"I was to ascertain which of our two cars, the Benz or the Wolseley, was to take me to school"

Nabokov has written earlier of his family's Anglophilia (p.63) "The kind of Russian family to which I belonged [...] had, among other virtues, a traditional leaning toward the comfortable products of Anglo-Saxon civilization." They imported Pears Soap, English toothpaste and Tate and Lyle's Golden Syrup among other things. The fact that they owned a Wolseley car is not only a testament to the family's Anglophilia and their considerable wealth, but also to their attention to fashion; the Wolseley Motor Company was only founded in 1901. It was incorporated into larger companies after 1935 but remained a luxury brand until 1975.