Dutch Autosport 1894 – 1949

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History books are telling us that the first race for motorised vehicles was held on the 22nd of July 1894. The race known as Paris-Rouen, a trip of 126 Kilometre won by Jules Albert, Count de Dion in a De Dion Bouton. Of course, I disagree with this idea as previously competitive races were held like in Manchester. However, the first time the Netherlands had their first taste with autosport was in 1898. The race was from Paris-Amsterdam-Paris. How did it go with the Dutch autosport after this race?

As said, the first taste of autosport was in 1898 Paris-Amsterdam-Paris. The race started on the 7th of July and finished on the 13th of July. Fernand Charron won the race in his Panhard et Levassor. Three stages during the race were held in The Netherlands.
1: Chateau d’Ardenne – Nijmegen – 251,35 KM long – Won by Gilles Hourgières in his Panhard.
2: Nijmegen – Amsterdam – 122 KM long – Won by Léonce Girardot in his Panhard.
3: Amsterdam – Liège – 269,44 KM long – Won by Fernand Charron in his Panhard.
The race was held to support the automobile sport in The Netherlands. At that time there were only 10 or 15 cars registered in the country.

So how did it go after this trial, did the amount of cars grow in the Netherlands? Were there car owners interested to held trials / races as well? Well the answer on these questions is not really.  A total of 1443 cars were driving around the Dutch roads in 1905. Keep in Mind Spyker was representing the Netherlands already in 1903 with their Spyker 60HP. Though no Dutch drivers seemed to raced with the cars.

It is hard to find decent information about the races/trials that were held in the period of 1905 – 1935. Going through digitalised archives from Dutch papers don’t seem to show that much information. Especially before WWI there is only a little information known. As you will see in the list below of the Dutch races/trials that were held the dates are unknown. As well the competitors are mostly unknown.

One of the well-documented Dutch trials is from the 20th of June 1924 at the boulevard of Scheveningen. There were 27 contenders spread over twelve classes. The classes itself were based on the engine capacity. The track on the Boulevard was 1KM long and came along the Kurhaus. There is even footage of this sprint race. The full results can be found in the spreadsheet on my mega account.

The idea is to place in this article just the drivers and events I’m aware of in the period 1894 up to 1949. I have to make a side note, for 1945 – 1945 I only looked for the Dutch drivers that went abroad. After the war, many events were held. As well, I was unable to properly cover the Rally’s that were held.

Eventually I want to create three spreadsheets, the event results. A spreadsheet of the drivers inclusive some biography and their results. The last one will be about the Dutch Racing cars all accessible via my mega account.. I’m aware it is some big project and perhaps oldschool. Though I am oldschool.

The files can be found here!

Events held in the period 1894 – 1949

Nationale Concours D’ elegance Scheveningen28-8-1902
Scheveningen Boulevard Sprint Racexx-8-1906
Paris – Den Haag Trialxx-06-1907
Unofficial Race at cycle track in Bergen op Zoom10-8-1916
Scheveningen Boulevard Sprint Race19-5-1922
Scheveningen Boulevard Sprint Race10-6-1922
Scheveningen Boulevard Sprint Race8-6-1923
Bussum Sprint Racexx-07-1923
Bussum Sprint Racexx-xx-1924
Scheveningen Boulevard Sprint Race20-6-1924
Reliability drive Roermondxx-xx-1927
Rally Race Beek1-3-1933
Sprintcar racing Zuijlensteyn sporscomplex Rotterdamxx-06-1937
Sprintcar racing Zuijlensteyn sporscomplex Rotterdamxx-06-1938
Sprintcar / Touringcar race Oldenbroekxx-xx-1938
Dutch Grand Prix – Zandvoort3-6-1939
Dutch Grand Prix – Zandvoort   =Cancelled=xx-07-1940
Sprintcar race  Horce Racing Track Duynright Wassenaar12-10-1946
Race Meeting former Airfield Leeuwardenxx-08-1947
Dutch Grand Prix – Zandvoort7-8-1948
Dutch Grand Prix – Zandvoort31-7-1949

Dutch Drivers in the period 1894 – 1949

DriverNationalityYears Active
VietNL or BE1896 – 1898
H. de MeesterNL or BE1900 –  1909
Van der spekNL or BE1902
Carel van der HeijdenNL or BE1901 – 1903
Frits KoolhovenNL1907 – 1910
J. GaalNL1908
HoetingNL1922 – 1924
M. CH Van MesselNL1923
A. StortenbekerNL1924
A.H. BeelsNL1924 & 1838
Van HornNL or DE1926
Van HoofNL1926 – 1928
John van Hulzen NL1927 & 1930
Van WinkelNL1931
Harry HerkuleynsNL1935 – 1936 & 1938 – 1939
Jan-Willem RensNL1935 – 1936
Eddie HertzbergerNL1927- 1935 – 1938
 A.J. de VosNL1939 & 1946