1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer  Chassis no. 1302 Engine no. 1302

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Lot 292
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer
Registration no. NB 6104 Chassis no. 1302 Engine no. 1302

Sold for £ 232,500 (US$ 319,726) inc. premium
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer
Registration no. NB 6104
Chassis no. 1302
Engine no. 1302
Launched at Olympia in 1906, Henry Royce’s masterpiece, the new six-cylinder, 40/50hp Rolls-Royce, was in a class of its own and Royce’s engineering genius combined with the selling charms of the Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls and the business flair of Claude Johnson ensured that the world soon recognised the new model as “The Best Car in the World”. The history of the 40/50hp car, soon to be colloquially referred to as ‘The Silver Ghost’, is well chronicled, production continuing in the U.K. until 1925 and, remarkably, no fewer than 6,173 chassis were built in the U.K. with a further 1,703 erected at the Springfield Factory in the U.S.A.
Chassis no. 1302 is recorded as having been on test in May 1910 and was supplied to dealer L C Seligmann of Glasgow. The chassis was delivered to H J Mulliner of Chiswick in July that year and chassis records confirm changes in the steering column to a ‘D’ column in July 1910. Rolls-Royce dealers, J Croall & Sons of Edinburgh, were later involved in the sale of the car which is recorded as being furnished originally with landaulette coachwork. J J Cawthra, believed of Scotland and London, owned the car in pre-Great War years and it is thought that 1302 saw military service during the Great War, perhaps as an ambulance unit.
In the early post-Great War years the car was furnished with a tourer body by Haywards of Wood Green and continuous ownership is recorded from 1925 to date. Notable owners included veteran car enthusiast, Douglas Melville Copley, landlord of The Old Wagon and Horses public house at Sheldon in 1935 and V.C.C. Past President, the late Cecil Bendall, acquired the car in 1953. Geoffrey John Willis of Wellingborough owned the car in 1959 and in 1966 it returned to the ownership of Cecil Bendall. In 1970 it was acquired by Cecil’s friend and fellow veteran car enthusiast, Alfred Essex, who drove 1302 in the V.C.C. 1,000 Miles Trial re-enactment that year. The following year the car was fitted with its present magnificent Roi-de-Belges coachwork by John Mitchell of Biggleswade and during the Essex ownership the car was rewired and mechanical work included an engine rebore with new pistons fitted, king pins, bushes and shackles replaced as necessary and other general maintenance. During the present ownership the car has been mechanically maintained to the highest standards.
1302 is a nickel, parallel-bonnet car, equipped with CAV lighting, externally-mounted electric klaxon, Smiths 0-60mph speedometer and CAV switch panel. The coachwork is liveried in navy blue with polished aluminium bonnet and furnished with red leather, deep-buttoned upholstery and red leather-bound carpets. It is equipped with a two-piece cranked windscreen, a three panel Auster-type rear screen for passenger comfort and a black mohair hood. The running boards embrace tool lockers and a battery box. The car carries a V.C.C. Dating Plate and a radiator cap-mounted R.A.C. badge, the chassis of course pre-dating Charles Sykes’s 1911-designed Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. This magnificent and powerful Edwardian comes with a Swansea V5 registration document, copies of Factory Chassis Build cards and a detailed log of previous owners together with technical information and photocopies of contemporary magazine reports and a V.C.C. Dating Certificate no.952.
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer  Chassis no. 1302 Engine no. 1302
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