C S Rolls' Napier during the elimination trial for the Gordon Bennett Trophy, 1903.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph taken from an album of images compiled by English motor car manufacturer and aviator Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910). It shows Rolls competing in the elimination trial for the prestigious Gordon Bennett Trophy race, which was held at Athy in Ireland in 1903. The elimination trial, to select the final driver for the British team for the race, was held on the Duke of Portland's estate at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire. Driving his Napier Racer, Rolls, who was well known on the motor racing circuit, finished second, thus failing to be selected. Napier was the first British manufacturer to produce cars specifically for motor racing, and they were the first cars to compete painted in the famous British Racing Green colour.