverly introduced the oval track circuit so that spectators could see the whole race.
Two seated vehicles allowed a mechanic to service the car as required, but, as reliability improved, driver-only cars with lighter bodies and higher speeds became the norm.
By the early 1900s, speeds up to 200-miles-per-hour could be achieved.
Club members were so engrossed with the delivery of this subject that no questions seemed necessary and president Bill Mathews thanks were readily endorsed.
At the next Mens Probus Club meeting, Peter Chapman will be give a talk on ‘Burns, the farmer’.