Saturday 24th April 1937
The first race meeting was held at the Crystal Palace track, called a “miniature Nürburgring” by the British motor press. The twisty circuit with a new “Panamac” non-skid surface was completed in 5 months. The Coronation Trophy was won by Pat Fairfield (ERA). The Autocar magazine ran the following story, full of praise for the track:
“If the Crystal Palace can continue to hold public imagination as it did last Saturday, a new phase in the history of racing has begun. The whole thing was a fine spectacle; the roars of racing exhausts seemed to sound from every direction at once. Crowds excited by the cornering, spent a hectic time running up a bank to see one group of turns, running back again, the better to observe another.”
Sadly, the onset of the Second World War brought a premature end to racing at the park, but not before Crystal Palace had claimed another ‘first’ when Dick Seaman, one of Britain’s first motor racing superstars, completed a televised demonstration run in his Mercedes W125. The event, held in October 1937, was the first time a motorsport event had been broadcast live on TV.