<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C

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Lot 29
1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer
Coachwork by Peel's LTD (See Text)

US$ 1,450,000 - 1,850,000
£ 1,100,000 - 1,300,000
Amended
Desirable Continental 4-Speed Specification
1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer
Coachwork by Peel's LTD (See Text)

Chassis no. 2583
Engine no. 95C
7,428 cc L-Head Inline 6-cylinder Engine
Single Side Draft Carburetor
75hp at 1,500 rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
Lever activated Rear Drum Brakes with Foot actuated transmission Brake

*One of only 188 London-Edinburgh Silver Ghosts built
*Phenomenal Documentation
*Concours level restoration, with original period coachwork
*Matching numbers example
*Desirable original Colonial 4 Speed specifications



THE LONDON TO EDINBURGH SILVER GHOST

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 specialty 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.

Contemporary Rolls-Royce advertising in 1911 featured Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Chassis no.1701and its remarkable London to Edinburgh and return journey that year, describing the feat in the following terms:

"The car.... was a standard Six-Cylinder Rolls-Royce chassis of 40/50hp. The trial... was to demonstrate that the car could travel from London to Edinburgh and back entirely on the top gear, that at the same time it could show an exceptionally economical petrol consumption, and yet attain considerable speed when required. The result...... the car traveled from London to Edinburgh and back on top gear on a petrol consumption of 24.32 miles per gallon, afterwards without alteration or adjustment attaining a speed of 78.26 miles per hour on the Brooklands track."

Some factory wag mischievously noted the factory records for 1701 with the words 'The Sluggard' but clearly nothing could have been further from the truth for here was an up-to-the-minute and very fast model of the 40/50hp car which had already earned for Rolls-Royce the soubriquet – 'The Best Car in the World'.

1701, the car that gave the new model its 'London-to-Edinburgh' name, was just the second chassis built to the new specification with a massive torque tube to carry the propeller shaft, strengthened rear axle casings and, in the case of the first two cars in the series, inverted semi-elliptic rear springs. 1701 carried an elegant light tourer body by Holmes of Derby Ltd., carriage builders since the nineteenth century. With engine compression ratio upgraded, a larger carburettor and a skimpy wind-cheating body, 1701 was later to record a spectacular 101mph over the flying half mile at Brooklands with Edward W. Hives (later to become Chairman of Rolls-Royce) at the wheel. So not only could Rolls-Royce satisfy the market that demanded the most comfortable formal cars built in the best traditional coach-building traditions, but here was a sporting car with few, if any equals, from a very small and exclusive peer group of manufacturers.

All these much-publicized promotional exploits were driven by the similar stunts promoted by arch self-publicist S.F.Edge at the helm of Napier who were perhaps Rolls-Royce's most serious rival for the luxury car market. That Rolls-Royce were more effective in their marketing exploits and in their engineering excellence is substantiated by Edge's retirement from Napier in 1912 and the withdrawal of Napier from motor car manufacture in 1924. Arguably the introduction of the new 'London-to-Edinburgh' Silver Ghost was one of the final nails in Napier's coffin.

The London to Edinburgh and return run – some 800 miles travelling north mainly via The Great North Road and returning down the west side of the country – had captured the headlines and Rolls-Royce's subsequent order book, with a raft of new more sporting owner-drivers, undoubtedly put pressure on the manufacturing facilities at Derby. In all some 188 of the 'London-to-Edinburgh' cars were built, the first production models being delivered to the coachbuilders in the Spring of 1912 and the last, no. 2699, in October 1913.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

As noted by original Rolls Royce factory records, chassis 2583 was off test on August 20th, 1913. This very rare high specification car was one of the most exciting examples produced. Importantly, the first body fitted to the car was a torpedo tourer designed by Connaught. It was ordered as a colonial specification London to Edinburgh chassis, which featured a larger gas tank and radiator, higher compression engine, and light pistons. Most importantly, this is one of few 'LE' examples fitted with a 4 speed gearbox.

Sadly with the outbreak of the World War I, this Silver Ghost in common with many other motor vehicles was requisitioned by His Majesty's Armed Services. More than likely it was converted into a support vehicle and the original coachwork removed for the fitment of a more utilitarian brake bodywork. The car remained in Military service for the remainder of The Great War and was registered by the War Office as M.54456. Sadly its adventures are not documented, but it is safe to say that there were many. According to records, it is noted that the car at one time was in Berlin Germany.

After WW1, the car was offered at a Ministry of Munitions Auction. The Rolls was lot 9569 and at the end of the day, C.B. Gardener of Chester purchased the vehicle for 1,880 pounds. In 1925 the car was exported to Sydney, Australia. It was purchased by another physician Dr. Marcus A. Alexander, and was fitted with a tourer body by Properts Motor Body Works.

After 1927 the car passed through two other known owners before being purchased by a towing service in Sydney where it was shockingly used as a tow truck. The car was then owned by funeral directors Wood Coffill Ltd and eventually found its way to the stable of noted Ghost collector Faris Palfreyman, who at one time owned 26 Silver Ghosts. Palfreyman fitted the current sporting coachwork which dates from 1913. It was made by Peel's Limited, a well known Australian coach-builder, and was originally fitted to a 6 Liter Sunbeam. This was done early on in the Palfreyman ownership and it is believed to have been fitted in 1964.

Palfreyman retained the car until his passing in 1994. The car came into the car of his grandson who sold the car to a physician in Victoria. In 2001 the car passed to another noted Australian collector, and it was decided to embark on an extensive, body-off restoration.

The engine was entrusted to Melbourne based Silver Ghost specialists Robert McDermott. The body was entrusted to Jeff Edwards at Artisan Coachworks where it received new timber where it was needed, and a new windscreen. Meanwhile, the panel work was finished by Jamie Downie.

The chassis and final detailing was completed by Simon Elliott and Derby Works. During this restoration, the then owner traveled far and wide to examine chassis 2534 and chassis 2354. He spent numerous hours photographing both of these chassis to ensure the detailing was correct.

When this restoration was completed in 2017, it was then awarded best of show at MotorClassica in Melbourne.

Today, this is one of few surviving colonial specification, 4 speed London to Edinburgh cars. The chassis is still in extremely good order and has retained its matching numbers. Fitted with period coachwork, it would be an extremely capable long distance touring car for both brass car and Silver Ghost events. Anyone who has ever driven a pre-1914 Ghost will tell you that they are incredible road cars. The chassis are remarkably well balanced and advanced for the time period, and the engine has an incredible amount of torque. This is a phenomenal high specification example that is ready for any number of touring events or for the show field.

Footnotes

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Contacts
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
<b>1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost "London-Edinburgh" Tourer  </b><br />Chassis no. 2583 <br />Engine no. 95C
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