I have been reading High Driver’s book on that keen Rolls-Royce fan, Lord Northcliffe.
One of his suggestions in 1913 was the R-R should fit self-starters to the 40/50. It reminds me of a joke, about a salesman on the R-R stand after the war. As a colonel was inspecting a car, the electric starter was pointed out and extolled. “If so perfect”, enquired the customer, “why the starting handle?” “Ah, replied the salesman, “you will have noticed you have two nipples? Although it’s unlikely you will have a baby, God provided these in case; we give you a starting-handle in the equally unlikely event of:the self-starter failing.”
Dare I add the other old R-R joke? The owner of a new 40/50 was touring abroad with his sons, who duly called for ice cream. A parlour was soon found. To pay, the Englishman, unsure of the currency, offered some coins, amongst which were a few golf tees. The puzzled server asked their purpose. “Oh,” answered our hero, “they are what I rest my balls on when I drive off”. To which the man said “Signor, I knew R-R made fine cars but I had no idea they were so thorough …”