Car Gurus Speak Out

Earlier this week, the Royal Automobile Club hosted a series of expert motoring lectures by some of the most prominent historians in the industry. The event formed part of the Royal Automobile Club’s annual festival of motoring; London Motor Week.


People gathered together to listen to car gurus speak out about the events that made motoring history so intriguing. Tom Purves, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club said: ‘We are delighted to present a series of lectures valuable to enthusiasts and observers of the motoring scene…after all that is central to the original raison d’être for the Royal Automobile Club.’

 Sir Ralph Robins

Sir Ralph Robins discussed ‘Cars and Aero Engines’ Sir Ralph Robins has had a varied career, which included working on the development of civil aero engines and boldly going (in industry), where other men feared to tread by investing heavily in aero engine technology through the 1990s when others were running in the other direction. His lecture gave a unique insight into the technologies that shaped aviation and motoring, propelling society towards a new age.

Giles Chapman

Award-winning writer and commentator on the history and culture of the motor industry, Giles Chapman, provided a fun and informative talk about car emblems, badges and logos and described how almost every manufacturer has tried to use these graphic devices to relay important facets about their products, with some untangled and convoluted quirky stories.

Anders Ditlev Clausager

Guest speaker Anders Ditlev Clausager, brought us ‘Motoring to Define a Nation: Motorisierung and the Third Reich’. According to Clausager, Motorisierung was the programme developed by the Nazi regime of the German Third Reich between 1933 and 1939. This talk explored the reasons for adopting the policy, the individual elements of the programme, and its effect on the German nation before and after its inception.  Combining political, social and technical history, this fascinating talk explored the manufacturing, financial and engineering legacy generated by the programme.

Daniel Ward

Daniel Ward took us on ‘An Extreme Adventure: The Peking to Paris Rally, 1907 and Beyond’  The Peking to Paris Rally remains one of motor sports most extreme races for vintage and classic vehicles. Covering a variety of terrains including the Mongolian desert, Daniel Ward’s witty talk explored the history of the event and its participants through to his own experiences as a competitor driving his 5.3 litre, 1908 Talbot Roi-des-Belges.