Year : 1926
Make : Rolls-Royce
Model : Springfield Silver Ghost
Coachbuilder : Brewster (Left Hand Drive)
Body Type : Warwick Town Car
Colour : Black
Trim : Beige Cloth
History : From late 1906 onwards Rolls-Royce Ltd began production of their 40/50hp which later became known as the Silver Ghost. The London Motor Show at Olympia in November of 1906 heralded its introduction to the motoring world and by the spring of 1907 the first batch of deliveries were met. The leading coach makers of the time were familiar with being provided with the under carriage from the manufacturers and constructing a body to suit their customers’ requests. Rolls-Royce continued with this tried and tested method, providing chassis and engine to the coachbuilder of the customer’s choice who constructed the bodywork, painted, trimmed and furnished the car to order. Almost overnight long established coach makers who had been in business for generations had to adapt their way of thinking away from horse drawn carriage to the new horseless vehicle. The Silver Ghost became an almost instant success thanks to the soundness of its design and the pain staking lengths the Rolls-Royce engineers and workmen went to during construction. Its reputation was enhanced further in 1911 following the trial cars successful London to Edinburgh round trip using only top gear, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the engine, whilst easing any lingering doubts of potential customers who were previously more at home with a set of reins than a steering wheel. Following the end of hostilities in 1918 there was a shift away from the previous Edwardian style of body construction. However the tried and tested policy of supplying chassis only allowed Rolls-Royce customers almost unlimited choice and freedom when choosing the style of their new motor car. Fashions and tastes inevitably changed but Rolls-Royce customers moved with the times ensuring the continued success of this now legendary motor car. By 1925 the exceptionally successful eighteen year production run of the Silver Ghost had firmly put Rolls-Royce at the forefront of motor car production. The term “The Best Car in the World” had been deservedly earnt. It is fair to say that the Ghost’s efficiency, reliability and superb performance were unmatched at the time and its reputation laid the foundations for the continued success of the company. The vast majority of pre-war Rolls-Royce motor cars were built in right hand drive; however construction also took place concurrently for approximately 10 years in America, where left hand drive Silver Ghosts were produced. Claude Johnson, the business genius at Rolls-Royce was somewhat of a visionary and saw the future potential of the American car market long before production began of Rolls-Royce motor cars in the United States. The American market was at the time the largest and most important car market in the world, with more cars sold in America per annum than the rest of the world combined. Cars brought into the US were also subject to substantial importation taxes, so the natural and logical move in order to satisfy the huge demand at a more cost effective price was to join the American market on their own soil. By November of 1919 Johnson had convinced the hierarchy at the company of the merits of production in the United States and had formed Rolls-Royce of America Inc, but it wasn’t until well into 1921 that the first American built chassis were ready to be sold. Over fifty staff from the Rolls-Royce works in England relocated with their families to Springfield in Massachusetts and began by replicating the Derby built chassis. But before the 200th chassis had been completed a number of changes were implemented, with American parts being introduced. One off bodies were still available to American buyers in typical English coach building fashion, but the majority of cars were built to standard designs by “Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks.” These bodies were constructed by a number of companies, largely built in batches of twenty or more. Production quality of the coachwork however was first class, finished with aluminium bodies and steel fenders in most cases, quite different from the British style of construction. Chassis No S165ML which we are currently offering for sale belonged originally to none other than William Brewster, head of the coachworks responsible for its body. In 1927 it passed to its second owner, Mrs Mary Dahlgren Robinson of Rye, New York and in the 1950s was owned in Abington, Pennsylvania by two members of the Schaub family. The next owner listed in the accompanying records is one Duncan Merryweather of Chester Springs, PA followed by Otto C Kohler of South Hadley, Massachusetts and then E Andrew Mowbray of Lincoln, Rhode Island. Its next change of ownership saw the car come to the United Kingdom for the first time, when purchased by Jack Bradley of Glasgow in 1979. Mr Bradley kept the car until August 2009 when it became the property of an English collector who used it to attend a number of motoring events, travelling some 1,500 miles to date in untroubled fashion. The car performs very well on the road and is cosmetically speaking a sound original car that would be ideal for concours conservation awards.
Condition : Sound original condition.
Technical Data : Three speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.4 litres displacement, 7,428cc capacity.