With hands burned and blistered by a red-hot steering wheel and a head still reeling from a long night of sex and champagne, former cabaret dancer Hellé Nice won the first all-female Grand Prix at Montlhéry, France in 1929. Thus began a short but victory-filled career wrought with tragedy and controversy in between blissful moments of success.
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At 13 years old, Aurora Straus enrolled in racing school. Things weren't going well early on, so an instructor offered extra help. He soon declared to her that it wasn't Straus' fault she was developing a little slower than others -- "because she was a girl," he said, she'd never be as aggressive as she needed to be.