Wizard of Oz: speed, modernism and the last ride of Wizard Smith

Clinton Walker

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


In the bitter autumn of 1932, as the world crashed into the Great Depression, Australian motor ace Norman 'Wizard' Smith sat on the remote Ninety Mile Beach in far north New Zealand, waiting for the wind to change; waiting for a chance to drive his streamlined super car the Enterprise to a new world speed record. He would be the fastest man on earth - a golden god! He waited and waited... Norman Smith was an enigma. A contemporary of Bradman, Kingsford Smith and Phar Lap, he was dumpy and shy. But when he got behind the wheel he became the Wizard, his command uncanny, the speeds breathless. In league with engineer Don Harkness, who designed and built the Enterprise, he was pointing Australia toward a brighter future. Until somewhere along the line, things started going wrong. What really happened on that lonely beach? Clinton Walker lays bare the tragic fall from grace of Norman 'Wizard' Smith - an ordinary man lost to an extraordinary quest, and, until now, a forgotten figure.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKent Town, S. Aust.
PublisherWakefield Press
Number of pages273
ISBN (Print)9781862549500
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Smith, Norman Leslie, 1890-1958
  • Harkness, Don, 1890-1972
  • Automobile racing drivers--New Zealand--Biography
  • Automobiles, Racing--Speed records--Australia--History
  • Automobile racing--Australia--History
  • Dragsters--Australia--History


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