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A tiny Island in the middle of the Irish Sea played a key part in the development of the automobile and the motorcycle throughout the first half of the century.
The Isle of Man’s self-governing status made it possible for its public roads to be closed for motor races from 1904 onwards, leading to the introduction of the Tourist Trophy (TT) Race for cars in 1905 and the motorcycle TT in 1907.
While the motorcycle TT continued without interruption, the last of the six Isle of Man car TT races took place in 1922 but the noise and the glamour of car racing returned to the Island from 1933 to 1937 with “round the houses” car races in the centre of Douglas.
After another break, car racing again returned with the British Empire Trophy races held on the Willaston Circuit on the outskirts of Douglas from 1947-1953.
It is often said that “racing improves the breed” and there is no doubt that the huge and varied challenges presented by the Island’s bumpy road circuits forced manufacturers into experimenting with new, improved ideas which led to safer and more reliable production cars.
This book tells the story of the car races as seen through the lenses of the Keig photographers from 1904 to 1952.
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