Norman Leslie Smith

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Norman Leslie Smith, also known by his pseudonym "Wizard", [1] (13 July 1890 1 October 1958) was an Australian professional motor racing driver, known for his speed racing records. The Brisbane Times hailed him as "Australia's fastest motor driver". [2]

A pseudonym or alias is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which can differ from their first or true name (orthonym).


Early life

Norman Leslie Smith was born 13 July 1890 in North Richmond, Sydney, Australia to Bill Smith and his spouse Cecilia, the youngest of nine children. [3] Both his parents were farmers. [3] Smith was a protege of motor vehicle importer Issac Phizackerley. [4]

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.


In World War I, Smith served as a driver at Melbourne, [5] setting off on 22 December 1916, aboard the ship HMAT Persic, A34. [6] After capturing his third major championship, the Alpine Rally in Victoria, Smith became known as "Wizard" Smith or "the Wizard". [3] During his career as a competitive motor racer, Smith drove over 20,000 miles. [7] Driving at incredible speeds never reached before, [3] Smith held the national record for most distance speed records broken in Australia during his time. [7] Among others, he broke a long distance driving record previously set by John "Iron Man" Burton. [4] He was such a fast driver that he made an "express [train] look like a goods train" after driving significantly faster than it. [7] Smith could reportedly drive on for days with little sleep. [7]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Alpine Rally

The Alpine Rally, also known by its official name Coupe des Alpes, was a rally competition based in Marseille and held from 1932 to 1971. In the 1950s and the 1960s, it was among the most prestigious rallies in the world and featured an international route, consisting of famous mountain passes in Europe.

In March 1930, Smith filed a request to be allowed to continue naming his race car Anzac. His request was denied on the grounds that it was a breach of the Australian law. [8] In addition to driving, Smith also penned journal entries for newspapers like The Sun and The Sunday Times . [3]

<i>The Sun</i> (United Kingdom) Tabloid newspaper from the United Kingdom and Ireland

The Sun is a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. As a broadsheet, it was founded in 1964 as a successor to the Daily Herald; it became a tabloid in 1969 after it was purchased by its current owners. It is published by the News Group Newspapers division of News UK, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Since The Sun on Sunday was launched in February 2012, the paper has been a seven-day operation. The Sun previously had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom, but it was overtaken by rival Metro in March 2018.

The Sunday Times, owned by Seven West Media, is a tabloid Sunday newspaper printed in Perth and distributed throughout Western Australia. Formerly owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Australia and corporate predecessors since 1955, the paper was sold to SWM in 2016. Finalisation of the deal, which included the website PerthNow, was announced by The West on 8 November 2016.

Personal life

Smith wed Harriett Ann Russ on 15 April 1911. [4] According to The Brisbane Times, Smith was "very softly spoken" and was also an "exceptionally careful driver". [2] In October 1932, he filed a lawsuit against Smith's Weekly for libel. [9] The case ended with Smith winning and being compensated £1000 in damages. [10]

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Norman or Norm Smith may refer to:

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  1. Connolly, John (2 March 2013). "Wizardry of a speed-setter". The Australian .
  2. 1 2 ""Wizard" Smith". The Brisbane Times. 11 March 1930. p. 8.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Walker, Clinton. "Wizard of Oz" (PDF).
  4. 1 2 3 Daw, E.D. "Smith, Norman Leslie (1890–1958)". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  5. "First World War Service Record - Norman Leslie Smith". National Archives of Australia . Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  6. "First World War Embarkation Roll - Norman Leslie Smith". Australian War Memorial . Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "The Story of Silver Wings". iinet. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  8. "The car with no name". Australian Government. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  9. "Wizard's Libel Action". Barrier Miner. 11 October 1932. p. 1.
  10. ""Wizard" Smith Wins Case". Barrier Miner. 11 November 1932. p. 1.