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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn. Once owned by the Maharaja of Patiala. Ex-Richard Solove Collection. An older restoration. Accompanied by Rolls-Royce Foundation documentation. Documented in John Fasal’s The Edwardian Silver Ghost.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rolls-Royce Foundation records indicate that chassis no. 2517 was first delivered on December 18th, 1913 to the Maharaja of Patiala. The car is finished in a period-appropriate green with black fenders and undercarriage. The interior is upholstered in complementary tan leather with varnished wood trim. Nickel brightwork adorns the exterior as well as five plated wire wheels, which add to 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 example of an Edwardian tourer would be a spectacular addition to any collection of early automobiles and the envy of any Rolls-Royce collector.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.