C S Rolls' car, tourist section winner of the Bordeaux-Biarritz race, France, 1899.
© 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). The early days of motor racing saw events staged on the open roads over long distances between cities on the continent. The 1899 Bordeaux-Biarritz race was one such event. A series of fatal accidents on the 1903 Paris-Madrid race brought an end to the staging of point-to-point events on the open roads. Rolls was a keen driver himself and was well known in the car world after taking part in many races of the time, such as the 1000 Mile Trial (1900) and the 15,000 Mile Trial (1907). He founded Rolls-Royce Ltd with Sir Frederick Henry Royce (1863-1933) in 1906, creating one of the world's most famous marques.