1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG

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Lot 154N
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer
Coachwork by I Wilkinson & Son Registration no. YL 3046 (see below) Chassis no. 28HG

£ 120,000 - 150,000
US$ 160,000 - 200,000
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer
Coachwork by I Wilkinson & Son

Registration no. YL 3046 (see below)
Chassis no. 28HG
*Originally bodied by Hooper & Co
*Delivered new to Spain
*Complete engine overhaul in 2017
*Currently registered in Germany

Footnotes

  • 'The directors were obviously as impressed with the car as the public were when they first saw it displayed... the company's future, based upon Royce's intuitive design genius and the uncompromising standards of workmanship he set, clearly lay in the rapidly expanding area of luxury cars...' – Edward Eves, 'Rolls-Royce, 75 Years of Motoring Excellence'.

    Although the 40/50hp model would in any event have earned its 'The Best Car in the World' sobriquet (actually first used by the Pall Mall Gazette in November 1911), Rolls-Royce's decision to drop all other types only served to focus attention on what would become known as the 'Silver Ghost', the success of which would cement the company's reputation for excellence. Prior to 1908, when it relocated to a new factory in Derby, the company founded by engineer Frederick Henry Royce and entrepreneur the Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls had manufactured a variety of models at its Manchester premises. Cars with two, three, four and six cylinders were made, and even an abortive V8, before Managing Director Claude Johnson's decision to concentrate on the range-topping 40/50hp. The latter had first appeared at the 1906 London Motor Show and became known as the 'Silver Ghost' the following year when chassis number '60551' was exhibited wearing silver-painted tourer coachwork by Barker & Co.

    The heart of the Silver Ghost was its magnificent engine, a 7,036cc (later 7,428cc) sidevalve six equipped with seven-bearing crankshaft and pressure lubrication. A sturdy chassis comprised of channel-section side members and tubular cross members was suspended on semi-elliptic springs at the front and a 'platform' leaf spring arrangement at the rear, though the latter soon came in for revision. The transmission too was soon changed, a three-speed gearbox with direct-drive top gear replacing the original four-speed/overdrive top unit in 1909. In the course of its 20-year production life there would be countless other improvements to the car, one of the most important being the adoption of servo-assisted four-wheel brakes towards the end of 1923.

    After a successful 2,000-mile trial under RAC supervision, the factory demonstrator - chassis '60551', 'The Silver Ghost' - was entered in the Scottish Reliability Trial, completing the 15,000-mile run with flying colours to set a new World Record. From then on the car's reputation was assured, not the least in North America where the wide-open spaces placed a premium on reliability and comfort. 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. The Silver Ghost remained in production in England until 1925, 6,173 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, the longest production run of any model from this celebrated company.

    Built on the long chassis, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost '28HG' was delivered to coachbuilders Hooper & Co on 16th January 1923 for completion with a 'closed body weighing approx 10 cwt'. Copy chassis cards reveal that the car was destined for Spain, being shipped from London to Boulogne on 5th July 1923 aboard the SS Whitgift.

    It first owner was one Lopez de la Camera in Madrid; he was followed by Juan Fabra of Barcelona and then His Excellency the Marques de Vilahur, also of Barcelona, who acquired the car in April 1929. By the late 1970s the Rolls-Royce had found its way to the USA, and in 1978 was owned by a Mr Benore of Ohio. The car returned to the UK in 2000 and was registered in this country on 26th September that year. Since then it has been owned by a Mrs Harper and the Bentley Wildfowl Motor Museum in Sussex. The Ghost currently belongs to a German enthusiast.

    The open tourer body currently fitted is by specialist coachbuilders I Wilkinson & Son of Derby. Noteworthy features include spoked wheels, two bench seats and two folding seats, retracted polished dashboard, polished mahogany trim, nickel-plated fittings, Waltham clock (working), electric starter, twin side-mount spares, intercom, rear fuel tank (with gauge), and a hand-operated horn. The engine was treated to a complete overhaul in 2017 and the car is described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition. Totalling €20,000, bills for the engine rebuild are on file and the car also comes with the aforementioned copy chassis cards, copy old V5, and a German TüV valuation report.
Contacts
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
1922 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer  Chassis no. 28HG
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