History of the MG TD

Subtitle

The story of Alfred Thomas Goldie Gardner

On my web page you will find some adverts and brochures about Goldie Garder, an amazing MG racing car driver. I wanted to know more about this men. This is what I found and I like to share it with you.

Alfred Thomas Goldie Gardner (31 May 1890 - 25 August 1958) was an English racing car driver. He was holder of the O.B.E. and the M.C. He was also awarded the BRDC Gold Star three times.

Gardner, better known as Goldie Gardner, (Goldie was his mother's maiden name) was born in 1890 in Woodford, Essex.. In 1910 he embarked from England to Colombo, Ceylon, to take up a 3 year business appointment. Upon completion of his Ceylon contract he gained a new appointment in Katha, Burma, but it was cut short by a bad attack of typhoid fever with Malaria and he was sent back to England on six months' sick leave.

During his convalescence in 1914, WWI commenced. He enlisted in September of that year and was granted a commission in the Royal Artillery as a second Lieutenant. Gardner had a distinguished military career and was the youngest officer in the British Army to become a Major. He suffered severe injuries to his right hip and leg when his reconnaissance plane was shot down in August 1917. Despite receiving some twenty operations over a period of two years spent in hospital the leg did not return to full function.He was discharged from the army in 1921 as medically unfit for further service.

 

In 1924 he purchased a Gordon England special Austin Seven and despite his disability began racing on the British circuits. 1930 saw him team up with MG Cars and he raced various of these marks with considerable success. He suffered a crash during the 1932 RAC Tourist Trophy race at Ards in Northern Ireland that further worsened the disability to his already damaged leg. By 1934 he was fit enough to continue track racing and in the 500 mile race at Brooklands with co-driver Dr.J.D.Benjafield he achieved third place as well as winning the 1,100cc class.



Goldie's MG after the crash at the 1932 RAC Tourist Trophy


 

After accompanying Sir Malcolm Campbell's expedition to Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1935 to witness the World Land speed record attempt, he returned to England and concentrated on speed racing records. On 31 May 1939 just before the outbreak of WWII driving his special engineered MG, in Dessau, Germany, Goldie Gardner took the 750cc up to 1,100cc class records over 2 km, 1 mile, and 5 km distances, at average speeds of 203.5mph, 203.3mph and 197.5mph respectively. After an overnight engine rebore, on 2 June 1939 at the same venue he gained the 1,100cc to 1,500cc class records over the same distances at average speeds of 204.3mph, 203.9mph and 200.6mph.


During WWII 1939-1945 Gardner offered his service and was accepted as a second Lieutenant in mechanical transport training. He rapidly regained his old rank as Major and eventually in 1942 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

 

In the 11 peacetime years between 1936 and 1950 he set over 100 international and local speed records throughout England, Europe and the USA. In 1951 at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, with his supercharged MG streamliner EX-135 car he obtained 6 international and 10 American records in the 1,100cc to 1,500cc engine class. In 1952 he returned to Bonneville with the MG EX-135 car and set 21 speed records in the same engine class as the previous year.

Goldie Gardner speed records brochure 1951

This is a rare speed record brochure, in which the excellent speed records results of race legend Goldie Garner are summarised. To view the brochure in colour, click here or on the images below.



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