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A lady in a man's game
Sherry Keen
October 20, 1958
Yesterday...Racer Gwenda Hawkes broke speed records as some wives break dishes
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October 20, 1958

A Lady In A Man's Game

Yesterday...Racer Gwenda Hawkes broke speed records as some wives break dishes

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The Hawkeses settled for many years in France, a country that takes its motoring seriously and where Mrs. Hawkes's reputation is well established. Living in a comfortable bungalow so near the Montlh�ry track that the roar of the motors could always be heard, they set up a small factory to produce the front-wheel-drive Derby sports car. In a Derby Special Mrs. Hawkes shocked even herself when she began a lonely day's work, gradually gathered speed and then actually beat the lap record at an average of 145.94 mph. A month later she made a sensational run pushing the car up to 147.67 mph for a new Montlh�ry lap record. When this record was finally broken, it was exceeded by less than one mile per hour in a car half again as large. A man, of course, broke the record.

During World War II the Hawkeses confined themselves to the business of pistons and valves. With the war over, they turned from racing motorcycles and automobiles to yachting. They bought a yawl, Elpis, which they immediately accepted as a challenge. In search of the same kind of perfection with sails as they had achieved with motors, the Hawkeses sail the Mediterranean. But there is a difference these days. A mellowed Gwenda Hawkes is no longer in stern competition with men. And her boat is real—not one of your fly-by-night Ner-a-boats.

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