The interest in motor racing was ignited in the early 1930s after the municipality had constructed a circular road on the West Bank of East London.
Mr. Brud Bishop, the motoring editor of the local newspaper, The Daily Dispatch, took a Sunday drive around the route and the idea sprung to mind to hold a race there.
His ideal position at the Dispatch allowed him all the right contacts and, as he was born in England and had started his working career there, entries were soon being received from abroad, as well as around the country.
It was first mooted as a local event, under the name of the “Border Hundred”. But so widespread was the support, and so eager the public of South Africa to see a road race, that it soon developed into a national event, and then an international event as entries from abroad gave the event international status and it became known as
The South African Grand Prix.
On 27th December, 1934, the South African Grand Prix motor car road race was run over the magnificent Marine Drive Circuit, only a few miles from the heart of the city. Here, eighteen of the finest drivers from South Africa, America and Great Britain battled out a race over six laps of the 15.2-mile course for the first prize of 250 pounds and the 100 guinea Barnes’ Silver Trophy.