An exhibition of paintings and models has been opened at the Tea Centre, Regent Street, London, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Royal Automobile Club.
Entitled “The Age of the Motor Car,” the exhibition goes on tour after May 4th to provincial centres, including Stratford, Coventry, Blackpool, Scarborough, Leicester, Bristol, Portsmouth and Brighton.
Unusual exhibits include a piece of the red flag which was torn up by the Earl of Winchelsea prior to the original Emancipation Day Run of 1896, held to celebrate the motorists’ newly-won freedom of the roads. It has been loaned for the exhibition by Lt.-Commander “Montie” Grahame-White, of Godalming, Surrey, one of the six surviving founder-members of the R.A.C.
Other souvenirs of the pioneer days of the “horseless carriage” include a 1905 driving licence and two summonses against Walter Bersey for driving at more than two miles per hour and not being preceded by a man on foot.
In the “believe it or not” class is a tubeless tyre made as long ago as 1902. The property of the Avon India Rubber Company, it rather dispels the notion that the tubeless tyre is a modern invention.
There is a model of the steam-carriage built by John Henry Knight in 1868, which has been loaned to the R.A.C. by his son, Mr. E. F. Knight, of Petersfield, Hants, while a painting of Daimler’s first road vehicle, made in 1885, is being exhibited by courtesy of the artist, Mr. Harold Connolly, of Brighton, Sussex.
A model of the original Lanchester car was truly a labour of love. Built in 1895, the original car was destroyed in the Coventry blitz of 1940. The model which appears in the exhibition was reconstructed from memory by Mr. George Lanchester, a member of the family whose name is borne by their justly-famous products. Mr. Lanchester, who now lives in retirement at Chichester, Sussex, has spent nearly three years building his delightful model, which is authentic to the last detail.
Many paintings of famous races by the late F. Gordon-Crosby, Bryan de Grineau, Roy Nockolds, Gordon Horner, Frank Wootton, George Lane and other well-known motoring artists, provide a graphic commentary on the history of the Sport from the Gordon Bennett races around the turn of the century to the post-war Jaguar successes at Le Mans.
Bringing the show up to date, is an impression by Roy Nockolds of the Rover gas-turbine car which set up speed records on the Jabbeke motor road in 1952 and a glimpse into the future of a Ford car which should appear at the Motor Show about fifty years from now!