50 hp Napier car at a motoring event, 1902.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph taken from an album of images compiled by Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910), English motorist, motor car manufacturer and aviator. Montague Charles Napier began producing cars in the late 1890s, and in the early years of the 20th century, became the first British motor manufacturer to produce cars specifically for motor racing. Rolls and S F Edge were two drivers well-known in racing circles at the time who drove Napiers, Edge winning the prestigious Gordon Bennett Cup race at the wheel of one in 1902. The cars were the first to be painted in the famous British Racing Green colour. Rolls founded Rolls-Royce Ltd with Sir Frederick Henry Royce (1863-1933) in 1906, creating one of the world's most famous marques.