1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost ‘Salamanca’  Chassis no. 112 JH Engine no. 22/187
Lot 255
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost ‘Salamanca’ Chassis no. 112 JH Engine no. 22/187
Sold for £117,000 (US$ 195,727) inc. premium
Lot Details
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost ‘Salamanca’
Coachwork by New Haven on behalf of Rolls-Royce Special Coachwork

Registration no. TJ 1922
Chassis no. 112 JH
Engine no. 22/187

Footnotes

  • In 1920 Rolls-Royce made the dramatic announcement …
    “A limited number of Rolls-Royce chassis will be produced at the American Works … the same quality of materials will be employed as in England … F. Henry Royce is Engineer-in-Chief of the American operations … The products of the American works will be drawn on for English as well as American patrons.”
    Claude Johnson was to be Chairman of the American operation based at Springfield, Massachusetts, and from the outset it was abundantly clear that the traditions of excellence established in England would be maintained in America. At this time Rolls-Royce had a one model policy and the first cars to be built at Springfield were the 7.4-litre, 40/50hp Silver Ghost, quaintly adopting the English right-hand drive pattern – a feature maintained until 1925 when left-hand drive became available. The Silver Ghost had already earned for Rolls-Royce the accolade, ‘The Best Car in the World’, and the Springfield cars certainly maintained that reputation for the company.

    There is no coachwork more versatile than the Salamanca style as carried by 11 2JH, so much favoured in the extreme climate of North America. This example was built by New Haven (Body no. NH716) on behalf of Rolls-Royce Special Coachwork. The Salamanca can be driven in the winter months in its fully enclosed limousine form with division to chauffeur’s compartment, in the open-front sedanca-de-ville configuration or in the open-rear landaulette configuration. For full open-air motoring the car folds down completely as a convertible, the centre pillars folding inwards and the division dropping down into the coachwork. The modern advertising jingle would be ‘buy one – get three free!’

    112 JH was built in Springfield in 1923, early recorded owners including Dr. E. R. Campbell of Pasadena, California, in 1924 and Henry McDonald of New York City in 1927. By 1948 the car was in South African ownership, belonging to J Little of Cape Town, and was later acquired by J Hoets who took the car in settlement of a debt, planning to use the engine in a boat. A later owner, E. G. ‘Bunny’ Staples, records that Hoets could not bring himself to ‘do this dreadful deed’. Staples acquired the car in 1955 and commenced restoration, culminating in 112 JH being the Outright Winner of the 1955 National Rally, Class Winner in 1956 and First at the 1960 National Rally. In 1969 the car passed to Gill Tunmer of Johannesburg and in 1977 was sold twice at auction, the second time, at Donington, England, achieving what was then believed to be a world record price for a Springfield Ghost of £38,000. It then returned to the U.S.A. and came back to England in 1999, subsequently enjoying just three private owners including the present owner. The first of those owners used the car for touring, fitting a discreet modern air-conditioning unit to the rear for the comfort of his wife on tours to Southern France. Other sensible modifications include a modern oil filter installation, stainless steel exhaust and purpose made glass side windows for the front ‘open-drive’ compartment (the original canvas and perspex side-screens have been retained).

    During its previous enthusiast/engineer ownership 112 JH had been carefully maintained and less than 2,000 miles ago was the subject of a thorough inspection by noted Silver Ghost specialists who reported no faults and recommended no work to be carried out. Purchased by the vendor at Bonhams RAF Museum sale 21 April 2008 (lot 539) the car has formed part of a large private collection including over a dozen Rolls-Royces.



    112 JH is liveried in dark blue with black wings and the coachwork furnished with black leather to the chauffeur’s compartment and grey cloth to the rear. Fittings include two occasional fold-up seats in the rear compartment, chauffeur’s speaking tube, two flower vases, wind-down rear windows and blue leather-bound carpets to the rear. Driving equipment includes American-style ‘drum’ headlamps with tinted lenses, twin side-mounted spare wheels, leather gaiters to the springs, an under-bonnet klaxon, Cicca tenor horn and a metal rear trunk with original cases, but now modified for stowage of side screens. Fittings throughout are nickel-plated.

    112 JH is well known in Rolls-Royce circles world-wide, having appeared in many publications and is featured in Edward Eves’ well-known work, ‘Rolls-Royce – 80 Years of Motoring Excellence’ (page 163). It comes with documentation recording its history including copy Factory Records, old tax discs, invoices, copy press articles, current MoT, Swansea V5C registration document, old Swansea V5 document and past MoT certificates. It also comes with its present owner’s service notes recording careful maintenance from 2003 to 2008.

    There are few vintage motor cars that cater so well for all motoring preferences – 112 JH certainly does that in spades, combining the effortless and ultra-reliable motoring offered by the Silver Ghost model with the Salamanca specification constructed by New Haven to its first owner’s demanding specification in 1923.

Saleroom notices

  • This car is not supplied with a V5C or old-style V5 - only the New Keeper Supplement.
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