Friday, September 11, 2009

1937 Endurance Racing, Women Behind the Wheel

This is another photo of mine taken from a collection at the National Archives. In 1937 4 French women drove over 33,ooo km during a ten-day endurance trial. Three of the four women are depicted in this photograph.
We know relatively little about women in motorsports during the period before WWII. Indeed, women competed on amateur levels for decades, and this story needs to be told. There is one excellent book on the subject of women and their place in auto history, and that is Virginia Scharff's Women Behind the Wheel. Unfortunately, Virginia's story ends by about 1930, and much ground needs to be covered. There is a very preliminary survey in my book, The Automobile and American Life, but it is scattered throughout the pages. Any serious takers?

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