1954 Australian Grand Prix

The 1954 Australian Grand Prix was a motor race held at the Southport Road Circuit[1] near Southport in Queensland, Australia on 7 November 1954. The race was held over 27 laps of the 5.7 mile (9.17 kilometre) circuit, a total distance of 153.9 miles (247.6 km).[2] It was the nineteenth Australian Grand Prix and the second to be held in Queensland. With no suitable permanent circuit available, a course was mapped out on roads in sparsely settled coastal land 2.5 km south west of Southport,[2] and just to the north of later circuits, Surfers Paradise Raceway and the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit. The Grand Prix race meeting was organised by the Queensland Motor Sporting Club and the Toowoomba Auto Club in conjunction with the Southport Rotary Club.[1] The race, which was open to Racing and Stripped Sports Cars,[1] had 28 starters.

1954 Australian Grand Prix
Formula Libre race
Race details
Date 7 November 1954
Location Southport Road Circuit,
Southport, Queensland
Course Temporary road circuit
Course length 9.17 km (5.7 miles)
Distance 27 laps, 247.6 km (153.9 miles)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
  • Rex Taylor
Fastest lap
Driver Australia Dick Cobden Ferrari
Time 3'52
First HWM-Jaguar
  • Australia Curley Brydon
MG Special
  • Australia Ken Richardson
Ford Special

The race was won by Lex Davison, later to become the most successful driver in the history of the Australian Grand Prix. It was Davison's first win in the Grand Prix having finished in the top three as far back as 1947. Davison drove a Formula 2 HWM re-engined with a 3.4 litre Jaguar engine. Davison finished a lap clear of Curley Brydon's MG TC special and two laps ahead of third placed Ken Richardson in a Ford based special. The gaps were caused by attrition amongst the fastest drivers. Jack Brabham was out on the second lap with a broken engine in his Cooper; Rex Taylor was black flagged for receiving outside assistance after spinning his Lago-Talbot; Dick Cobden retired his Ferrari after a spin and Stan Jones crashed heavily while leading after the chassis of his Maybach Special failed. It would be the last race for Maybach Mk.II, with Charlie Dean's team rebuilding it as Maybach Mk.III.[3]


Race winner Lex Davison (HWM Jaguar) contesting the 1954 Australian Grand Prix
Stan Jones (Maybach Special) led for 13 laps prior to crashing out of the race.
Dick Cobden (Ferrari 125) set the fastest lap of the race but did not finish.

Results as follows.[2]

Pos No. Driver Car Entrant[1] Laps Time /
Remarks [2]
1 77   Lex Davison HWM F2 / Jaguar 3.4L A.N. Davison 27 1h 50m 18s
2 43   Curley Brydon MG TC Special / MG s/c 1.3L H. Brydon 26
3 9   Ken Richardson Ford V8 Special / Ford 3.9L K.B. Richardson 25
4 8   Eldred Norman Triumph TR2 / Standard s/c 2.0L E. deB. Norman 24
5 31   David Griffiths Triumph TR2 / Standard 2.0L D. P. Griffiths 24
6 29   Frank Tobin Rizzo Riley Special / Riley 1.5L Frank Tobin 23
7 4   Charlie Whatmore Jaguar Special / Jaguar 3.4L Chas. Whatmore 23
8 46   Stan Coffey Cooper T20 / Bristol 2.0L[4] S.F. Coffey 23
9 10   Owen Bailey MG Holden Special / Holden 2.4L O. Bailey 23
10 2   Charlie Swinburne Cooper Mk.IV / Norton 0.5L C. Swinburne 23
11 21   Bill Pitt Jaguar XK120 Special / Jaguar 3.4L J. C. Anderson 22
12 1   Fred Zambucka Maserati 8CM / Maserati 3.0L F. Zambucka 22
Ret 16   Snow Sefton Ford V8 Special / Ford 4.2L[5] Snow Sefton 21 Black flag
Ret 14   Noel Barnes MG TC Special / MG 1.3L N. F. Barnes 19 Overheating
Ret 92   Doug Whiteford Ford V8 Special / Ford 4.4L D. Whiteford 17 Blocked jet
Ret 79   Arthur Griffiths Wylie Javelin / Jowett s/c 1.5L A. Griffiths 15 Head gasket
Ret 87   Stan Jones Maybach Special Mk.II / Maybach 4.3L S.J. Jones 13 Crashed
Ret 15   John McKinney MG TC Special / MG 1.3L J. McKinney 11 Fire
Ret 74   Ian Mountain Peugeot Special / Peugeot 1.5L I. Mountain 11 Overheating
Ret 49   Dick Cobden Ferrari 125 / Ferrari s/c 2.0L R. Cobden 10 Crashed
Ret 3   Wal Anderson Holden Special / Holden 2.3L W. S. Anderson 9 Seized oil pump
Ret 56   Jack Murray Allard J2 / Cadillac 5.3L[6] J.E. Murray 8
Ret 23   Gerald Downing Riley Imp Special / Riley G. J. Downing 8 Overheating
Ret 78   Rex Taylor Talbot-Lago T26C / Talbot-Lago 4.5L R. Taylor 6 Black flag
Ret 37   Holt Binnie [7] MG TD Special / MG 1.4L Martin Motors 6
Ret 20   Gordon Greig[8] Austin-Healey 100 / Austin-Healey 2.7L G. Greig 4 Valve
Ret 86   Bill Wilcox Ford V8 Special / Ford 4.0L W. Wilcox 3
Ret 6   Jack Brabham Cooper T23 / Bristol 2.0L[9] Jack Brabham 1 Engine
DNS [10] 28 [1]   Frank Kleinig [10] Hudson Special [10] F. Kleinig [1] - Battery [10]
DNS [2] 12 [2]   Alec Mildren [2] Riley Special [2] A. G. Mildren [1] - Oil cooler [2]
  • Pole position: Rex Taylor[1] (Allocated by the race organisers prior to the event)[2]
  • Winner's average speed: 83.7 mph (134.7 km/h)[2]
  • Fastest lap: Dick Cobden (Ferrari), 3:52s, 88.45 mph, 142.3 km/h[2]
  • Attendance: More than 60,000[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Official Souvenir Programme, 19th Australian Grand Prix, Southport Road Circuit, Queensland, 7 November 1954
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Howard, Graham (1986). "1954". In Howard, Graham (ed.). The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 192–204. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5.
  3. ^ John B.Blanden, Historic Racing Cars in Australia, pages 229 & 230
  4. ^ Coffey's car is listed in the Official Souvenir Programme as a Dowidat Spanner Special
  5. ^ Sefton's car is listed in the Official Souvenir Programme as a Mercury Special
  6. ^ Murray's car is listed in the Official Souvenir Programme as a Cadillac Allard
  7. ^ The driver is listed as both Binnie and Brinnie in "The Official 50-race history". The name in the Official Souvenir Programme is "H. Binnie".
  8. ^ Howard uses both Grieg and Greig. The Official Souvenir Programme uses Greig
  9. ^ Brabham's car is listed in the Official Souvenir Programme as a Redex Special
  10. ^ a b c d Australian Grand Prix, Australian Motor Sports, November 1954, pages 228 to 235
  11. ^ 60,000 at Southport motor race, The Courier Mail, Monday, 8 November 1954, as archived at trove.nla.gov.au
Preceded by Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by

27°58′02″S 153°24′51″E / 27.9673°S 153.4141°E / -27.9673; 153.4141