C S Rolls in his Mors Racer before the start of the Paris-Vienna race, 1902.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph from an album of prints collected by English motorist, motor car manufacturer and aviator, Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910). Rolls was a keen driver and was well known in the car world after taking part in many races of the time in Britain and in Europe. The early days of motor racing saw events staged on the open roads over long distances between cities on the continent. The 1902 Paris-Vienna race was one such event. Rolls failed to finish the event, which was won by Marcel Renault, one of the three French brothers who founded the Renault company. A series of fatal accidents on the 1903 Paris-Madrid race, one of which claimed the life of Marcel Renault, brought an end to the staging of point-to-point events on the open roads.