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British Industrial History

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1905 Tourist Trophy Race

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During the early years of racing, the British government did not allow racing on public roads, so there was no racing on the mainland until a purpose-built course — Brooklands — was opened in 1907. However, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man had their own laws that permitted the closure of public roads for racing. So both were used for that purpose.

1904 The first race on the Isle of Man was not billed as a Tourist Trophy, rather as an "Elimination Trial" for the Gordon Bennett Cup event held that year. It was five laps over a 52.15-mile course won by Clifford Earp in a Napier.

The Trial was held again in 1905 over the same course on the Isle of Man on 30 May 1905; it was again won by Earp.


The first race for cars for the Tourist Trophy was held over a rough and hilly circuit of 52 miles in the Isle of Man on the 14th of September 1905. It was organised by the Automobile Club. Cars had be ready for inspection on the 11th

54 cars were entered of which 42 started and just 18 cars finished the race.

The fuel allowance was at one gallon for every 22.5 miles and the total distance was 208.5 miles (four circuits of the course).

'Cars and drivers in the 1905 Tourist Trophy Race:

1905 Result

Failed to Finish

  • Charles Stewart Rolls in a Rolls-Royce who was the first to start and the gear broke after a few miles.
  • Three other cars retired in the first round
  • Five cars failed in the second circuit
  • Four failed in the third circuit
  • Five failed in the fourth and final circuit

The following cars ran out of fuel -

  • 14-16 hp Argyll (no. 17) at the end of 143 miles 3 furlongs
  • 14-16 hp James and Browne at the end of 203 miles 4 furlongs
  • 20 hp Maudslay at the end of 186 miles 6 furlongs
  • 14 hp Clement at the end of 181 miles and 6 furlongs
  • 14 hp Scout at the end of 185 miles and 3 furlongs

Motorcycle Elimination Trials

Motorcycle races were also run on the Isle of Man - the day after the 1905 Gordon Bennett Elimination Trial, there was an elimination trial to establish a team to represent Great Britain in the International Motorcycle Cup races.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Automotor Journal 1905/09/09
  2. Automotor Journal 1905/09/23
  3. Autocar 9 September 1905
  • The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell and Co in 1906
  • Vital to the Life of the Nation. Published 1946
  • Motors and Motor-driving. Published in 1906
  • History of the Tourist Trophy Races [1]