Letters from Readers, September 1946

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Sir,
In your article, “A Matter of Nomenclature,” I observe that I am criticised for painting the name of my car on the bonnet. As this is the first complaint I have had in over fifteen years, I do not propose to remove it, and if you don’t like it you can look the other way.

I also observe that you suggest that the engine manufacturer’s name should appear as a hyphenated addition to the name of a “Special.” As some manufacturers very rightly object to this practice, I would advise you not to describe cars in this way.
I am, Yours, etc.,
J. V. Bolster.
Wrotham, Kent.
[Now, John, you know we have never been afraid, as some papers and programmes have, to publish your name for your “special” in full. And as you display that name in decently small letters we ask you not to take our criticism to heart. But if anyone wanted you to call your car, for instance, a “Wrotham All-Chain Bolster Farm Special,” you’d be on our side, wouldn’t you? And it’s getting a bit like that with some folks, isn’t it? — Ed.]

Sir,
Referring to “A Matter of Nomenclature.” Whilst agreeing with your remarks as a general principle, as one of the culprits I feel constrained to defend myself and other “Jaguar” drivers.

When the manufacturers changed their name from S.S. to Jaguar Cars Ltd., for fairly obvious reasons, it was at first felt that it would be better to enter “100” models built prior to the change of name simply as “S.S.,” so as not to confuse models built in 1947. On second thoughts, however, the complete abolition of “S.S.” seemed advisable, particularly as the general public were still referring to brand new Jaguar saloons as “S.S.” and they will probably continue to do so for some long time without discouragement from competition drivers.

The word “Jaguar,” in any case, surely is no pet name and certainly links most strongly the car with the name of the maker. If it is the policy of Motor Sport to refer to pre-war “100” cars as “S.S.,” and to new models, when they appear, as “Jaguar,” some difficulty is likely to arise when several of these cars are competing at some future date unless there is a marked difference in appearance between old and new models, and this is most unlikely.

I am, of course, open to correction, and as usual may be entirely wrong in my reasoning. Possibly the best solution would be for Motor Sport to seek the wishes of Messrs. Jaguar Cars Ltd., and I am sure that all drivers of their cars would fall in line.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Cyril Mann.
London, N.4.
[There is a lot in what Cyril Mann writes, although if a car is licensed as an S.S., why not call it that? Our main grumble concerned names applied by owners to their cars, not to makers’ names. — Ed.]