As a child I enjoyed some of the Gumdrop stories, without ever realising that the name of the car Gumdrop was the same as a type of sweet. Perhaps the reason for this name is explained somewhere in the books and I've long forgotten it.

Why was the car called Gumdrop? It doesn't seem to look especially like a gumdrop sweet:

image of the car Gumdrop, with owner and dog inside

1 Answer 1


The (defunct) Val Biro Official Fan web page has a brief interview with Val Biro on this subject, adding to the wording found in Gumdrop Makes a Start.


He set the levers on the steering wheel and pulled the choke out. Then he pressed his foot on the starter button. The car went "Guuuuum". The foreman pushed in the choke and pulled out the ignition button and pressed his foot again. This time the car went "Drrrropopopop" and the engine started.

The boy was enchanted. What a lovely sound; "Guuuuum-Drrrropopopop". As if the car had called out his own name. "That's it!" he declared to one and all. "That's his name. GUMDROP!" and he felt convinced that Gumdrop was the only car for him.

This presumably is also the out-of-universe reason that Balint Stephen "Val" Biro named his real-world car (on which the book series is based).

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