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Jones, Nina Eva Vida (1882 - 1966)

Born
30 January 1882
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died
2 March 1966
Sydney
Occupation
Motor Racing Driver
Alternative Names
  • Harris, Vida (maiden name)

Summary

The seventh child of William Henry Harris, gentleman, and Susan Mary (née Clarke), Vida Jones was educated at home. She married John Alexander Stammers Jones, a keen sportsman with a talent for cycling and horseriding, in Darlinghurst, Sydney, in April 1910. At their home in Lithgow, Vida Jones began driving, and in 1923 toured northern New South Wales and Queensland. She participated in a number of events organized by the R.A.C.A., and in 1925-26 drove her Crossley at an average of 78 miles (125 km) per hour to win the 'Weekender Trophy', one of several events along the new Maroubra Speedway. She won a gold medal in a 24-hour event in 1927 - one of few women to do so.

In 1929, Vida Jones drove the family's new Alfa Romeo in the Sydney Bicycle and Motor Club's hill climb at Prospect, and the R.A.C.A. Kurrajong hill climb, gaining the fastest time in both events. The following year, she beat sixty-seven male rivals in the Light Car Club's acceleration test on Bondi Promenade, making 18.4 seconds for the quarter mile.

Vida Jones gave up competitive driving after her husband died of cancer in 1933. She died thirty-three years later at her home in Darling Point.

Sources used to compile this entry: Johnson, K. A., 'Jones, Nina Eva Vida (1882 - 1966)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090515b.htm.

Barbara Lemon

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