Because I want to tell you about a blurb I have received from the publishers of a new book aimed at enlightening those ignorant of cars and what they are all about with an A-to-Z directory of motoring terms. For example, you are puzzled as to what a Rolls-Royce is? Here is the explanation: “Rolls-Royce ‘manufactured (May be shortened to RR.) World-renowned manufacturer of luxury cars. The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910) and Mr Henry Royce (1863-1933) registered their joint company in Cooke Street, Hulme, Manchester in 1906. The quality of their cars is illustrated by a true story from the 1930s of a Scottish lady who happened to live in a castle on the side of a hill. She complained that her Rolls wasn’t pulling as well as when she had bought it some years before. The Glasgow agent tested the car and found it to be perfect, so he invited her to drive with himself as passenger. Whereupon the lady drove across the courtyard and straight up the hill — in top gear, the only one she used. ‘The car is colloquially called a Roller.’ See also knife through butter.”
Members of the Guild of Motoring Writers are offered a discount, the contents being named as especially appropriate to them, and the motor trade has welcomed this book with remarks such as “Long overdue”. “Lots of people in the industry need it”, etc. So maybe we are at last on the path to better British cars which will beat their rivals from the rest of Europe and Japan . . ?
The Things They Say . . .
“Seat-of-the-pants (motoring): According to racing drivers, their cars are driven through the seat-of-their-pants — this being the region where the behaviour of the car is best registered. The tale goes that when a number of drivers had their bottoms anaesthetised to test this theory, they all lost control and took to the country”. From the A-to-Z book referred to above, by Jack Alexander, published by Lexicon, for £35. W B