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Records of the Cambridge University Automobile Club, and its nominated successor the Cambridge University Motorcycle Club, 1903 - 1969

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.98

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1903 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club was founded in 1902 and maintained a club room and a garage for its members (at 22A Jesus Lane for at least the period 1904-8). It organised runs; competitive hill climbs, for which there were two trophies (the Rothschild Challenge Cup and the Garnett-Botfield Challenge Cup for Motor Cycles); and was involved in inter-varsity races. The club was active until 1910 and was formally wound up in 1926. However, a short lived club of 1914 and a more successful venture of 1919 were considered to be re-foundings. The 1919 organisation was initially known as the Cambridge University Motorcycle Club. By 1926 the increasing predominance of car owners prompted a return to the name Cambridge University Automobile Club. It also acquired the trophies of the 1902 club at this point. The banking brothers Anthony Gustav and Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, the mechanical engineer Harry Ralph Ricardo, and the educationist (later Master of Corpus Christi College) William Spens were all early members. The engineer and Proctor Frederick James Dykes was president in 1908 and secretary in the late 1920s. The website of a Cambridge University Automobile Club (active at 2008) and focussing on rallying and karting activities is to be found at


1 linear metre(s) (1 metre) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 8 May 2008. They had been presented by C.A. Branston (Trinity College and club secretary 1908-26) to the Manuscripts Department on 2 April 1949 and had been given the classmark Ms.Add.7195. SOC.98.2 was presented via Frances Willmoth, archivist of Jesus College, on 14 March 2008. SOC.98.7 was presented by John Waddington via Paul Gibbons, Bugatti Owners Club, on 14 January 2022.

Related Materials

A membership application form of circa 1967 (classmark: Cambridge Papers J 1750) and newsletters of the Cambridge University Automobile Club, 1975-76, 1981 (Cam.b.31.92) are in the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library. C.U.A.C. Commentary, 1983 (classmark: L999.c.3.1316) is available in the West Room of Cambridge University Library.


The online catalogue entry was completed in May 2008 and emended in November 2022.


Cambridge University Automobile Club

Finding aid date

2008-05-05 11:39:30+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom