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By: Tony Loxley, Dennis Newlyn .
Forewords by Bryan Cunneen, Bob Levy, Jim Airey, and Steve Raymond (OAM)
Over 1600 images covering the years from the '20s to 1996.
The Sydney Showground Speedway had a mystique about it that no other race track in Australia was able to reciprocate. From its early beginnings in the '20s to its final race meeting on 27 April, 1996, this hallowed and daunting race venue captured the imagination of competitors and race fans around the world — simply put, there was nothing like it — anywhere.
Today however, the majestic and monolithic Clock Tower still oversees this historic venue, now home to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Studios, yet despite the fact that much of the original venue is now hidden behind industrial and office facades, and the once lethal, narrow racing oval now removed to make way for a footpath, the aura of this amazing venue still echoes with the roar of racing engines, and the smells of burnt methanol, cooking hamburgers, chips in the fryer. Pluto pups, and of course, the murmurs and cheers of the massive crowds who freauented the track throughout each summer racing season for six, wonderful decades.
Gone too is the annual two week extravaganza of the Royal Easter Show, but if the imagination is allowed to run free, the specter of the Bull Pens turn, the race track's most lethal corner, is still present; so too, perhaps, the ghosts of the 28 riders and drivers who were lost racing at this imposing speedway.
Historian Dennis Newlyn, who covered the halcyon days of the '60s and '70s as a journalist for the periodicals and newspapers of the day, and who was a leading magazine publisher at the time, and publisher Tony Loxley, who attended on many occasions as a spectator and later photographer, have put together a treasure trove of images and memories of this much lamented venue that allows the reader to drift back into the past, and relive those glory days of racing at the Sydney Showground Royale that continues to mean so much to so many.
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