The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P

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Lot 9
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove
1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER

Sold for DKK 3,910,000 (US$ 596,688) inc. premium
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove
1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER
Coachwork by H. J. Mulliner

Chassis no. 2517
Engine no. 17P

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


*Once owned by the Maharaja of Patiala
*Desirable Open Tourer Silver Ghost on Colonial Chassis
*Discovered by Charles Howard in India in 1970
*Extensive documentation from the Rolls-Royce Foundation
*Documented in The Edwardian Silver Ghost by John Fasal



THE ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP SILVER GHOST

When he developed the Silver Ghost engine, Henry Royce realised that creating a six from three pair-cast cylinder blocks was inferior to combining two three-cylinder units, so he applied that lesson to the 40/50 H.P., which appeared in late 1906. The new power unit was extremely robust with a crankshaft that was almost twice the diameter of the previous 30 H.P. model, and full pressure lubrication was adopted. The chassis was strong too, and Royce's passion for perfection was shown in the way that the brakes were compensated by a miniature differential gearing in an aluminium housing, while the rear axle casing was, in Royce's words, "sewn together with a ring of tiny bolts".

The public launch of the 40/50 H.P. six took place at the 1906 Olympia Motor Show, where a Pullman limousine and a polished chassis were shown. Late in 1909, the engine was increased in size from 7,036 cc to 7,428 cc and the power output increased to 60 bhp. Around the same time, the overdrive four-speed gearbox was replaced by a three-speed unit with direct drive on top gear in the interests of top-gear flexibility. In 1911, a new pattern car with a tapered bonnet, cantilever rear springs and an increased compression ratio ran from London to Edinburgh using only top gear and then recorded a speed of 78.26 mph at Brooklands. This model went into production as the "London-Edinburgh". In 1913-14, a four-speed transmission with direct drive top was introduced. By then, Rolls-Royce had established a formidable reputation as "the Best Car in the World", known for incredible reliability as well as for virtually silent operation, smoothness and absence of vibration.

THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

Silver Ghost chassis 2517 was on tested 30 July 1913 and delivered on 8 December 1913 to Bhupendra Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala. Bhupendra Singh was invested with full powers by the Viceroy of India on 3 November 1910 and ruled until 1938. He served in France, Belgium, Italy and the Palestine during the First World War as an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel. He married many times and had many children by his wives and concubines. Bhupendra Singh was the first man in India to own an aircraft, which he bought from the United Kingdom in the first decade of the twentieth century. For his aircraft, he had an airstrip built at Patiala.

He was well known for the construction of buildings with bold architectural designs, and according to legend, the Maharaja would at times be driven in a motorcade of as many as 20 Rolls-Royce cars. He had a unique monorail system built in Patiala known as the Patiala State Monorail Trainways, but he is perhaps best known for his extravagance and for being a cricketer. His cricket and polo teams – Patiala XI and Patiala Tigers – were among the best of India. He was a great patron of sports.

The first Rolls-Royce purchased by Bhupendra Singh was chassis 1697 in 1911, after which he bought a further 25 cars over the years from Rolls-Royce. Chassis 2517, which is the car offered today, was Bhupendra's sixth Silver Ghost, and he was only 22 when he took delivery. Like other Indian Maharajas, he enjoyed almost limitless wealth and consequently lavished whatever it took to have his motor cars made in accordance with his tastes. With regards to 2517, this included £2 for a tool roll (£500 in today's values) and £7 for extra jump seats. The brightwork was specified on the build sheet as nickel plated, and the car was to have a London-to-Edinburgh style dashboard and bonnet.

2517 was to remain in India for more than six decades before being discovered in 1970 by the famous British dealer and astute automobile sleuth, Charles Howard. In his recent book An Autobiography, Howard describes the find and states that it looked much worse than it really was: "...I would very much like to find another early Ghost in similar condition. Incidentally, the nickel plated wheels are correct as they are listed in the factory order sheet."

Howard found the car to be complete and original, but its condition had obviously deteriorated due to the ravages of time and the fact that it had been left on an open porch for 20 years in Calcutta. Charles Howard purchased 2517 and undertook a lengthy and extensive restoration performed by Jonathan Harley, which brought 2517 back to its former glory in green paint with black wings. In 1972, the car belonged to the Hon. Alan Clark M.P. In 1985, it passed to the famous American Rolls-Royce collector Richard J. Solove.

Since then, 2517 has been freshened and the body repainted in a rich red tone, which complements the tan leather and varnished wood trim to perfection. The polished nickel brightwork adorns the exterior as well as the five correctly plated wire wheels. Altogether, this gives 2517 an enviable sporting appearance. Chassis 2517 represents a sought-after model, and in combination with its interesting provenance and ownership, this car must rank as one of the more desirable Silver Ghost chassis to be offered in recent years.


BILEN DER TILBYDES

Denne Silver Ghost med chassisnummer 2517 blev testet den 30. juli 1913, og leveret til Bhupendra Singh, maharaja af Patiala den 8. december samme år. I alt han kom til at eje 26 stk. Rolls-Royce i løbet af sit liv, og denne bil, som han købte i en alder af 22, var hans sjette Silver Ghost.

Bilen forblev i Indien i mere en seks årtier, indtil den blev fundet i 1970 af kendte engelske classic car handler og biljæger Charles Howard. Bilen var komplet og i original stand, da han fandt den, men den trængte til restaurering efter at have stået udenfor i 20 år under et halvtag i Calcutta. Charles Howard købte 2517 og gav den en omfattende restaurering, hvorefter den blev solgt til en kendt amerikansk samler.

De polerede blanke dele udførte i nikkel og de fem korrekt forniklede trådhjul giver 2517 et sportsligt udseende. Bilen repræsenterer en eftersøgt model, og sammen med dens interessante oprindelse og ejerskab, er den blandt de mere eftertragtede Silver Ghost, som er kommet på markedet de seneste år.

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The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
The ex-Maharaja of Patiala and Richard J. Solove,1913 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST TOURER  Chassis no. 2517 Engine no. 17P
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