1914-1918 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Armored Car Replica - ‘HMS Sherman’  Chassis no. S286PK Engine no. 21864

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Lot 1003
1914-1918 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Armored Car Replica - ‘HMS Sherman’
Chassis no. S286PK Engine no. 21864

Sold for US$ 87,750 inc. premium
1914-1918 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Armored Car Replica - ‘HMS Sherman’
Chassis no. S286PK
Engine no. 21864
With the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in 1914 the British Army found itself with little in the way of mechanised transport and thousands of private automobiles and trucks were hurriedly commandeered and pressed into military service. Armored fighting vehicles were an all new concept at that time and Rolls-Royce were at the forefront of their development. Standard 40/50hp Silver Ghost chassis were suitably adapted with great success and W.T.Massey,writing in The Times in London in December 1916 reported:

‘I have motored in the desert… so perfect and reliable has the car supply service become that the cars move to a time-table…. The cars used in Egypt are all Rolls-Royces. Notwithstanding all the rough work they have done there has been no engine breakdown. The cars have run over thousands of miles of the roughest desert and the complete absence of engine trouble is a triumph for British workmanship.’

High praise indeed for the Rolls-Royce armored car. Lawrence of Arabia used Rolls-Royce armored cars in his desert campaigns with significant success and they satisfied his passion for speed while meeting his strategic demands. His driver, coincidentally called Rolls, reports racing over desert flats at upwards of 70 mph. In The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Lawrence was to write ‘A Rolls in the desert is above rubies’.

Frank Cooke built this replica armored car coachwork on a 1925 Springfield Ghost chassis in the 1970’s, cladding same in aluminium panelling as a replica of the production armoured cars. The car was an obvious and major attraction at Rolls-Royce meets, attending the National Meet in Atlanta, Georgia and was chosen for exhibition in a Rolls-Royce tribute exhibition at The Collier Museum in Naples in 1993. Although not used for some considerable time it is thought likely that it will be running by the time of the sale. Sensible modifications which enhance the practical use of this vehicle are the fitting of a modern oil filter system and conversion of the gas lamps to electric.
One of the quirkiest vehicles in this eclectic collection and one which gave Frank Cooke an enormous amount of pleasure and fun.

Saleroom notices

  • Prospective buyers are advised not to rely heavily on the front brakes which are not connected.
1914-1918 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Armored Car Replica - ‘HMS Sherman’  Chassis no. S286PK Engine no. 21864
1914-1918 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Armored Car Replica - ‘HMS Sherman’  Chassis no. S286PK Engine no. 21864
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