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The Woman and the Car

The Woman and the Car
Title: The Woman and the Car
Release Date: 2019-02-24
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 93
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List of Illustrations
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(etext transcriber's note)

[Imageof the bookcover unavailable.]





[Image unavailable.]

Photo by Foulsham & Banfield, Ltd.


Her favourite photograph





Printed by Ballantyne & Co. Limited
Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London



In presenting this book to the public the publisher is acting largely onthe request of some hundreds of ladies, some already motorists, otherswould-be motorists. Miss Dorothy Levitt, last year, wrote a short seriesof articles for the Daily Graphic on the subject of Motoring forWomen. These articles attracted a great deal of attention and MissLevitt was inundated with letters from all parts of the United Kingdomand also from abroad, asking her for further information on variouspoints and also begging her to publish the articles and additionalinformation in volume form.

Miss Levitt was also asked to contribute articles on the same lines tomany magazines and weekly publications and further received requestsfrom a number of distinguished women to give them personal instructionin the art{vi} of driving and managing the mechanism of their cars.

As the simplest way out of answering all these requests Miss Levitt hasrevised and enlarged her former articles and has added new chapters anda great deal of matter which she believes every woman motorist orbeginner will find of use.

There has been no attempt to make this volume a formal text-book onmotoring for women but rather a chatty little handbook, containingsimple and understandable instructions and hints for all womenmotorists, whether beginners or experts.

The facts contained in the various chapters are not those gathered fromany standard manual of motoring but are from Miss Levitt’s own practicalexperience of six years’ daily driving, in all sorts of cars, in allsorts of weather and under all sorts of conditions—pleasure trips,long-distance tours at home and abroad and in competitions.

There may be points here and there which she has overlooked. MissLevitt, however, will answer such questions or furnish such{vii} furtherinformation as readers may properly desire, either through the medium ofhis Majesty’s mails or, perhaps, in a later edition of this volume.

The photographs, with which the several chapters are illustrated, werespecially taken for the work by Mr. Horace W. Nicholls.

London, February 1909.




Dorothy Levitt: A Personal Sketch3
The Woman and The Car
I.The Car—Its Cost, Upkeep and Accessories15
II.The All-Important Question of Dress23
III.The Mechanism of the Car31
IV.How to Drive41
V.Troubles—How to Avoid and to Mend them51
VI.Hints on Expenses62
VII.Motor Manners69
VIII.Tips—Necessary and Unnecessary77
Distinguished Women Motoristes85
The Coming of the Small Car93
Car Index-marks and their Locale—In Britain, France and Germany101
The Motor Woman’s Dictionary—Brief Explanation of Technical Terms111
Advertisements—Specially Selected as Being Useful to Women Motoristes129




 To face
Dorothy Levitt. Her favourite photograph. Photo by Foulsham & Banfield, Ltd.Frontispiece
“Drive your own car.” Photo H. W. Nicholls14
It is accessories that bring up the cost—you must have a hood. Photo H. W. Nicholls18
One of the most important articles of wear is a scarf or muffler for the neck. Photo H. W. Nicholls24
Remember to twist the veil before tying—this prevents the knot working loose. Photo H. W. Nicholls26
“The useful overall.” Photo H. W. Nicholls28
This little drawer is the great secret. Photo H. W. Nicholls30
Unscrew the cap and peep in. Photo H. W. Nicholls32
Test the quantity of oil in the tank by inserting a piece of stick. Photo H. W. Nicholls34
Pull up this small rod to enable the “used” oil to run out of the base-chamber. Photo H. W. Nicholls36
The adjustment of the foot-brake is a matter of seconds. Photo H. W. Nicholls {xii}38
In front of your car you will notice a handle. Photo H. W. Nicholls42
Release the foot from the right pedal and throttle slightly with the left foot on the left pedal. Photo H. W. Nicholls44
Your next move is to take off the side brake. Photo H. W. Nicholls48
It is a simple matter to remove a faulty sparking plug. Photo H. W. Nicholls52
It is a simple matter to adjust the trembler or screw. Photo H. W. Nicholls56
Be sure that all nuts and bolts are tight—a rattle is annoying. Photo H. W. Nicholls60
“Be sure that the petrol tank is full.” Photo H. W. Nicholls62
This is the switch. Photo H. W. Nicholls66
This lever is used for changing gear. Photo H. W. Nicholls68
First advance the spark and give more air. Photo H. W. Nicholls72
The Automobile Association scouts will, if necessary, stop your car on the road and give you information. Photo H. W. Nicholls74
The engine will start easily if you first flood the carburettor slightly. Photo H. W. Nicholls76
The lubrication of the De Dion is extremely simple. Photo H. W. Nicholls80
Miss Isabel Savory, who not only drives, but repairs her own cars. Photo Elliott & Fry{xiii}84
Baroness Campbell de Lorentz, the first lady in Britain to drive her own car. Photo by Keturah Collings86
The Honble. Mrs. Assheton Harbord. Drives a Rolls Royce car, owns her own balloon, “The Valkyrie,” and has competed with it in seven races88
Mrs. George Thrupp, originator of the motor christening. Photo by Arthur Rouselle90





It is not considered difficult for mere man to write about a pretty,young woman. Yet in the case of Dorothy Levitt it is difficult. Thereare so many things in her delightful private life which would have avivid interest for the public. But I am forbidden to tread too deeply inthat direction.

Dorothy Levitt is the premier woman motorist and botorist of the world.And she is ready to prove and uphold her title at any time.

In the United Kingdom, in France and in Germany, she has achieveddistinctions, won success and carried off trophies such as no woman andfew men can claim.

Five years ago Miss Levitt won the Championship of the Seas in the greatmotor-boat race at Trouville, France, defeating all comers.{4}

Three years ago at Brighton she won a race and created a world’s recordfor women of 79¾ miles per hour. The following year she broke her ownrecord and created a new world’s record for women of 91 miles an hour.

Looking at Miss Levitt one can hardly imagine that she could drive a carat such terrific speed. The public, in its mind’s eye, no doubt figuresthis motor champion as a big, strapping Amazon. Dorothy Levitt isexactly, or almost so, the direct opposite of such a picture. She is themost girlish of womanly women. Slight in stature, shy and shrinking,almost timid in her everyday life, it is seeming a marvel that she canreally be the woman who has done all that the records show.

And the way in which she came to be a motorist—it is a story in itself.She was from childhood a good cyclist, a good driver of horses, a riderto hounds and an excellent shot with rifle or gun. Fishing was herfavourite pastime. She was quick of eye and sure of hand and nervestroubled her not at all.

A friend, owning a motor-car, paid a visit{5} to the family in the WestCountry. In a very few days Dorothy Levitt had become well acquaintedwith the intricacies of that motor. She handled the wheel as well as theowner or his chauffeur. She attended, as a spectator, a countycompetition, driving the car with such skill that the attention wasattracted of the manager of a big motor firm. He secured an introductionand asked her to drive one of his cars in a competition. She agreed andthus became the first Englishwoman to drive a motor-car in a publiccompetition.

Her first prize was won a month later, and since then she has steadilymounted the tree of her chosen profession. Yet she has remained anamateur, accepting no money prizes, only medals and cups and such liketrophies.

In hill climbs, endurance and speed trials she is alike invincible. Atthe first aerial hare-and-hounds race of balloons this year she wasselected as the umpire. The most careful, as well as intrepid andfast-driving motorist, was wanted. Miss Levitt unerringly followed thehare from London to near Arundel, Sussex, and was on the spot when thefirst{6} balloon among the hounds descended near the hare.

Miss Levitt has been offered many enticing professional engagements onthe Continent and in the United States but prefers to remain at home andan amateur.

In appearance Dorothy Levitt looks partly French, partly Irish, with asoupçon of American. Yet she is wholly English. Of medium height, herfigure is slim and very graceful. She has a very girlish but expressiveface, large eyes that are brown and grey and green in varying lights,brown hair that curls, a straight nose that has the bare inclination ofa saucy upward tip and a mouth which is too large. It is a charming,winning face.

The one fault of Dorothy Levitt is her modesty, almost amounting tobashfulness. One cannot get her to tell much of her many excitingadventures, particularly those of which she is the heroine. She isimmensely popular, has been toasted by Royalty at German motor banquets,elected honorary member of many of the first automobile clubs in thiscountry and on the Continent, and has{7} a host of friends, some in thesacred circles of society, others

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