The Tourist Trophy
The Club’s Tourist Trophy was first awarded in 1905, and was won by John Napier driving an 18 hp Arrol-Johnston in a race covering four laps of a fearsome 52-mile open road loop around the Isle of Man. His average speed was 34 mph.
Today, it is awarded to the winners of the British stage of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), which regularly sees top engineers, teams, manufacturers and drivers compete in a high-profile calendar of endurance races, including the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans. The prestige of the Tourist Trophy is embodied in its relevance – even in 1905 the emphasis was not purely on speed but also on fuel economy, mirroring the challenges faced by those competing in the WEC today.
The trophy shows a figure of Hermes in 18 carat gold. The son of Zeus and Maia, he used his speed in the service of Jupiter and is poised on a breath of wind. At the side are seated figures, representing industry and invention, (or is it fame) holding the wreath of evergreen over the victor’s names inscribed on the plaque below.