Violette Cordery [married name Hindmarsh], (1900?–1983), racing driver




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Oxford University Press



Peer reviewed


Violette Cordery [married name Hindmarsh] (1900?–1983), racing driver, was said to have been born in London on 10 January 1900 (d. cert.), the daughter of Henry Cordery (m. cert.). No birth certificate or census record has been found to corroborate this. Her first name was sometimes contracted to Violet. She had at least two sisters, one of whom married the car maker Noel Macklin. Violette Cordery was an early enthusiast for motoring, and after Macklin was wounded in the First World War he chose her as his driver. In July 1926 she successfully carried out a high-speed reliability test, supervised by the Royal Automobile Club, of a 19.6 hp Invicta, driving 5000 miles at the Montlhéry track, Paris, day and night for over 70 hours, at an average speed of 70.7 mph. This record was acknowledged in October 1926 by the technical committee of the RAC with the award of the Dewar Trophy, awarded since 1906, for the most meritorious performance by an automobile manufacturer in certified trials. She was the first woman to receive the trophy.

In February 1927 Cordery set out from her home in Cobham, Surrey, to drive an Invicta around the world, accompanied by a nurse, a mechanic, and an RAC observer. The team covered 10,266 miles in five months, travelling at an average speed of 24.6 mph through Europe, Africa, India, Australia, the United States, and Canada. This received newspaper and newsreel attention. A reception was held in London on her return in July 1927. At Brooklands in 1928 she won the Middlesex Car Club ladies' race, and the Essex Motor Club meeting.Cordery married on 15 September 1931, at Stoke D'Abernon parish church, John Stuart Hindmarsh [see below]. They had two daughters. At the time of her marriage she announced her intention to give up motor racing and take up aviation. She disappeared from public view after her husband's death, and died at her home 13 Broom Hall, Oxshott, Surrey, on 30 December 1983. She was cremated at Randalls Park crematorium, Leatherhead. One of her daughters married the racing driver Roy Salvadori.



racing motorist, record breaking, Brooklands, Invicta, Silver Hawk


Williams, J.and Williams, S. (2013) Violette Cordery [married name Hindmarsh], (1900?-1983), racing driver' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Oxford University Press.


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