Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Silver Ghost
Rolls-Royce vehicles are known as the “best cars in the world”. But hardly anyone knows where this expression comes from these days. It dates back to 1907 and originally described only a single car. A year earlier, Rolls-Royce presented the new 40/50 hp series with a seven-liter inline six-cylinder engine under the hood. This produced 35 kW/48 hp, which reached the rear wheels via a manual three-speed gearbox. Compared to competitor models of the time, the Rolls-Royce offered much better and more comfortable handling. A British journalist for Autocar magazine therefore created the term “waftability” in 1906, which was intended to express the unconstrained nature of the movement and quickly became a protected word mark.
Silver paint and smooth running lead to the name
In our headline an additional name for the Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp already appears, which this model didn’t have from the beginning: Silver Ghost. In 1907 the twelfth car of the series with the shorter of the two orderable wheelbases was built with the chassis number 60551. A “Semi-Roi des Belges” body was built at Barker & Co. in London. This is basically an open touring car in which the front seats are lower mounted than the rear seats, thus dispensing with large front doors. To match the silver paint, Rolls-Royce ordered silver-plated lights and fittings. These were otherwise typically made of brass. Inside, the teak used in other luxury cars was dispensed with and the dashboard was made of aluminium instead. The rear bench seat could be replaced with a luggage box in just a few easy steps.
Participation in endurance races
Claude Johnson, then sales manager and managing director of Rolls-Royce, proved his good sense for luxury and elegance when he ordered this 40/50 hp as a factory demonstration car. Due to the silver color scheme in combination with the almost silent engine running Rolls-Royce gave this 40/50 hp the nickname “Silver Ghost”. This name was engraved on a metal plaque which was mounted below the windscreen. This special vehicle first attracted attention at the Olympia Motor Show in London in November 1906. A year later, it competed in a reliability contest in Scotland. This was immediately followed by an endurance test covering 15,000 miles, which included completing the route from London to Glasgow 27 times. Why this effort? The brands C.S. Rolls & Co. and Royce Ltd. had only formed a joint automobile company since March 15, 1906. Accordingly, positive publicity was important, which at that time was achieved primarily through extreme reliability of the vehicles.
Unknown brand gained good reputation
On many of these endurance drives, Rolls-Royce put journalists in the passenger seats so that they could write field reports. The press representatives were particularly impressed not only by the reliability but also by the low maintenance costs of the Silver Ghost. Through the many articles, Rolls-Royce developed a reputation for making the best cars in the world. The unique Silver Ghost eventually led to the entire 40/50 hp series being given this epithet. The car with the official registration AX201 was sold in 1908 to a British customer who often drove it to his Italian vacation home. Forty years later Rolls-Royce bought back the Silver Ghost. Franklin Mint, a model car manufacturer from the USA, produced a miniature of the unique car in 1984, which became a bestseller. In 1991, Rolls-Royce commissioned the companies SC Gordon Coachbuilders Luton and P&A Wood to carry out an extensive restoration.
One of the most expensive cars in the world
When the merged brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley were split between BMW and Volkswagen in 1998, the Silver Ghost went to Bentley. Since then, the silver one-off hasn’t appeared at any public event. Nevertheless, a value appraisal for car insurance in 2005 made the headlines, valuing the Rolls-Royce at 35 million US dollars. This makes this British classic one of the most expensive automobiles in the world. In 2020, Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong purchased the Silver Ghost along with another early Rolls-Royce. However, as both cars have been classified as national treasures, they must remain within British national borders. At the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance in September, this particular car will be on public display for the first time in more than 20 years. Images: Concours of Elegance, Tim Scott
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1906 to 1926)
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, also known as the 40/50HP, was a series of luxury cars introduced in 1906. This series of cars were first known as the 40/50HP, with one example being named the Silver Ghost. The name caught on, and soon all 40/50HP cars were known as Silver Ghosts. The Silver Ghost was powered by a 7.0L or 7.5L inline six, and was in production until 1926.
Q: What is the top sale price of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost?
A: The top sale price was $2,535,000 for a 1910 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Pullman Limousine on August 14 2021.
Q: What is the lowest sale price of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost?
A: The lowest recorded sale price was $89,600 for a 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Sedan by Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work on March 07 2020.
Q: What is the average sale price of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost?
A: The average price of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is $610,775.
Q: When was the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost produced?
A: The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was sold for model years 1906 to 1926.
Model years for Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1906 to 1926)
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1907-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
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Henry Royce probably did not start out to create the "Best Car in the World" when he designed the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. What he wanted was to replace his rough-running six-cylinder "Thirty" with something more reliable, something smoother and quieter.
He succeeded so completely that the new car, introduced at the Olympia Motor Show and later named Silver Ghost, became the longest-running single model next to the Model T Ford (and, much later, the VW Beetle and the British Mini) -- and certainly the most famous luxury car in history. The Silver Ghost remains to this day the most desirable model among antique (pre-1930) cars.
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Rolls-Royce, founded in Manchester in 1904, was the amalgam of socialite entrepreneur Charles S. Rolls, who'd been selling Panhards and wanted something better, and the aforementioned Mr. Royce, whose previous experience had been with electric cranes.
Early production involved a variety of cars in different sizes with two, three, four, and six cylinders, about as successful as bystanders expected from this unlikely duo. But those who thought the venture would fail did not reckon on Royce's acumen, nor his single-minded determination to build a better car than anybody else.
The Silver Ghost was renowned for its smooth, quiet running, achieved with a massive, seven-main-bearing crankshaft and stiff crankcase. Its cylinders were cast in two blocks of three, inclusive of heads, which eliminated head gaskets and the chances of their blowing. The specifications included full-pressure lubrication, an electrical system that really worked, and a precision carburetor made with the quality of a Swiss watch. Its reliability, at a time when "horseless carriages" were anything but reliable, was legendary.
This was proven when a Silver Ghost emerged from a 15,000-mile trial in 1907, observed by the Royal Automobile Club, with highest marks. Four years later, on the London-Edinburgh-London run, a Ghost ran the entire distance in top gear with a fuel consumption of 24.32 miles per Imperial gallon (19 mpg U.S.), an astonishing performance for the time in such a heavy car.
Although the seven-liter side-valve engine's compression ratio was only 3,2:1, it developed 48 brake horsepower at 1,500 rpm, and would deliver 50-mph cruising speeds, which was more than an enthusiastic driver could do on almost any public road of the day.
When a Ghost owner wanted to really let it out, he'd pay a visit to Brooklands, the huge banked oval in Surrey, built just after the first Ghosts. Brooklands' motto was "the right crowd and no crowding," which was certainly appropriate here: the Silver Ghost chassis alone cost £985, close to $5,000 at the time, five or 10 times what the average professional could expect to make in a year. Truly this was a car for the classes and not the masses.
Henry Royce's success came at a key time, when the cash-poor company desperately needed a winner. So well received was it that the firm moved to more spacious quarters in Derby in 1908, simultaneously deciding to produce only this model -- and so it did for the next 17 years.
On the next page, learn about the 1909 to the 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
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1909-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
The first mechanical change to the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost came in 1909, when an increase in stroke brought displacement to 7.4 liters and the original four-speed transmission was replaced by a three-speed unit. By 1911, when Rolls-Royce prepared a car for the London-Edinburgh run, compression was 3.5:1 and carburetion increases had brought horsepower to 58. The Ghost reverted to a four-speed transmission in 1913, when cantilever rear suspension was adopted.
That was the year when Rolls-Royce was able to claim an honest 80 mph for the light, open-bodied Ghosts built for the Austrian Alpine Trials, where they finished ahead of all other rivals. Incidentally, the beautiful London-Edinburgh tourer survives, and recently changed hands at a Florida auction for $1,3000,000 -- a bargain compared to two other, less distinguished examples which sold for $2,005,000 and $2,600,000.
Limited production continued during the Great War, when many new and some old Ghosts were fitted with armored bodywork for running battles against the Turks in the Middle East, under such commanders as Allenby and Lawrence of Arabia. Others were used as staff cars and ambulances. Inflation saw the chassis price rise to £2,100 ($10,165) after the war, although this now included a chain-driven self-starter and four-wheel brakes with a servo assist. Brake horsepower of the 1919 and later models rose to 70.
In 1920, Rolls-Royce of America, Incorporated, was founded at Springfield, Massachusetts, in a plant purchased from the American Wire Wheel Company. The object was to build cars for the American market while avoiding high import tariffs, and the subsidiary enjoyed good success until the Depression closed it down in 1931. Silver Ghosts were built at Springfield beginning in 1921.
Retaining their English right-hand drive, they offered the 7.4-liter engine rated at 80 bhp. In 1925, Springfield finally switched to left-hand drive, by which time the cars were developing 85 bhp at 2,300 rpm and could do 70-plus mph with the high-speed (3.25:1) rear axle ratio. Two huge wheelbases, of 144 and 150 1/2inches, were available, and bodies were supplied by the cream of American coach builders, chiefly Brewster. Of the 2,944 Springfield Rolls-Royces built over 11 years, 1,703 were Silver Ghosts.
Paul Woudenberg, in his Illustrated Rolls-Royce and Bentley Buyer's Guide (1984), writes that the American Rolls had "no glaring weaknesses and, given regular maintenance and lubrication, has nearly unlimited life. The American Ghost has been given much attention in the Flying Lady, publication of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club, especially in the years after 1952, and owners will find back issues of this magazine (still available) a valuable guide in maintenance and troubleshooting."
He adds that while the domestic version lacked the four-wheel brakes of the later British cars, it did feature valve covers, an important improvement over the exposed valves of the English models. The domestics can be recognized at a glance by their drum headlamps, tubular bumpers, and American componentry such as electrics, as well as left-hand drive after 1925.
Finally, since Brewster built the vast majority of American bodies (and was itself bought by Rolls-Royce of America in 1923), the Springfield cars carry a far more uniform line of bodywork.
The Silver Ghost was superseded in Britain by the Phantom I in 1925, after a long and distinguished career. UK production since 1906 amounted to 6,173 chassis, making 7,876 altogether.
On our final page, you will find the specifications for the 1907-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
1907-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Specifications
The 1907-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was hailed by some as the "Best Car in the World." Though some might dispute this title, there is no question that the Silver Ghost was a truly classic car. On this page, you will find the specifications for the 1907-1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Engine: I-6, cast in 2 blocks, integral beads, side valves, 7,036 cc (4 1/2 × 4 1/2-in bore × stroke), 7 main bearings, dual ignition with magneto and trembler coil, 3.2:1 compression ratio, 48 bhp @ 1,500 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed, cone clutch multi-dry-plate clutch
Suspension, front: Semi-elliptic leaf springs
Suspension, rear: Semi-elliptic leaf springs with auxiliary transverse leaf spring
Brakes: External contracting on the driveshaft
Wheelbase (in.): 135-1/2 and 143-1/2
Weight (lbs): 2,050-2,200 (chassis only)
Top speed (mph) : 60
Production: UK 6,173 US 1,703 (1907-26)
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Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost refers both to a car model and to one specific car from that series.
Originally named the "40/50 h.p." the chassis was first made at Royce's Manchester works, with production moving to Derby in July 1908, and also, between 1921 and 1926, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201 , was the car that was originally given the name "Silver Ghost." Other 40/50 hp cars were also given names, but the Silver Ghost title was taken up by the press, and soon all 40/50s were called by the name, a fact not officially recognised by Rolls-Royce until 1925, when the Phantom range was launched.The Original Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost one of the first of the 40/50 h.p.series designed and built by Henry Royce in 1906. The first managing director of the company, Claude Johnson, had this special aluminium painted touring body built for it and its external metalwork silver-plated and gave it the name " Silver Ghost." The car had a six-cylinder engine composed of two blocks of three cylinders with bore and stroke being 4 11/2 inches. The compression ratio was 3.2 to 1. Like future Rolls-Royce cars the degree of silence was achieved by having a special expansion chamber for each cylinder leading into the main silencer. The brakes were drum type on the rear wheels, and the car had four forward speeds. Prop. shaft drive, overhead inlet and side exhaust valves completed the picture. The marque stayed in production for many years.Its quiet, smooth-running became very welcome to motorists after the bone-jarring caused by previous cars. Both open and closed bodies of various designs were fitted, to suit the requirements of the customer. 'The Silver Ghost' became the standard by which to judge other cars and it is still, to this day.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 (Silver Ghost) touring
The Silver Ghost was the origin of Rolls-Royce's claim of making the "Best car in the world" – a phrase coined not by themselves, but by the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907.
The chassis and engine were also used as the basis of a range of Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars.
In 1906, Rolls-Royce produced four chassis to be shown at the Olympia car show, two existing models, a four-cylinder 20 hp and a six-cylinder 30 hp, and two examples of a new car designated the 40/50 hp. The 40/50 hp was so new that the show cars were not fully finished, and examples were not provided to the press for testing until March 1907.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 landaulet 1906
The car at first had a new side-valve, six-cylinder, 7036 cc engine (7428 cc from 1910) with the cylinders cast in two units of three cylinders each as opposed to the triple two-cylinder units on the earlier six. A three-speed transmission was fitted at first with four-speed units used from 1913. The seven-bearing crankshaft had full pressure lubrication, and the centre main bearing was made especially large to remove vibration, essentially splitting the engine into two three-cylinder units. Two spark plugs were fitted to each cylinder with, from 1921, a choice of magneto or coil ignition. The earliest cars had used a trembler coil to produce the spark with a magneto as an optional extra which soon became standard - the instruction was to start the engine on the trembler/battery and then switch to magneto. Continuous development allowed power output to be increased from 48 bhp (36 kW) at 1,250 rpm to 80 bhp (60 kW) at 2,250 rpm. Electric lighting became an option in 1914 and was standardised in 1919. Electric starting was fitted from 1919 along with electric lights to replace the older ones that used acetylene or oil.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 limosine 1906
Development of the Silver Ghost was suspended during World War I, although the chassis and engine were supplied for use in Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 Pullman Deluxe 1906
The chassis had rigid front and rear axles and leaf springs all round. Early cars only had brakes on the rear wheels operated by a hand lever, with a pedal-operated transmission brake acting on the propeller shaft. The footbrake system moved to drums on the rear axle in 1913. Four-wheel servo-assisted brakes became optional in 1923.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 chassis 1906
Despite these improvements the performance of the Silver Ghost's competitors had improved to the extent that its previous superiority had been eroded by the early 1920s. Sales declined from 742 in 1913 to 430 in 1922. The company decided to launch its replacement which was introduced in 1925 as the New Phantom. After this, older 40/50 models were called Silver Ghosts to avoid confusion.
A total of 7874 Silver Ghost cars were produced from 1907 to 1926, including 1701 from the American Springfield factory. Many of them still run today. A fine example is on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
The Alpine Eagles
A 40/50 was privately entered in the prestigious 1912 Austrian Alpine Trial by James Radley, but its 3-speed gearbox proved inadequate for the ascent of the Katschberg Pass. A factory team of four cars were prepared for the 1913 event with four-speed gearboxes, and engine power increased from 60 to 75 bhp (56 kW) by an increase in compression ratio and larger carburettor. The team gained six awards including the Archduke Leopold Cup. Replicas of the victorious cars were put into production and sold officially as Continental models, but they were called Alpine Eagles by chief test driver (and later Rolls-Royce Managing Director) Ernest Hives, and this is the name that they have kept.
James Radley Alpine Eagle' Silver Ghost
The Silver Ghost
In 1907. Claude Johnson, Commercial and Managing Director of Rolls-Royce, ordered a car to be used as a demonstrator by the company. With chassis no. 60551 and registered AX 201, it was the 12th 40/50 hp to be made, and was painted in aluminium paint with silver-plated fittings. The car was named the "Silver Ghost" to emphasise its ghost-like quietness, and a plaque bearing this name adorned the bulkhead. An open-top Roi-des-Belges body by coachbuilder Barker was fitted, and the car readied for the Scottish reliability trials of 1907 and, immediately afterwards, another 15,000-mile (24,000 km) test which included driving between London and Glasgow 27 times.
The aim was to raise public awareness of the new company and to show the reliability and quietness of their new car. This was a risky idea: cars of this time were notoriously unreliable, and roads of the day could be horrendous. Nevertheless, the car set off on trials, and with press aboard, broke record upon record. Even after 7,000 miles (11,000 km), the cost to service the car was a negligible £2 2s 7d (£2.13). The reputation of the 40/50, and Rolls-Royce, was established.
AX201 was sold in 1908 to a private customer who used it for his annual vacation to Italy and recovered by the company in 1948. Since then, it has been used as a publicity car and travelled worldwide. In 1989, the car was restored by SC Gordon Coachbuilders Luton, and P&A Wood, London, UK. It is now owned by Bentley Motors.
In 1984, the car was photographed in great detail whilst in storage in Luton by precision model makers Franklin Mint. This die-cast model went on to become one of their best-selling products.
The Silver Ghost is considered the most valuable car in the world; in 2005 its insured value was placed at US$35 million. Today it is valued at US$200 million
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Technical details and specifications (1906-1926)
ENGINE: Bore: 1 14.5 mm. Stroke: 120.7 mm. Swept Volume: 7,434 c.c. 7.036 cc (original) Cylinders: 6 in line. Cast in two blocks of three. Carburettors 1 Rolls. Side valve Ignition Trembler coil and magneto
SUSPENSION: (front) Semi-elliptic (rear) Platform rear spring suspension
CHASSIS: Unconventional Radiator and Engine mounting within the chassis
BRAKES: Footbrake, external contracting type on prop-shaft. Hand-brake, internal in brake drums Transmission and rear wheels only until 1923 when four wheel brakes were fitted.
PERFORMACE: Max. B.H.P. 48 (rated) Top speed 60 m.p. h.
TRANSMISSION: Clutch Cone type Gearbox 4 speed and reverse top o'drive overdrive top gear giving overall ratios of Top 2.7, 3rd 4.2, 2nd 5.9 and 1st 8.5 to l. Fina/ Drive Spiral bevel
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT: Length 180 ins Width 72 ins Wheelbase 135 ins Height Various Weight Chassis only 18 1/2 cwt Tank capacity 13 galls
WHEELS TYRES: Tyre size 895 X 150
ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT: 12 volt.
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Six-cylinder in-line engine, 7428 cc (453 cu.in.), 40/50 HP (48.6 R.A.C.), HP to WT Ratio: 88.85
About the 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer
The Silver Ghost was, with the Model T Ford, the longest-lived and most famous automobile of its era. Approximately 8,000 – including military staff cars and armor-plated versions – were built between 1907 and 1926. Its mascot name was “The Spirit of Ecstasy”. (Meanwhile Henry Ford was producing over 16,000,000 Tin Lizzies). In 1913 the Colonial model Silver Ghost chassis was developed for sale in India. The display car has a four-passenger tourer body by Kellner of Paris.
The partnership between the Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls, third son of Lord Llangattock, and Frederick Henry Royce, a working class manufacturer from Manchester, had begun in 1904. Royce was the engineer, Rolls the enthusiast. In 1907, their new 40/50 model received its more popular designation after a tourer painted silver was driven 15,000 miles and then dismantled under Royal Automobile Club (R.A.C.) supervision. All parts were inspected and reported in “as-new” condition. A motoring correspondent declared the 40/50 the “best car in the world,” which the Messrs. Rolls and Royce thought was a fine slogan. It was on the Silver Ghost that the famous “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot was introduced as well.
There was nothing really extraordinary about a Silver Ghost, but everything in it was extraordinarily well built. “A triumph of workmanship over design” was one critic’s summation. That a Silver Ghost would never wear out and that its engine was inaudible are legends only slightly exaggerated.
Then as now, quoting horsepower figures was regarded as odious by Rolls-Royce. A top speed of 80+ mph was possible in a Ghost like this one. In 1914 the New York price for a Silver Ghost chassis was $7,000. Said Rolls-Royce: “The quality will remain long after the price is forgotten”.
Acquired from the collection of Briggs Cunningham.
Photos – Peter Harholdt
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The return of AX201, the original Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Words: Nathan Hughes | Photography: Tim Scott
The Rolls-Royce 40/50 chassis and engine had many names and roles – it even formed the basis of a range of armoured cars. However, when The Autocar called it “the best car in the world” and coined the phrase Silver Ghost, a legend was born – the car you see before you.
Chassis 60551 was the 12th 40/50 off the line, and it was destined to be a company demonstrator. Registered as AX 201, it was given a Roi-des-Belges body by Barker, and finished in aluminium paint. At a time when most cars were as noisy as they were unreliable, the model’s distinctive looks and relative serenity in motion lent it the Silver Ghost name. The car would break record after record, one of which included driving between London and Pitlochry 27 times over a distance of 15,000 miles. Such reliable service provided the marketing backbone for the then-new Rolls-Royce Motor Company, rightfully earning that “best car in the world” title – one that is still used by the marque today.
Following a year of arduous testing, AX 201 was sold to Daniel Hanbury, the second son of Sir Thomas Hanbury. Upon Daniel’s death in 1945, the car was bequeathed to his son-in-law, Air Marshal Sir Alec Coryton, who subsequently part-exchanged it with Rolls-Royce for a 1939 Bentley MkV HJ Mulliner saloon.
After a three-year restoration between 1948 and 1951, AX 201 entered service as a promotional tool, travelling around the world. In 1984 Franklin Mint took extensive photographs of the car while it was in storage, and produced a die-cast model that went on to become one of the firm’s best sellers.
By 1989 restoration was in order, a process that took a year and culminated in the car’s participation in the 1990 Silver Ghost Charity Tour between John o’Groats and Land’s End. Further restoration was undertaken in 1991 by SC Gordon Coachbuilders Luton and P & A Wood.
With Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd being sold in 1998, AX 201 ended up in the stewardship of Bentley Motors as part of the purchase of the Crewe Works by the Volkswagen Automotive Group. In late December 2019, AX 201 was purchased from Bentley and entered into private UK hands. It appears at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court, UK, September 3-5, 2021 – the first time it’s been seen in public for over 20 years.
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Lenin’s Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
Vladimir lenin, the leader of the russian revolution loved big, fancy, expensive, foreign cars, vladimir lenin, the leader of the bolsheviks and champion of the working class did harbour some upper class traits which are not common knowledge, and one of those was a liking for big expensive cars – and houses. , there are many stories about the number that he possessed during his short time as leader, but it appears that he did own a number of american buicks, as well as at least three rolls royces so how did he come to acquire them, the first vehicles came into the hands of bolsheviks after confiscating the property of the romanov family. along came 40 vehicles, including luxury cars, some of which were appropriated by lenin for his own personal use., he then began to enjoy the good life just like the tsars as illustrated by this photo taken at the may day red army parade in moscow 1918, in late 1918 lenin was shot twice in an assassination attempt, and in the next few years he developed a number of serious health issues which meant that he spent less and less time in moscow at the heart of the new communist government. from 1920 he spent much of his time at his gorki mansion just outside moscow – another acquisition from the russian nobility, lenin’s unique roll’s-royce silver ghost was actually purchased on 11 july 1922 from london. it cost £1,850, acquired for a 15 % discount as a side deal of a secret bomber planes engines deal that the young russian government had with rolls-royce. that fact alone is amazing revolutions come and go, but business continues as normal., once the car was purchased, lenin then set about having it modified for use in the harsh russian winters, and he turned to adolphe kegresse, tsar nicholas ii’s personal driver. kegresse was a brilliant french military engineer and inventor of the half-track and dual clutch transmissions., russian workers manufactured the newly designed caterpillar tracks and skis and attached them to the car, which lenin used to travel to and from the moscow kremlin from his gorki mansion. and kegresse became lenin’s driver. truth is stranger than fiction, today lenin’s rolls royce silver ghost is housed at the gorki mansion which is a museum of lenin’s many interesting possessions. it can be visited on a tour entitled russian highlights which is offered by the russian travel centre, sydney. or if you book your moscow stopover with them, they can arrange a personal tour from moscow to gorki with your own driver and guide – and it won’t cost a fortune. contact [email protected]. , want to keep up to date with all the information and blogs that i have posted each month want to make sure you don’t miss out on any important travel information want to hear/see me unravel travel for you, then sign up for my free monthly newsletter. no waffle, no hard sell – just short and sweet and to the point look to the bottom of the page for the sign-up form. sign up now and your details are totally confidential., leave a reply, leave a reply cancel reply.
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The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Was One Of The Most Expensive Cars Ever Made
Here’s a closer look at this incredible Rolls-Royce and its timeless value.
The Silver Ghost is arguably one of the most pivotal cars in the history of Rolls-Royce. Not only was it an elegant example of engineering, but it would spark the automaker’s long-standing tradition of creating luxurious automobiles . Produced from 1907 to 1926, the Silver Ghost was incredibly advanced for its time.
In addition to its exquisite styling, it featured an engine that stood the test of time. It boasted an MSRP that surpassed the average income of the time by at least ten-fold. Due to its heritage and the rarity of well-preserved models, immaculate Silver Ghost models have sold for staggering prices in modern times. Here’s a closer look at this incredible Rolls-Royce and its timeless value.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Emerged In The Early 1900s
The original concept for the Silver Ghost made its debut at the 1906 Olympia Show. The Olympia Motor Show was essentially the early-1900s version of a modern international auto show, featuring ideas from each individual manufacturer.
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Production commenced at the Manchester, U.K. Rolls-Royce plant. It would eventually expand to include Springfield, MA, and Derby, U.K. Over its lifetime, around 8,000 examples would be produced.
Construction Of The Car Was Accompanied By Significant Costs
The 1906 model included a 7.0L engine. The first Silver Ghost was referred to as the “40/50” due to its horsepower rating. The inline-six-cylinder engine was 453ci and had horsepower to weight ratio of about 88.85.
At the time, the chassis alone was worth a staggering $11,750; In today’s economy, this figure would be around $150,000. Between 1907 and 1926, the overall weight of the Silver Ghost chassis was around 2,050 to 2,200 pounds. Leaf springs were used in the front and rear.
Over time, the Silver Ghost would become capable of 80 horsepower at 2250rpm. The gearbox was updated throughout the years, and improved engine dampers kept vibrations to a minimum. In 1913, a cantilever rear suspension was added.
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The Silver Ghost Remains A Highly Valued Collectible
In 1907, the Silver Ghost was subjected to an endurance run, a “reliability trial” of 15,000 miles. Over the trial, all components on the Silver Ghost remained intact and functional. With its success, it gained respect as one of the most robust cars available at the time.
The Silver Ghost gained a solid reputation; Cars made by the company were said to have “no glaring weaknesses and, given regular maintenance and lubrication, has nearly unlimited life”, according to Paul Woudenberg .
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Certain Silver Ghosts were commissioned for use on the battlefield in the early 1900s. Interestingly enough, their reliability, combined with a specially outfitted armor-plated chassis, made them a useful companion even in battle-ridden landscapes. Collectors have commented on their coveted status; “The Silver Ghost armored vehicle was state of the art and very well made…Any collector would like to get their hands on one because they’re unique", said Dennis Ambruso.
Considering the Silver Ghost’s timeless value, it is no surprise that some have sold for staggering prices. In 2019, an example was sold for $75,000,000 ; Its status as one of the most expensive cars of all time has continued into modern times when it remains one of the most stunning examples of automotive engineering.
SOURCES: Dyler, Interesting Engineering, History Net, Rolls-Royce
NEXT: 10 Most Expensive Cars Sold At Auctions In 2020
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
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The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost name refers both to a car model and one specific car from that series. Originally named the " 40/50 h.p. " the chassis was first made at Royce's Manchester works, with production moving to Derby in July 1908, and also, between 1921 and 1926, in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA . Chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201 , was the car that was originally given the name "Silver Ghost". Other 40/50 hp cars were also given names, but the Silver Ghost title was taken up by the press, and soon all 40/50s were called by the name, a fact not officially recognised by Rolls-Royce until 1925, when the Phantom range was launched.
The Silver Ghost was the origin of Rolls-Royce's claim of making the "best car in the world" – a phrase coined not by themselves, but by the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907. [ citation needed ] The chassis and engine were also used as the basis of a range of Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars . In December of 1923, four friends of Woodrow Wilson chipped in to buy the former president a Silver Ghost, just weeks before Wilson's death in February of 1924. The car was modified so that Wilson, who was disabled, could enter and exit the car more easily.
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FRANKLIN MINT - ROLLS ROYCE - SILVER GHOST 1921
In the 10s of the 20th century, the Rolls-Royce range was significantly simplified to virtually one model, the 40/50, which would later become the Silver Ghost. After World War I, the 40/50 Silver Ghost went into production, with a 7410cc inline 6-cylinder engine. Many coachbuilders designed beautiful configurations for this car, which remained in production until 1925, when it was replaced by the first generation of the Phantom.
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10 Best Rolls-Royce Cars Ever Produced
Posted: January 13, 2023 | Last updated: November 1, 2023
Businessman Charles Rolls and engineer Henry Royce founded Rolls-Royce at the beginning of the 20th century , and the company swiftly earned a reputation for excellence in engineering and production both in Britain and overseas. Since it was founded, Rolls-Royce has produced high-caliber vehicles that command attention. Rolls-Royce is one of the ultimate status symbols because so few other automakers can make that claim. Rarely do we encounter an organization this ancient that not only instantly recognizes who it is, but also knows that the caliber of its output has not deteriorated in the slightest.
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow (1965-1980)
For Rolls-Royce, the Silver Shadow marked a turning point in both design and production. It was smaller and more angular than the more conventionally attractive Silver Cloud and the first Rolls-Royce with unibody construction. The 200 horsepower V-8 Silver Shadow had the best handling of any preceding Rolls, but it was also quicker, lighter, and more powerful. The Silver Shadow is the company's signature vehicle, therefore it comes as no surprise that it is the most prevalent Rolls-Royce on our roads today despite the company's more contemporary-looking vehicles of today.
Rolls-Royce Corniche (1971-1995)
The Rolls-Royce Corniche exudes sophistication, performs effortlessly, and has more than enough room for lounging . It looks great in all fashionable settings. The Mulliner Park Ward subsidiary of Rolls-Royce used the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow's two-door model as a design influence when creating the Corniche. Although it was old-school manufacturing, this historic car had cutting-edge innovations that were unusual for the time. The Corniche's exterior was exquisite and intricately crafted. The Corniche had a classy appearance thanks to the gorgeous paint and chrome work.
Related: 10 Fun Facts About The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II
Rolls-Royce Twenty (1922-1929)
The Twenty is nothing less than a work of art, and it has one of the most exquisite looks of them yet. The Twenty's design and grace have endured as the definitive aesthetic of driving during the Roaring Twenties , despite the fact that it was smaller and less expensive than the Silver Ghost and the Phantom I. The Twenty was actually the smallest vehicle Rolls-Royce ever produced, and it was the first Rolls-Royce intended for owner-only use without a chauffeur.
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1907-1926)
The six-cylinder Silver Ghost established the company's one-model strategy after Rolls-first Royce's few vehicles, and it was coveted by the affluent and famous. The Silver Ghost made a significant contribution to Rolls-Royce's reputation for performance as well as luxury comfort. The Silver Ghost is regarded by many as one of Rolls-Royce's best-ever creations. The new Ghost is one of the few vehicles that makes motorized forward motion into an artistic experience.
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Rolls-Royce Phantom (2003-Present)
The Phantom looks different from the previous generation from the outside. It's still enormous and intimidating, but it's a little less ferocious now. Additionally, in an effort to increase efficiency, it is lighter than its predecessor. The Rolls-Royce Phantom may be too flashy or simply too enormous for some luxury automobile purchasers, but most simply cannot afford one . If you can get past all of those obstacles, though, you're in for a treat since this extraordinary Rolls-Royce flagship has no equal in terms of luxury, unparalleled ride comfort, or quiet refinement.
Rolls-Royce Phantom III (1936-1939)
The Phantom III was the most advanced and potent Rolls-Royce before World War I , boasting cutting-edge engineering and a commanding appearance. Up to the 1998 release of the Silver Seraph, the Phantom III was the first and only 12-cylinder Rolls-Royce. The 7.3-liter engine had a double ignition system, two spark plugs for each cylinder, two fuel pumps, aluminum heads, and wet liners. Despite its size, the Phantom III operated in almost complete silence and was fairly quick. The Phantom III, like its illustrious forerunner the Silver Ghost, was capable of achieving speeds of about 100 miles per hour, an astounding performance for any automobile of the time.
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Rolls-Royce 25/30 H.P. (1936-1938)
The 25/30 horsepower Rolls-Royce, introduced in the spring of 1936 , was initially proposed as a model to be produced alongside the 20/25 horsepower. It quickly found a market among individuals who valued the brand's grandeur and top-notch engineering but possibly did not require the Phantom models' higher performance. In movies like the original 1978 version of "Death on the Nile," the 25/30 is regarded as a classic vehicle from the Depression Era and is used to symbolize the opulent luxury automobiles of the time.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan (2018-Present)
The Cullinan, which is named after the biggest diamond in the world, aims to be the pinnacle of luxury SUV motoring. The Cullinan benefits from Rolls-unwavering Royce's commitment to hand-built attention to detail, material quality, refinement, and comfort; although it rides slightly higher than a Phantom or Ghost, it still has that signature Rolls-Royce feel. The Cullinan provides a satisfying driving experience while riding completely on sophisticated air suspension and is targeted at owners who are more likely to drive than regular Rolls-Royce customers. It has a crisper feel than the Phantom, tighter body control, and remarkable agility for its bulk.
Related: The Most Expensive Cars In The World
Rolls-Royce Sweptail (2017)
There is nothing that can make overly cool gearheads into starry-eyed, slack-jawed kiddies like an exquisite one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce. The one-of-a-kind 2017 Sweptail coupe, which was inspired by racing yachts, has a panoramic glass roof and the biggest Pantheon grille of any contemporary Rolls-Royce , which was machined from solid aluminum and hand polished to a mirror brilliance. According to the carmaker, the exquisitely polished and simple interior "equates elegance with simplicity." It has unusual features including an illuminated glass rim around the baggage shelf, a whole set of Rolls-Royce Bespoke luggage, and button-activated matching dual attaché bags.
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (1947-1959)
The Silver Wraith was a particularly remarkable vehicle for more reasons than just the fact that it was the company's first automobile following World War II. The performance was improved, but the improvements were concealed by the exquisite physique, making them invisible to human sight. Both the upgraded coil and wishbone independent front suspension and the 4,257cc overhead-inlet, side-exhaust engine created prior to the war were employed.
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VW Cuts ID Prices In Europe And Introduces New Entry-Level Versions
In some markets, VW has reduced prices to ensure its ID models are eligible for government incentives
by Brad Anderson
VW is cutting prices on its ID range of battery-electric vehicles in certain countries across Europe, including France, Belgium, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.
The changes are a move to boost sales and are introduced despite VW previously stating that it would not participate in the price-cutting ways initiated by Tesla at the start of last year. Speaking with Auto News , the firm said the price changes “will enable us to achieve our ambitious business goals.”
Thanks to the new price cuts, almost all versions of the ID.3, ID.4 , and ID.5 are now eligible for a government EV incentive valued at between €5,000 and €7,000 (~$5,400 – ~$7,600) in France. The carmaker has also introduced new ID and Life Max trim levels which, in the case of the ID.3, means the entry model now starts at $43,812 (39,990 euros) as opposed to $47,067 (42,990 euros) of the previous base ID.3. In the case of the ID.4, it is now available from $48,194 (43,990 euros) while the ID.5 starts at $55,326 (50,500 euros). VW adds that the new ID.5 Life Max model starts from $56,384 (51,500 euros), or about $8,800 (8,000 euros) less than the roughly equivalent 2023 Pro Performance model, while offering more equipment as standard.
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Read: 2024 VW ID.4 And ID.5 Get Power, Range, And Tech Boost In Europe
Similar changes have been made in Norway . For example, the ID.3 now starts at $34,500 (358,000 Norwegian Krona), having previously started at over $48,000. The starting price of the ID.4 has also been reduced to $39,800 (413,000 Norwegian Krona). In Italy, VW has introduced Pro Edition Plus versions of the ID.3, ID.4, and ID.5 that cost $1,095 more than the old Pro versions but come with $10,733 worth of extra standard equipment.
Changes have also been made in Belgium and Sweden. In the former, the ID.3 and ID.4 now start at $43,797 and $43,424 respectively to make them eligible for an EV bonus of $5,476 in the Flanders region. New entry-level versions of the brand’s ID models have also been introduced in Sweden.
Customers in VW’s home market will also be pleased to know that VW is funding EV subsidies that were recently axed by the federal government. The VW ID.3 is now priced at around $43,800 (39,995 euros) in Germany.
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Rolls-royce ghost named best luxury car at 2012 moscow international motor show.
by Alison Cavatore
The Rolls-Royce Ghost was name Best Luxury Car at the 2012 edition of the Moscow International Motor Show. Given based on the votes of 150 journalists, the award was received by Rolls-Royce’s manager of sales operations for Europe and South Africa, Will Gellatly.
The demand for Rolls-Royce vehicles in Russia has risen steadily over the past few years. Sales more than doubled in 2011 over 2010 and the British company recently opened a second dealership in Moscow, a city that hosts the most billionaire residents globally.
The award came as Rolls-Royce made its debut at the Moscow Motor Show. James Crichton, Regional Director Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for Europe and South Africa said, “We are delighted to receive this prestigious accolade for Ghost. … I am thrilled that our Ghost, the Phantom Coupé and the Russian debut of Phantom Series II have been so warmly received. Rolls-Royce represents luxury like no other brand and our Russian clients appreciate that cars carrying the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figure represent the pinnacle of luxury, the ultimate in refinement and the embodiment of success.”
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars offers six models: Ghost, Ghost Extended Wheelbase, Phantom, Phantom Extended Wheelbase, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé. The company currently has 92 dealers around the world and 17 showrooms in Continental Europe.
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Mazda3s arrive in Moscow after epic Cross-Continental Drive
Alvin Lee September 3, 2013 Car Events , News 580 Views
The 2013 Mazda3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenge Tour has rolled into Moscow after 12,500 kilometres and 25 days on the road.
Departing from Vladivostok on August 2, the eight All-New Mazda3 hatchbacks involved in the 15,000 odyssey have braved the harsh road conditions across Russia, navigated their way through Siberia and dealt with changeable weather.
The 2013 Mazda3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger Tour is an epic seven stage journey across two continents, five countries and through over 30 cities and is modelled on long-distance Mazda drives held in 1977 and 1990.
The convoy completed the 2,130 kilometre fifth stage and arrived in Tyumen on August 28. With the suspension damage the only serious issue faced so far, there was almost a close encounter of the smokey kind when a jerry-can suffered a 20-litre leak in a car driven by a heavy-smoking Russian journalist. After a quick clean-up danger was averted; however the strong smell of leaked fuel saw the car being driven with all four windows down and hatch up.
The 2,452 kilometre sixth stage left Tyumen, made its way over the Ural mountains – the mineral rich geographical border between Asia and what’s considered Europe – to Kungur, through Ufa, Kazeb, Nizhny Nogorod and onto the busy streets of Moscow.
Having crossed the great divide into ‘European’ Russia, the convoy of Mazda3s were escorted into Ufa – a historic town built on the orders of Ivan the Terrible – by the local Mazda car club where they received a hearty welcome.
Continuing on, the convoy headed further west through Russia’s Volga region, an area known for its oil fields. Russia is still one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of oil and the abundance of refineries scaring the landscape back this up.
With the worst of Russia’s road conditions behind them, the convoy endured a challenge not experienced on the trip so far – traffic congestion.
Only having to drive 400 kilometres on the last day of the stage, locals warned that it could take over three hours to drive a mere five kilometres in Moscow.
The millions of cars jostling for space on Moscow’s roads made the going slow and hairy at times, but the driving was made easier by the Mazda3’s Blind Spot Monitoring and Smart City Brake Support system.
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1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
In its first few years of production, the Silver Ghost was the best touring car in the world. The very first example, #60551 bodied by Barker Roi de Belges, is the most valuble car in the world. Built in 1906 before regular prodution began, it finished some very public durability tests which set the standard for all Rolls-Royces that followed.
Auction Sales History
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine by Hamshaw 2BD – sold for $506,000 “The Hamshaw”; delivered to the U.S. for Alicia du Pont. Formerly of the Atwater Kent, Cohn, and Solove collections. Recent extensive mechanical freshening by Steve Litton. Completed the month-long 2014 Silver Ghost Association tour of Tasmania and Australia. An important, respected, and pure Edwardian Silver Ghost. Auction Source: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015
1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Cabriolet 61NE – sold for €149,500 On 15th September 1959 the Silver Ghost was purchased by the vendor’s grandfather, imported into Switzerland and restored, in the course of which the rear part of the cabriolet body was reconstructed (the body forward of the doors and all the mudguards are original). The body was painted and lined by hand, and the rebuild completed in April 1962. In 1992 the engine was overhauled, since when only some 4,000-5,000 kilometres have been covered, while the convertible top was renewed in 1998. Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Windovers 32SGCabriolet – sold for €120,750 In 1979 the Rolls-Royce was restored again and reunited with its original Windovers cabriolet body by Paul Bachmann Frederica, passing in 1990 to Jorgen Hansen and thence to the current vendor in 2014. Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp silver Ghost Wilkinson Roi-Des-Belges Tourer 2617 – sold for $693,000 The Hordern Ghost – Previously owned by Richard C. Paine Jr. and John Mozart. Well-documented example of the epic Silver Ghost. Sporting Roi-de-Belges Tourer style coachwork *Matching numbers drivetrain. Great Silver Ghost for tours and driving events. Offered with extensive history file. Auction Source: 2014 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Holmes Tourer 23ED – sold for $660,000 The car shown here, a genuine London-Edinburgh chassis, was ordered by the British Admiralty on February 21, 1915, and it was delivered on April 28. Silver Ghosts were frequently used by His Majesty’s forces during World War I as staff cars, supply vehicles and, when appropriately clad, armored cars. Chassis 23ED was eventually shipped to the United States through importer R.W. Schuette. It was discovered by prominent Ohio collector and Rolls-Royce enthusiast Joe Loecy in the 1970s, and it remained in the same family for over 30 years.
Auction Source: 2013 Monterey Auction by RM Auctions
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Holmes London-Edinburgh Tourer 23ED – sold for $660,000 A restoration was planned over the years, and appropriate replacements for missing parts were found or remanufactured to exacting original specifications. In particular, the London-Edinburgh Tourer body, in the correct original design and style created by Holmes, of Derby, was supplied by the British coachbuilders Crailville Ltd., of Southall, Middlesex. Established in 1975, Crailville Ltd. specializes in the construction of period-correct bodies for classic cars, as well as the design and fabricating of custom coachwork for modern automobiles.
1921 Rolls-Royce 45/50hp Silver Ghost Robinson Drophead Coupé 9AG – sold for €156,000 An extensive restoration was undertaken during Mr Wills’ 18-year ownership, which included a complete strip-down to the bare chassis prior to rebuilding the car. According to notes on file from Mr Wills, the engine was completely stripped and rebuilt by marque specialist Jonathan Harley while the gearbox was overhauled by Brunts of Silverdale. In addition, the brakes were relined and the brake actuating rods re-metalled and re-bushed by Coventry Boring. New two-seater sports coachwork was constructed by noted Rolls-Royce and Bentley coachbuilder, Tony Robinson, and the car was re-trimmed by MM Trimming using blue Connolly hide and a new mohair hood.
Auction Source: 2012 Goodwood Revival Sale by Bonhams
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Limousine 2BD – sold for $561,000 One of approximately five Rolls-Royces bodied by H.A. Hamshaw Ltd. Ex-duPont family, A. Atwater Kent Jr., and Richard Solove. Original chassis, engine, and coachwork. Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn. Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost “London to Edinburgh” Open Tourer 2517 -sold for €357,280 o day the Silver Ghost is finished in a period-appropriate green with black fenders and undercarriage, and the interior is trimmed in complementary tan leather with varnished wood trim. Nickel brightwork adorns the exterior as well as five plated wire wheels, which enhance the car’s sporting appearance. While the undercarriage is nice and shows little evidence of use, 2517 is an older restoration that has developed a lovely patina. Considered by collectors to be one the most sought-after of all Silver Ghost models, this magnificent Edwardian tourer will make a most spectacular addition to any collection of early automobiles.
Auction Source: 2011 London Auction by RM
1907 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine 547 – sold for €324,800 The oldest known Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Silver Ghost. Built for Arthur H. Briggs, founding director of Rolls-Royce. Originally by Rippon Brothers, the oldest coachbuilder in England. Restoration covered in September/October 1992 issue of The Flying Lady. Winner of Charles A. Chayne Memorial Trophy at Pebble Beach.
When Rolls-Royce expert Martin Johnson found the car in 1986 in Derbyshire, it comprised a frame, rear axle, wheels, transmission and various other parts and required restoration to be returned to its former glory. Johnson sold it to Silver Ghost aficionado Jonathan Harley, who sent it on to American collector James Leake in Muskogee, Oklahoma before it went to noted Rolls-Royce enthusiast and collector Millard Newman, who persuaded Jonathan Harley to continue his investigation into 60547’s past. Ultimately, its origins were confirmed, and Newman had the stroke of luck to track down the engine from the immediately preceding car, number 546, in New Zealand and also turned up a period-correct Rippon Brothers limousine body in upstate New York.
1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Ceremonial Victoria 1683 – sold for €559,000 Over the course of the last Century, #1683 has been cherished and prized throughout its life. Among numerous pictorial references, it is featured in the Lawrence Dalton book ‘Those Elegant Rolls Royce’ and was immortalised in the Melbourne Brindle/Phil May book Twenty Silver Ghosts where it is illustrated with the Taj Mahal as its backdrop. Its mileage is thought to have been extremely modest in its Indian service, perhaps less than 10,000 and the succession of noted Silver Ghost collectors who have owned it have ensured that its condition has remained appropriately fine. There is no greater statement of this than the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Class win that it achieved at the 1995 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, following a refurbishment at the hands of noted specialist David Hemmings, although its condition has aged just a little since. Its engine, number 91K is actually the unit originally fitted to one of the Maharajah of Mysore’s other Silver Ghosts and must have been exchanged at some point during its service.
Auction Source: 2011 Goodwood Revival Sale by Bonhams
1908 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Roi-des-Belges Recreation – sold for €647,000 Mr. Wilson elected to restore the car faithfully to 1908 Silver Ghost configuration, no easy task since this year’s derivative of ‘Ghost had a number of features abandoned on later cars. The engine was mounted in an accurate replica 1908 frame with three-quarter elliptic springs, and a ‘dropped’ front axle was forged, a period gearbox was configured to the four speed specification with overdrive on the top gear, a feature dispensed with in 1909. Complementing and completing the restoration was the Labourdette coachwork which they were able to source. Believed originally fitted to a Mercedes of this same era, the bodywork like the running gear was a style fashionable for a brief time, of the style favored by the Belgian Royalty with individual front seats, and naturally named as ‘Roi-des-Belges’ coachwork. Within a few years individual seats and shapely curved bodywork would give way to less elegant flat paneled, simpler coachwork. Period accessories and detail features would top off this exhausting process. As can be seen today, the restoration was a phenomenal achievement, the car being both extremely elegant and exacting in its detail.
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Wilkinson & Sons Balloon Car 1513 – sold for $484,000 Charles Rolls’ original balloon car was lost many years ago. A number of replicas have been built over the years – some accurate, some not. This one, however, is one of two built under the aegis of the late Rolls-Royce aficionado Millard Newman. One was apparently for the famed Harrah Collection, while Newman kept this one for himself. Eventually he sold it to Friendly Ice Cream co-founder S. Prestley Blake, one of the early collectors of prestige antique and classic cars. Blake kept it until 1991, when he sold it to fellow Rolls-Royce enthusiast Richard Solove, from whose estate it is offered today.
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Harley Tourer – did not sell for $700,000 Around 1970, 2517 was discovered languish- ing on an unprotected porch, having been im- pounded in Calcutta some seven years before. Though the timbers of the coachwork had given in to time and the elements, the Ghost was found to be basically sound. Following its purchase, the car was brought back to England. Upon its arrival in the UK, 2517 was purchased in its unrestored state by respected Rolls-Royce enthusiast Charles Howard and was then entrusted to the workshop of master Silver Ghost restorer Jonathan Harley for a full concours-level restoration. As the time outdoors in India had taken its toll, new coachwork was constructed using the spectacular sporting original as a basis for measurement at the same time as the chassis was being restored. Over a period of four years, the car was brought back to its former splendor, the beautifully curved panels of the Torpedo body were finished in an appropriate period green, accented by black fenders. The gleaming Edwardian nickel-plated hardware turns the sporting Tourer into an elegant and regal machine and, overall, the car is nothing short of spectacular. Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Limousine 2BD – did not sell for €440,000 Offered from the Estate of John M. O’Quinn. One of about five Rolls-Royces bodied by H.A. Hamshaw, Ltd. Ex-du Pont family, A. Atwater Kent, Jr.; later part of Richard Solove collection. Original configuration – chassis, running gear and coachwork. Auction Source: RM 2011 Villa d’Este Auction
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost – sold for €125,027 A wonderful recreation of the London to Edinburgh tourer. Owned by a succession of distinguished caretakers. One of just six P-Series, RG 40/50 HP chassis in existence.
The 1922 40/50 HP London-to-Edinburgh Replica was built by I. Wilkinson & Son of Derby in 1975 for the Antique Automobiles Company. It was once incorrectly ascribed the chassis number 2513 and was the subject of a High Court action reported in The Times on 22 July, 1991, in which it was stated, “Jonathan Harley, the leading authority on vintage Rolls-Royces, who reported the 1922 origin and uncovered the original chassis number.” This was identified as 35 RG. A further report appeared on 6 November, 1991, as well as an article in the Evening Standard on 11 November, 1991.
Auction Source: 2010 Automobiles of London by RM Auctions
Auction Source: RM Auctions’ 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey
1920 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Silver Ghost Coupé de Ville by Mulbacher 24AE – sold for €130,000 Delivered to France in chassis form, 24AE was consigned to Mulbacher et Fils of Puteaux, Hauts de Seine for a coupé de ville body, the only one of its type to emanate from those workshops. The original carriage shops were established in the rue de Varenne in Paris in 1780 by the Mühlbacher family from western Germany. Their first automobile body was a huge mail coach on a steam carriage of Amédée Bollée in 1885 for the Marquis de Broc. Mulbacher continued to serve the carriage trade in the automobile era up until the Great War. Thereafter, their clientele tended more toward celebrities and sports heroes. Chassis were typically Panhard, Voisin, Farman, Isotta-Frachini and the like. Few and far between were Mulbacher commissions on Rolls-Royce.
When completed by Mulbacher, the car was delivered to Jean Patrick Hennessy, a French politician and scion of the cognac family. Hennessy, who was left a considerable fortune by his father, was elected a deputy of the Department of Charente in western France. A member of the Cartel des gauches, he was considered a progressive and founded the Parti Social-National in 1933. The car is later reported to have been in the care of the Baron de Rothschild, but this is not documented.
It is currently in very nice condition, with a lovely patina evident. The black velvet fabric interior of the rear compartment appears original, as does the wood, which has been entirely restored. The body fittings, including the rear doors, are in good condition. The engine has been restored and runs very smoothly, and while the compartment is clean, it has not been detailed. It has been fitted with front-wheel brakes for better operation on the road, an upgrade not uncommon after Rolls-Royce adopted four-wheel braking.
Entirely usable in its current condition, including good paint that has been partly redone, this car could benefit from very little selective upgrading in order to attain high-point status. A rare example of a French-bodied Rolls-Royce from a little-known coachbuilder, it is, in a word, nonpareil.
Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer by Holbrook Torpedo Tourer 79JH – sold for €115,000 Rolls-Royce historian John Webb de Campi details that 79JH was bodied in the Pall Mall style by Holbrook of Hudson, New York. The first owner is listed as R.M. Butt of New London, Connecticut on 26th December 1923. In fact, the car was used only by his wife, Minnie Havemeyer Butt, because Robert McCoskry Butt, a Brigadier General in the New York National Guard, had died in 1921. Their New London home, “Rockacres” in the fashionable Pequot Colony, was a summer residence.
Like many early Rolls-Royces, this one has seen modernisation over the years. The original horizontal radiator shutters have been replaced by the post-1926 vertical type, along with the later tubular bumpers, and the wheels are of a slightly later style. The dark blue body exhibits a deep shine, as do the black wings. The brightwork is all in good condition, and the interior is nicely upholstered in tan leather. In 2004, Mr. Zach had a rear-mounted walnut trunk built, which complements the walnut fold-down hardware compartment behind the front seats. A nice example of the early Springfield Silver Ghost, it typifies the tastes of the well-to-do in the 1920s.
1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer 23ED – sold for $368,500 hassis 23ED was ordered by the British Admiralty on February 21, 1915 and delivered on April 28. Silver Ghosts were frequently used by His Majesty’s forces during World War I as staff cars, supply vehicles and, when appropriately clad, as armored cars – and consequently few retain their original coachwork today. 23ED was eventually shipped to the United States and was discovered by Joe Loecy, a prominent Ohio collector and Rolls-Royce enthusiast in the 1970s. It has remained in the same family ever since.
A restoration was planned over the years, and appropriate replacements for missing parts were found or fabricated. The London-Edinburgh tourer body was supplied by British coachbuilders Crailville, Ltd. of Southall, Middlesex and shipped to America for installation.
Founded in June 1975 as Crailville Motors, Crailville, Ltd. specializes in construction of correct period bodies for classic cars and the design and fabrication of modern custom coachwork for contemporary automobiles. Complete restorations of cars are also undertaken. The first of very few restorers accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen, Crailville, Ltd. has produced bodies and restorations that have won awards from Rolls-Royce clubs, as well as both the Louis Vuitton and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The full restoration of 23ED began in earnest three years ago. The car was subjected to a complete mechanical rebuild, including engine, transmission, axles and chassis. A new stainless steel exhaust system has been fitted, as well as an electronic overdrive for effortless touring. Many components from the original chassis and driveline were lost or used for other projects over the years, but correct replacements, even if by number not originally delivered with the car, were located, numbered and dated correctly for the car, restored and installed. The end result is that the finished product is as close to the appearance of the original as possible – with flawless detailing and stunning beauty.
The body, in the close-coupled London-Edinburgh style, has the delightful flying wings of its famous progenitor. It is finished in archetypal silver, nicely contrasted with the leather interior. A handsome canvas top is fitted for motoring on inclement days.
Appropriate accessories include an Elliott speedometer, mirrors and electric side- and headlamps. Everything is exquisitely detailed, and the car is road-tested and ready to show or tour. Fresh from a top to bottom rebuild, it is a virtually new Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh tourer.
Auction Source: 2010 RM Automobiles of Amelia Island Auction
1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer – did not sell for $500,000 Chassis 23ED was ordered by the British Admiralty on February 21, 1915, and delivered on April 28. Silver Ghosts were frequently used by His Majesty’s forces during World War I as staff cars, supply vehicles and, when appropriately clad, as armored cars – and consequently few retain their original coachwork today. 23ED was eventually shipped to the United States and was discovered by a prominent Ohio collector and Rolls-Royce enthusiast in the 1970s. It has remained in the same family ever since.
Over the years a restoration was planned, and appropriate replacements for missing parts were found or fabricated. The London-Edinburgh tourer body was supplied by British coachbuilders Crailville, Ltd., of Southall, Middlesex, and shipped to America for installation.
Founded in June 1975 as Crailville Motors, Crailville, Ltd. specializes in construction of correct period bodies for classic cars and the design and fabrication of modern custom coachwork for contemporary automobiles. Complete restorations of cars are also undertaken. The first of very few restorers accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen, Crailville, Ltd., has produced bodies and restorations that have won awards from Rolls-Royce clubs, and both the Louis Vuitton and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The full restoration of 23ED began in earnest three years ago. The car was subjected to a complete mechanical rebuild, including engine, transmission, axles and chassis. A new stainless steel exhaust system has been fitted, and an electronic overdrive for effortless touring.
Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions Sports & Classics of Monterey
1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo – sold for €310,970 Finished in a very elegant and stylish shade of green with black fenders and dark green leather interior and carpeting, the car’s condition remains excellent and nicely settled, a testament to the workmanship of its 35-year-old restoration. The lines of this Ghost are quite beautiful and equally pleasing with the hood raised as well as down. On a recent drive around the French countryside we were very impressed with this wonderful car’s sporty and refined performance.
2AU has an almost unbelievable provenance. It is a car that was designed by one of the greatest motor car manufacturers of all time, treasured by another, and owned by the famed Count Frederic Chandon as well as two tremendously successful racing drivers. These were all men of impeccable taste, who recognised a fabulously impressive motor car, and a most important car in automotive history.
Auction Source: 2008 RM Automobiles of London
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