THE FIRST ROYCE CAR
It was not until 1903 that Henry Royce, then 40 years of age,
purchased his first motor car, a second-hand French Decauville of
uncertain horse-power, which was as noisy as it was unreliable.
Had it been otherwise, Royce might never have become interested
in building a car himself. As it was, he had an irresistible challenge
on hand, and almost immediately set about constructing his own
two-cylinder engine. He coupled it, when finished, to a dynamo and
kept it running for long periods.
Gradually, the first Royce car took shape. Every detail was
designed and tested with meticulous care. Experiments were conducted
and metallurgical researches made, of such an extensive nature,
that the slender resources of his firm were strained to breaking point.
But this characteristic thoroughness paid off handsomely, for when,
on March 31, 1904, Royce drove his 10 h.p. two-cylinder car out of
the workshops at Cook Street, Manchester, it astonished everyone
by its efficiency and silent running.
"The Flying Lady Magazine 1965"