Posts Tagged ‘Dorothy Levitt’

Naming the glove compartment

Dorothy Levitt Lipstick and Gearsticks Amazing women drivers

The glove compartment was named by Dorothy Levitt, a racing driver, total motorina and water speed record holder. Described on Wikipedia as a “scorcher”, the well-known motoring writer and journalist was the second documented female race driver (the first was Frenchwoman Camille du Gast).

She started breaking records in 1903 and among her gems of advice were that women should keep a revolver handy in their cars, and to have a small mirror to hand while driving “to hold aloft from time to time in order to see behind”. I must say I’m rather pleased this feature became standard in all cars pretty quickly. This advice is to be found in her book The Woman and the Car: A chatty little handbook for all women who motor or who want to motor (nifty title huh?!?) which you can still get in paperback.

I never think of the danger. That sort of thing won’t do. But I know it is omnipresent. The slightest touch of the hand and the car swerves, and swerves are usually fatal. But I am a good gambler, and always willing to take a chance.

Dorothy Levitt Lipstick and Gearsticks Amazing women drivers

Dorothy Levitt

I’ll leave you with this little nugget, which echos my view that there’s no value in being unnecessarily un-educated about your car. Yes, learn to change a tyre ladies. Let me know if you want me to make a ‘how to’ video.

I am constantly asked by some astonished people “Do you really understand all the horrid machinery of a motor, and could you mend it if it broke down? … the details of an engine may sound complicated and look “horrid”, but an engine is easily mastered.