A Rhodes by any other name

Some racing car owners used pet names for their cars, for which the BARC charged a fee.

Selwyn Francis Edge, with his large stable of Napiers, was in the June meeting of 1908 the first entrant to appear on the race cards with pet names for his cars, such as ‘Viceroy’, ‘Medusa’, ‘Meteor’, ‘St George’, ‘Firefly’ and his most famous ‘Samson’.

In July others followed, such as Hutton’s Hutton ‘Little Dorrit’, Cüpper’s Metallurgique ‘Gollywog’, not acceptable today, O S Thompson’s Austin ‘Pobble’, G Moss’s Arrol-Johnston ‘Guarded Flame’, Nalder’s Berliet ‘Grayling’ and Lord Montagu’s Itala ‘Bambo’.

By the August meeting P D Stirling was running ‘Little Dorrit’ as well as another Hutton, ‘Dolly Varden’, while D Pigot’s Darracq was named ‘Delilah’, W B R Moorhouse’s Fiat ‘Linda’, A H Moreing’s Daimler ‘Billy’, G H Levick’s Napier ‘Perrier’, J Bouch-Hissey’s Aster ‘Queenie’, Lieut H C Halahn’s Dennis ‘Antoinette’, H G Nalder’s Germain ‘Yellow Peril’, and C E Whittaker’s Imperial ‘Iona’. In the following years other pet names were applied to a number of racing cars.