Friday, October 29, 2004

a good coast

A record of the pioneer trip of the Thomson motor car : driven by H. Thomson (the inventor), accompanied by E.L. Holmes / [E.L. Holmes] (Melbourne : Thomson Motor Car Ltd., 1900)

The trip itself was full of incident and the account makes interesting reading. After leaving Kilmore on the approach to Melbourne, they climbed "Pretty Sally" Hill...
Over the top we cut off the motor, in the prospect of a good "coast," and away we went like the wind. The motion of travelling at fully 40 miles an hour was terribly exciting. One cannot imagine the tremendous excitement and pleasure of going at this terrific pace over the roads with the car seemingly alive under us. It was glorious, it was sublime; till, with a series of rapidly decreasing hisses, and increasing bumpings on the road, we realized that our back tyre had punctured, after carrying us over 470 miles of wretched country. (p. 15)

On arrival in Melbourne,

After a brief welcome we continued our drive to the city, stopping at the "Australian Cyclist" office to be photographed, and arriving at the GPO at 12.23, after having completed the first Australian motor car journey (Bathurst NSW, to Melbourne, 493 ¼ miles nett), our actual riding time being 56 hours 36 minutes. (p. 15)

From the Catalogue of Tourism in Australia An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Collection (via Plep)

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