1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W

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Lot 65
Expertly restored and wonderfully presented
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"

US$ 800,000 - 1,000,000
€ 720,000 - 900,000
Amended
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"
Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd

Chassis no. 2006
Engine no. 7W

7,428cc L-Head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
50 bhp at 1,500 rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
Rear Drum Brakes

*Beautiful example of the classic Roi-des-Belges style Silver Ghost
*Expertly restored
*Original brass finish car
*Recorded in the John Fasal book The *Edwardian Rolls-Royce



THE ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP SILVER GHOST

For anyone not familiar with the model, the Silver Ghost towers above many of its contemporaries in that it was entirely over-engineered and built to last forever, but also it was well-marketed and so was very successful causing it to last in production for nearly 20 years.

Henry Royce's fastidious attention to detail ensured that where a certain level of build quality was necessary for a car to work, he would make it far beyond this requirement, one only need gaze at the engine or rear axle, each held together with so great a number of bolts that it seems possible that they were intended never to come apart, indeed on a few surviving examples they never have! Where one ignition system was enough for some cars, naturally the Rolls had magneto and coil, throughout the car a 'belt and braces' approach was taken.

Better still as with all the best machinery, the most important element – the motor – is a work of art in itself, the blend of aluminum crankcase, copper and brass piping, brass and aluminum castings and intricate control tubes being such a work of beauty, that even when some cars were scrapped this aspect was preserved and restored, some adorn collections today in this form. A well rebuilt motor will often start simply on the firing of the spark from the coil to one of the liter capacity cylinders, without the engine having ever been turned over, it is little wonder that they were so appreciated by their chauffeurs! Similarly they were coveted by their owners, who frequently named them as one might a yacht. The silence of the company's silver painted trails car earned the 40/50hp model its 'Ghost' title.

Where other manufacturers with products of similar quality faltered, thanks to the marketing genius of Claude Johnson the model sold well, and the reputation that it earned meant that they have always been prized from day one. Because of this they were rarely scrapped, though often since the running gear continued to perform long after the coachwork was fashionable many have had a series of 'lives' from luxurious transport to reliable workhorse.


THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

This magnificent automobile is a fabulous expression of two names that together to most people represent what the legendary Edwardian era Rolls-Royce 40/50hp was, being a 'Silver Ghost' and 'Roi-des-Belges'. The first, the apt name originally applied to one of the earliest of the model built, reflecting its silver painted colouring and whisper quiet engine, the second, the voluptuous coachwork style famously preferred by the monarch of Belgium, distinctive for its separated front seats and sculpted body that 'steps up' and out from front to back.

As one might expect for cars of such quality, there was a formal ordering process and each car was methodically tested before its delivery to the coachbuilders and ultimately to its purchaser. Very fortunately Rolls-Royce retained all of this information form day one and until more recent times when they donated it to the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club in the U.K. preserving this marvelous resource for posterity. For this reason, today one can literally pour over the original order that their client made with the company. In his magnificent tome 'The Edwardian Rolls-Royce' master historian John Fasal carefully summarized this information, opening up the histories and many images of this era of production to the world.

The colonies proved to be strong markets for the 40/50hp, Indian Maharajahs patronising these cars strongly, and numerous cars being delivered to Australia also among other countries. Chassis 2006 was one such car, as listed in Fasal's reference work, its order was made for delivery to James Mansfield Niall of London and Melbourne Australia. Son of an auctioneer and pioneer Pastoralist from Northern Ireland, Mr. Niall was himself born in Australia and became the driving force behind Goldsborough Mort & Co. a major player in the wool industry. In his ascendancy at this point (the following year he became Managing Director), with his heritage and wealth he would have been a natural client for Rolls-Royce.

Delivered new with Landaulette coachwork, and with brass accessories, no doubt Niall would have cut a stately presence in Melbourne when his car arrived in the summer of 1912. The car is documented as remaining in Australia for most of the first half of its century of existence, passing to N. Faulkiner of Melbourne in 1916, F. Knight of Toorak, Victoria in 1922, and then J. Perry. Around 1960, according to Fasal, it gained a Tourer body. By 1964 it was the property of M.R. Markoff still in Victoria, when it left Australia for the first time, destined for the U.S.

Its next owner was the famed collector and auctioneer Jimmy Leake who acquired the Rolls in 1966 and would keep it for more than 2 decades, before it was offered in one of his Oklahoma sales in November 1987. At this point as noted by Fasal it migrated to Denmark and then later into the present ownership. The majestic Roi des Belges coachwork which it wears today was fitted to the car in 1989, its construction being by the universally acclaimed British coachbuilding house Wilkinson and sons.

As evidenced today, this was a typically successful marriage of period style coachwork on the renowned Silver Ghost chassis. Beautifully finished in rich red paint, accented with burgundy coachlines and hood decoration, this contrasts finely with its correct brass radiator and accessories. From stem to stern it is appointed its exquisite Lucas lights, compact 'Autolite' units at the front and King of the Road at the side of the scuttle and tail.

In more than 25 years since its restoration its use has been modest and careful, such that today the car continues to be immaculately presented.

When viewing and using a Silver Ghost today, it is so easy to understand how the brand came to be so successful and renowned, when it was on these solid foundations. Set up well they are incredibly refined, comfortable and straightforward, in an era when many of their contemporaries were very complex in their operation. For this reason they have become the mainstay of Brass Era touring, and continue to be coveted for their usability as well as for the fact that there the solid survival rates mean that they are well supported by restorers in terms of parts and knowledge for maintenance.

Certainly one of the most handsome examples that our company has had the pleasure to offer for sale, with some gentle mechanical recommissioning it would grace any tour or concours field.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this car is in transit.
Contacts
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
1912 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50HP SILVER GHOST "ROI-DES-BELGES"Coachwork in the style of Barker, by I. Wilkinson & Son Ltd  Chassis no. 2006 Engine no. 7W
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