The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74
Lot 529
The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning, 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette
Registration no. R 1097 Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74
£ 650,000 - 850,000
US$ 850,000 - 1,100,000

Withdrawn
Lot Details
The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74 The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning,1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette  Chassis no. 1779 Engine no. 74
The RREC Annual Rally ' Best in Class' and 'Most Elegant Car in Show' award winning
1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost D-fronted Open Drive Landaulette
Coachwork by Barker & Co. of South Audley Street, London

Registration no. R 1097
Chassis no. 1779
Engine no. 74

Footnotes

  • The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls, British gentleman adventurer, aviator, racing driver and astute businessman and Frederick Henry Royce, engineer and innovator, were indeed an indomitable partnership, creating a motoring legend with a reputation for unsurpassed excellence. It says much for the business acumen of Rolls that, despite his inborn desire for things to happen quickly, he tolerated the pedantic and at times frustratingly slow attention to detail of his mechanical genius partner. From this pedantic attention, the Rolls-Royce 40/50hp, ‘The Silver Ghost’, was to emerge and to earn for itself and the company the accolade “The Best Car in the World”.

    In production from 1907, the Rolls-Royce 40/50hp, (only later named ‘The Silver Ghost’), was powered by a 7,036cc, six-cylinder engine from 1907-1909, later enlarged to 7,428cc. The 40/50hp car passed every test to which it was subjected, whether in service as a formal town carriage in the Capital, sprint racing on Saltburn Sands or competing in the arduous Scottish Trials. Royce’s uncompromising engineering standards demanded only excellence of his staff in Manchester and later Derby and no chassis was delivered until it had been rigorously tested. Rolls-Royce, unlike other contemporary manufacturers, steadfastly refused to build their own coachwork, taking the view that their speciality was engineering excellence and leaving the coachwork to the exclusive group of dedicated coachbuilders who had made the seamless change from carriage manufacture to motor car body building.

    Factory records confirm that 1779 was ordered to ‘Long 1912’ specification. Major The Hon. Henry Guest, M.P., of 5 Chester Street, London SW, had placed his order on 16th August 1911 and the completed chassis was despatched to Barkers, Rolls-Royce’s favoured coachbuilders, on 4th November 1911. Although delivery of the complete car was required for the first week in December, 1779 resplendent in its original claret livery was not finally delivered until 8th March 1912.

    Henry Guest was a demanding client requiring an exacting specification for his new car, the fittings to include a luggage rack to the roof, side doors to the front, foot scrapers and cocoa mats for the running boards and a long tool box fitted snugly beneath the nearside running board. Vinet detachable rims and spare wheel were specified and in addition to the standard tool kit, a tyre inflator, jack and repair outfit were ordered. Brightwork was to be nickel throughout and Lucas lighting was specified with paraffin side lamps, acetylene, self-contained headlamps and an electric rear lamp.

    Henry Guest certainly retained the car for many years and factory records show details of work carried out through to 1929. The next recorded owner in Rolls-Royce records, believed just the second, was A. W. F. Smith of Chislehurst, a noted pioneer collector of veteran and vintage motor cars, whose ownership is noted in March 1945. The car was in weary condition at that stage and Smith carefully retained its originality during his custodianship. In 1968, upon the dispersal of the Smith Collection at a landmark auction conducted at his Cross-in-Hand Museum, the car sold for a then record price to V.C.C. stalwart and Rolls-Royce connoisseur, Bryan Goodman, co-author of ‘The Edwardian Rolls-Royce’, the standard authoritative work on the Silver Ghost. Although the catalogue noted that the car would require a ‘full restoration’, Goodman recognised that here was a car of exceptional originality, representing surely the pinnacle of coach-building skills in 1911 and with an unequalled elegance in its D-fronted open-drive landaulette coachwork. Goodman embarked upon a major mechanical overhaul of the car, which went on to demonstrate its proven reliability during his long ownership, while carefully conserving its precious originality.

    Following 26 years of careful ownership the car changed hands again in 1994 and Rolls-Royce specialist David Hemmings was commissioned to refurbish the highly original coachwork while re-upholstery was entrusted to Brian Frost. During this time the car acquired the name ‘Silver Grace’. Following this restoration the new owner wished to demonstrate the utter reliability of the car and participated in a trouble free Scottish Tour in 1996. Just three days after completing this tour 1779 took the coveted ‘Best in Class’ and ‘Most Elegant Car in Show’ awards at the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Annual Rally.

    1779 is now offered from just its fifth owner in almost 100 years. It is resplendent in its gold-lined, forest green livery with black wings and nickel fittings throughout. The chauffeur’s compartment is upholstered in nicely mellowed black leather with beige cord to the rear. The snug rear compartment is furnished with side-facing occasional seats, drop down railway carriage-style side windows, roll down blinds to side windows and drop-down division and draw curtains to the D-front quarter windows. An Elliott 0-50mph speedometer in the rear allows the passengers to monitor the chauffeur’s speed, while a speaking tube from front to rear allows one–way communication. A Smith’s eight day clock in the rear ensures timely arrival.

    Driving equipment includes Lucas No.784 Duplex headlamps, Lucas oil side lamps with electric conversions, fine nickel side-mounted opera lamps and Lucas back lights. The original Vinet wheel rims are retained and a side-mounted spare is carried. Instrumentation includes a Double Elliott speedometer with clock, a Lucas Ampere Meter and switch panel, together with fuel and oil pressure gauges. The car sits correctly on 895 x 135 beaded edge tyres and the road springs are protected by Wefco leather gaiters. Attractive period accessories and finishing touches include the running board-mounted umbrella basket, the under bonnet Lucas oil can, the dash-mounted coil inspection lamp and the 2 gallon Carburine Motor Spirit spare fuel can. The car carries motor club and other badges including St.Christopher, 20 Ghost Club, AA, RREC and VCC, reflecting enthusiast ownership over the last 60 years.

    1779 comes with Swansea registration documentation and copy Factory Order and Build Sheets

    Edwardian cars of such quality and originality rarely come to the open market and 1779 is a true prize for the serious Rolls-Royce collector, being well able (subject to careful re-commissioning following a period of inactivity) to keep pace on the more demanding motor tour and yet able to carry off the accolades against all-comers on the concours d’elegance lawns.



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