The Magic of a Name: The Rolls-Royce Story; Peter Pugh; £30.00. Icon Books. ISBN 1840461519.
When Henry Royce met CS Rolls in 1904, a partnership was formed which led to the creation of some of the world’s most memorable cars, and some record-breaking aero-engines. This book covers the first 40 years. Royce designed the cars and, until his untimely death in 1910, the aristocratic Rolls sold them to high society.
The Silver Ghost, perhaps Rolls-Royce’s most famous creation, served in both the First and Second World Wars as staff cars, ambulances and armoured cars, while Rolls-Royce aero engines powered many inter-war record-breaking attempts. In 1919, all four British aircraft in the race for the first nonstop transatlantic flight were fitted with its engines. And the seaplane created for the 1929 Schneider Trophy was based on the Rolls-Royce `R’ engine.
After victory in this competition, the company went on to make RAF aero engines, leading to the Merlin, which powered the Spitfire and Hurricane.
Peter Pugh details the engines’ development and uses the company’s archives to unearth some previously unpublished historical details.
The second part of this two-volume history of the company is due in 2001.
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