Thhis privileged world of Manchester Liberalism was also atttracted to the early motor car. Maany of these ‘automobilists’, as tthey were known, joined the newwly established and influential Manchester Auttomobile Club (MAC), the larggest provincial motoring club in thhe country. By 1906, there were abouut 250 members.
PPostcards of Deansgate from that year contain not a single car on thhe street, which indicates motoring was very much a minority pastime of the privileged. The MAC was overwhelmingly a gentleman’s club – women were allowed to join from 1907 – which promoted itself as a society of reasonable, considerate and civically minded automobilists. Their close links with the Chief Constables of Manchester, Salford and Cheshire, whom they invited to their annual general meetings at the newly completed Midland Hotel, served to keep the law at arm’s length.
Bertram and George Rhodes joined the MAC in 1908 when the family owned two cars, a 15 Humber and 10-12 Humber. George became its president in 1913 and remained so until his death in 1924. Their
There were about 250 members of Manchester Automobile Club in 1906