Cars in books, July 1980

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

A few items of motoring interest occur in “Terence Rattigan — The Man and His Work” by Michael Darlow and Gillian Hodson (Quartet Books, 1979). The great playwright’s grandfather, Sir William Rattigan, was killed, we are told, in a motor accident in 1904. The motor-car was then scarcely established, so this must have aroused considerable comment at the time. In view of the recent Amy Johnson Anniversary happenings at the now-defunct Croydon Airport, it is interesting that when he flew to Germany from Croydon in 1933 Rattigan described the excitement of the flight, with its free champagne, etc, as very different from flying from Heathrow in 1975 and wanted back-ground sounds of the Croydon area to be introduced into his radio play “Cause Calibre”.

Around 1936 Rattigan bought his first Rolls-Royce, against his accountant’s wishes; I think there is also a motor racing link with Rattigan’s theatrical agents, HM Tennent and Linnit and Desire. By 1945 the playwright enjoyed being seen in the most-expensive restaurants, living in chambers at one of London’s exclusive addresses, and he was also driving “the newest Rolls-Royce”. His play about the war-time RAF, “Flare Path”, opened at the Apollo in 1942. I amused myself by turning up what I wrote about this in Motor Sport; I see that I was very favourably impressed. In the summer of 1949 Rattigan drove to Copenhagen with his chauffeur and secretary in his new Rolls-Royce and although he was well received in Denmark he felt that people in war-torn Germany were hostile because they recognised from his car that he was an Englishman.

“Flare Path” wasn’t Rattigan’s only play about aviation; “The Sound Barrier”, written at the time when Geoffrey de Havilland being killed flying a supersonic DH aeroplane during the Farnborough Air Display became the turning point of the script, Rattigan had envisaged after seeing what he thought was a Canberra land at Farnborough. By 1952 he had been earning some £30,000 a-year or more for a decade, and spent lavishly on Rolls-Royces . . . When driving Noel Coward down to Brighton Rattigan pointed out that his Rolls-Royce was more expensive than the one Coward owned! By 1957 he was in the £100,000-a-year bracket and he had been working in Hollywood, where he recalled how Rex Harrison had hired a temporary cook there, only to have the lady tell him she had just bought a Cadillac and would he send a chauffeur to drive it up the steep hill to his house; Harrison did not have a chauffeur so went down and drove the car up himself. The girl left the next day . . Rattigan would be driven in his Rolls-Royce to the Ascot races and we are informed that the idea for his film-script, “The Yellow Rolls-Royce”, came to him while he was sitting in his own Rolls-Royce in a London traffic jam, speculating on “the looks of hatred compounded of envy” he was receiving from occupants of other cars. He is also said to have remembered “the old Rolls-Royce found by Puffin Asquith and Anatole de Grunwald while looking for locations in Iraq for the abortive Lawrence film — a car said to have been used by General Allenby when he commanded his Armies in the Middle East during the First World War. What became of that one?— WB

You may also like

Related products