1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine  Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489

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Lot 369
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine
Registration no. WY 8329 Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489

Sold for £ 71,900 (US$ 93,897) inc. premium
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine
Coachwork by Barker

Registration no. WY 8329
Chassis no. 56HG
Engine no. P489


  • 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.

    Barker & Co. Ltd. were the favoured coachbuilders for Silver Ghost chassis no.56HG which was ordered in December 1922 and delivered in chassis form to Barkers on 31st January 1923. The completed car was delivered to G Dugdale & Co. Ltd. of Deansgate, Manchester, for their esteemed customer Sir Amos Nelson of Manor House, Thornden-in-Craven, a Yorkshire cotton manufacturer. The car was still in use in 1938 in the ownership of an S White and in 1963 passed through the hands of notable dealer Cecil Bendall, who sold the car to an Oliver Purks. In 1964 the car passed into Dutch ownership and some thirty or so years later it was back in England before crossing the water yet again to Ireland. 56HG is coming from notable Irish ownership to the sale and in recent years has been most actively used in Ireland Section R-R.E.C. Events, covering large mileages, as well as participating regularly in the Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club’s Gordon Bennett Rally.

    56HG is built on the long wheelbase chassis and has proved most excellent transport for the owner’s extended family on these events. In recent years the car has been the subject of an engine overhaul including fitting of new pistons. The coachwork is smartly presented in dark blue and cream livery, contrasting effectively with the polished aluminium bonnet. Distinctive features include the opera lamps mounted for the convenience of the rear passengers and the car is equipped with twin side-mounted spare wheels, running board-mounted spare petrol can and the distinctive Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. A luggage rack accommodates the longer tour. During the present ownership a period temperature gauge has been sourced and fitted, along with a new exhaust manifold and six new tyres.

    Here is a car which has been prepared for and used in the longer distance tour with proven reliability. It is offered with copies of original Factory Order and Build Sheets and comes with a Swansea V5 registration document for its original U.K. registration number.
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine  Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine  Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine  Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489
1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine  Chassis no. 56HG Engine no. P489
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