Thursday, June 26, 2014

Australian record breaking Fafnir

This came to me as a cutting, I've no idea of the original publication. No problems identifying the bike, not many shout the marque quite so loud as this Fafnir. Fafnir was a German manufacturer, I cannot quite identify the year of the machine though 1905 would be a pretty good guess.

More interesting though is the caption, 'Mr W E Peverill of Melbourne, the first motor cyclist to ride overland from Melbourne to Brisbane. He returned South on March 20.' No doubt a major expedition of a journey back in the day. I've had a trawl through the web and cannot find any other reference to this journey but Mr Peverill did not stop with this one ride, he later became a regular in Australian long distance records and reliability trials.

This reference to him from the Sydney Morning Herald 12 June 1912 makes for good reading:

'24-hour motor-cycle record.
The course was from Keilor to Gisborne, Victoria, and a start was made at 25 minutes past 9 o'clock on last Wednesday night. The distance covered was 522 miles on a motor cycle fitted with Barnet glass tyres. The previous record was 517 miles, by P. O'Brien. There were 11 hours of night riding against 8 hours done by the previous holder. However, Mr. Peverill put up some of his fastest travelling during the night. Accidents were numerous; bad roads and straying cattle. Towards the end of the run the rider was thrown from his machine through contact with a cow, and his machine was considerably .damaged. He thus lost about two and a half hours. Mr. Peverill experienced no engine or tyre troubles throughout the journey. His acetylene lamps were a constant source of trouble, and for many miles he frequently carried the lamp in his hands. At the last stages of the run Mr. Peverill was so numbed with the cold that the checkers at the turning-point had to lift and remount him on his motor cycle. Mr. Haines, post-office, Gisborne, and several residents attended to the checking at the Gisborne end, and Mr. Allen, of Keilor, and other residents checked at the Keilor end.'

W E Peverill and his record-breaking Fafnir.

Thanks to Bob McGrath for this extra information:
'WE Peverill lived in Nolan St, Maryborough, about 100 miles outside Melbourne. Keilor and Gisborne are townships about 22 miles apart on the Melbourne-Maryborough road so were familiar to Mr Peverill.
Melbourne to Brisbane is some 1125 miles. Double the distance there and back was some feat pre WWI. Those old boys were tough.'

No comments:

Post a Comment