The York Flying Fifties around-the-houses events held in the historic town of York in Western Australia are now legendary.
Big crowds flocked to the historic town York from 1980 to 1997 to see stunning historic racing and sports cars and motorbikes, spirited and sometimes wild driving in the setting of a charming country town.
A new book, York’s Fabulous Flying Fifties, written and compiled by Perth author, Graeme Cocks, is a photographic celebration of these golden years.
Last September marked the 40th anniversary of the first York Flying 50 around-the-houses event which was held on Sunday 21 September 1980.
From 1980 to 1997 when the last event was held, the town of York in the Avon Valley east of Perth, was the centre of historic motor sport in Australia. The 15 York Flying Fifty around-the-houses events re-created the halcyon years of motor racing on the streets of towns across Australia from 1936 to the 1960s.
A participant in the last York Flying 50 in 1997 and a former curator of the York and Fremantle Motor Museums, Graeme Cocks spent years collecting photographs to compile this definitive record of a wonderful era of historic motor sport in the west.
“York’s Fabulous Flying Fifties. A Photographic Celebration” features hundreds of photographs of every event from that first barnstorming bash around York in 1980 to the 15th and last event in 1997.
The book will be launched at 10.30am at the York Motor Show on Sunday 19 September. The author will be available for signings.
The book has been sponsored by the former owner of the York Motor Museum, Peter Briggs, whose power slides in the Blower Bentley became legendary.
“James Harwood and I wanted an event to bring attention to York and the York Flying Fifties were successful beyond our wildest dreams. They revived around-the-houses events in Australia,” Peter Briggs said.
“This books puts on record those great days where we would race around York with barely a hay bale to separate us from the crowds – a different free and easy time which will never be repeated.”
“Make sure you buy a copy of this book, as it also will never be reprinted!”
As many cars and drivers as possible are featured in 382 pages of action photos. The book is sure to bring back some memories and hopefully capture the spirit of the Flying Fifties.
Many photographers have contributed photographs. The marvellous pics taken by Ken Devine feature strongly as well as other photographers including Dennis Lingane. Many of the happy snappers have passed or are not known, lost in the mists of time, but it is hoped that they will appreciate their work reproduced.
“York’s Fabulous Flying Fifties. A Photographic Celebration” is not a comprehensive, blow by blow history of the York around-the-houses events. Rather, it leaves the pictures to tell the story.
The book will be printed in softcover to keep it affordable. Only a limited number of copies will be produced.