The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J

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Lot 20
The ex-Robert Barrymore
1914 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF

Sold for DKK 7,475,000 (US$ 1,121,885) inc. premium
The ex-Robert Barrymore
1914 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF
Coachwork by Schapiro-Schebera

Chassis no. 54PB
Engine no. 45J

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


*Featured in the iconic Twenty Silver Ghost book
*Beautifully re-bodied in the period
*An iconic and rakish skiff in the European style
*Lightweight body for improved handling and speed
*Long chain of ownership dating back to 1925



THE ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER GHOST

The 40/50 H.P. Silver Ghost chassis is regarded by many as the model that earned Rolls-Royce the sobriquet "the best car in the world". The model remained in production in England until 1925, 6,173 chassis being completed at the Manchester and Derby factories, and until 1926 at Rolls-Royce's Springfield plant in the USA where a further 1,703 were made. It was the longest production run of any model from this celebrated company.


THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

Silver Ghost chassis 54PB was first tested on 29 April 1914 and subsequently delivered to Rolls-Royce France. It then passed to the Garage Majestic in Brussels, and in June 1919 it was with a certain Mr. A. Lanser, also in Brussels. It appears that 54PB received its current skiff body by the esoteric Berlin coachbuilder Schapiro-Schebera after the Armistice in 1919 and not later than 1923. Some historians have speculated that the chassis may have been delivered to Schebera prior to the War, but not finished until 1919. However, in their book The Edwardian Rolls-Royce, John Fasal and Bryan Goodman state that the car was reportedly fitted when new with enclosed drive coachwork by an unknown builder.

Ernst Schebera had founded the Carrosserie Schebera GmbH in Berlin in 1911. The company quickly placed itself at the head of the market, building luxury bodies for wealthy customers on chassis from well-established marques such as Benz, Daimler, NAG and Protos. The cars were beautifully finished, and during the War, Schebera received contracts for staff cars and ambulances for the German Army. In 1919, Jakob Schapiro joined Schebera as managing director.

Jakob Schapiro was a wealthy businessman and on the board of directors of major German companies such as Benz, BMW, Cyklon and NSU. He lost a fortune due to stock speculation during the crisis of 1922 -1923, and NSU took over the coachbuilding business. They changed the name to Karosseriewerke Schebera AG, and Shapiro left the company.

The coachbuilder plaque on 54PB reads "Shapiro – Schebera". Since Jakob Shapiro did not join the firm until 1919 and industrial giant NSU took it over in 1923, it is likely that 54PB was bodied a second time sometime during those four years. As it seems that the unusual and exciting coachwork clothing chassis 54PB cannot have been constructed after 1923, it is a highly desirable period rebody.

In 1925, 54PB was acquired by Messrs. A. Souraty & Cie of Cairo, Egypt. They may have been automobile dealers, as soon after in 1926, a certain Bey (or "Sir") Achmed Naguib owned the car in Cairo. 54PB stayed there, and in 1947 it was in the hands of Mr. Gregory Malacos, before passing to H. Williamson in 1949 and then finally to a Mr. Platt. All were Cairo residents.

In the 1971 book Twenty Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts with text by Phil May and paintings by Melbourne Brindle, 54PB is featured in a double spread. According the book, Dr. Robin O. Barnard of Chiddingfold, Surrey and Mr. H. Vivian of London learned of the existence of 54PB in 1956. They tracked down Mr. Platt in Cairo. Unusually, he offered that Barnard and Vivian loan the car, provided they shipped it to the UK and performed any necessary restoration work. As the restoration progressed, it was ascertained that 54PB remained in exceptionally good condition, where the dry Egyptian climate had contributed to its state of preservation. As the engine seemed to be in largely original condition, it was deemed that the car was a low mileage example.

At the time when Barnard and Vivian received 54PB, the bodywork was original and solid, with no wood rot, again as a result of the dry climate in Cairo. Some small damage to the wood decking on the skiff rear end was repaired, and some minor accessories were replaced. After the work was completed, Mr. Platt visited the two "curators" in London. Pleased with the result, he sold them the car, which they kept for nearly three decades until 1985 when 54PB passed to the famous collection of Robert Barrymore in California.

Today, 54PB presents beautifully with lovely patina and a high degree of originality. The body and side panels appear to be mahogany, while the deck is cherry or a similar wood with well-preserved stain and varnish. The brightwork in general appears unrestored, while the C.A. Vandervell headlamps, tail lights and side lights match. It is therefore likely that they were originally fitted to 54PB, although it should be noted that the headlights have now been converted to electricity. The gauges are period correct, including a coveted Elliot Brothers speedometer, as are the Boa Constrictor horn and four-speed gearbox.

The chassis, underbody and running gear of 54PB appear largely original, and it is possible that the body has never been taken off the chassis rails, although this cannot be verified. Additional parts that appear to be original to the car include the stamped springs as well as a set of belly pans. The top and sidemount covers were renewed in 2004. At that time, the engine bay was detailed and all aluminium, brass and copper parts were polished. Some mechanical work was done, the fuel and electrical systems, transmission and engine.

With is very light and rakish coachwork, 54PB must rank as one of the most sporting Silver Ghosts ever built, and it may well be the only existing Ghost with a wooden skiff body. 54PB will be eligible for the most desirable of the early car tours, and with its superior power to weight ratio, will provide pleasing handling and performance. A series of knowledgeable collectors have allowed 54PB to age gracefully while ensuring that the mechanicals have been well maintained. It is a well-known, charismatic and tasteful automobile that will enhance any collection, not to mention a collection of great Edwardian Rolls-Royce.


BILEN DER TILBYDES

Chassis 56PB blev testet den 29. april 1914, og derefter leveret til Rolls-Royce France. Herefter kom bilen til Bruxelles, hvor ejeren i 1919 efter afslutningen af Første Verdenskrig fik konstrueret det nuværende karosseri af den esoteriske karosseribygger Schapiro-Schebera i Berlin. I bogen The Edwardian Rolls-Royce står der, at chassiset efter sigende oprindeligt var udstyret med et lukket karosseri af en ukendt karosseribygger.

I 1925 fandt bilen vej til Ægypten, og i mere en tre årtier sørgede en række ejere samt det tørre ægyptiske klima for bilens fine, velbevarede tilstand, da den endelig kom til England i 1956. De nye engelske ejere beholdt bilen i næsten 30 år, og den blev solgt til en amerikansk samler i Californien i 1985.

I dag fremstår 56PB smuk med dejlig patina og en høj grad af originalitet. Karosseriet og sidepanelerne er formodentligt lavet af mahogni, mens dækket er lavet af kirsebærtræ med en velbevaret bejdse og lak. Generelt forekommer de blanke dele at være ikke-restaurede. Chassis, undervogn og de mekaniske dele forekommer for det meste originale, og det er muligt, at karosseriet og chassiset aldrig har været adskilte.

Bilen er formodentlig en af de mest sportslige Silver Ghost som nogensinde er bygget, og det er måske det eneste eksisterende eksemplar med skiff karosseri i træ. 56PB er en kendt, velproportioneret og spændende vogn, som vil berige enhver samling af betydning.

EU Taxes paid
With Danish Registreringsattest
Contacts
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
The ex-Robert Barrymore,1914 ROLLS-ROYCE  40/50 SILVER GHOST SKIFF  Chassis no. 54PB Engine no. 45J
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