March 28th 2012 – Auto of the day – Pre War Rolls #4 & 5

1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer  

LOT: 827  
Estimate:$600,000-$800,000 US
Chassis No. 27LB
Offered Without Reserve
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $572,000
40/50 hp, 7,428 cc, L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142.5″

• Coachwork in the style of Joseph Cockshoot & Co.
• Exceptional pre-World War I Silver Ghost
• Ex-Newman, Lutgert and Magee Collections
• Ready for long-distance touring

As the 20th century entered its second decade, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost gained longer legs and wider acclaim. This was due to several widely publicized events. In 1911 a specially-built Ghost was driven from London to Edinburgh by chief test driver (and later general manager) Ernest Hives, the entire distance in top gear. The difficulty of James Radley, a friend of Charles Rolls, in the 1912 Austrian Alpine Trials resulted in a re-engineering of the engine and gearbox, the latter to add a fourth speed. As a result, Rolls-Royce dominated the 1913 Alpine Trial.

Among the various coachbuilders to clothe Rolls-Royce chassis, Joseph Cockshoot of Manchester is certainly one of the most rarely seen firms. Joseph Cockshoot was among the oldest and prestigious of coachbuilders in the north of England. Founded in 1724, the company embarked on building motor car bodies in 1903, quickly becoming principal British supplier to Renault. Cockshoot took on a Rolls-Royce franchise soon afterwards. The firm first exhibited at the London Motor Show in 1909 with a Rolls-Royce, and they did so every year, with one exception, through 1938. Over the years, car sales far overtook coachbuilding activities, but Cockshoot retained close ties to Rolls-Royce, and later Derby Bentley, continuing as dealers through the 1960s.

The original owner of 27LB is said to have been a Mr. L.H. Hardy of Nantwich, Cheshire. A Dr. S. Keidan of Manchester is listed as the owner in 1954 and 1958. It was later known to be in the United States, in the ownership of James Radford English of New York City and Red Bank, New Jersey, whose name is documented in J.S. Inskip records. At this time it may have worn a stylish, extended coupe body. The next known owner was Robert Tyson of Del Mar, California, in whose care it was recorded in 1969 and 1973 Rolls-Royce Owners Club registers, as a chassis only. It then went to renowned Silver Ghost collector Millard Newman of Tampa, Florida in 1986. It is believed that Newman fitted the current body, which was built in the style of Joseph Cockshoot & Co. and indeed carries the sill plates of that British firm.

Naples, Florida collector Raymond Lutgert acquired the car around 1986 and had British restorer David Hemmings complete a total restoration the following year. It then covered 3,000 miles in the United Kingdom on a five-week tour, beginning a career that it has followed ever since. Well-outfitted for the open road, it has a folding tonneau windscreen, rear luggage rack and trunk and carries extra luggage on the right running board.

From the Lutgert Collection it was purchased by New England Silver Ghost aficionado Douglas Magee, from whom the Milhous Collection acquired it in 2000. A veteran of many tours, it has been maintained by specialist Steve Littin, who reports it to be in excellent mechanical condition.

The 1987 restoration still presents extremely well. Its correct deep blue paint exhibits a deep shine, particularly after the recent paintwork, and the black canvas top is in excellent condition and has likely been replaced recently. The interior is upholstered in brown leather, all in very good condition. The brightwork includes C.A.V. nickel-plated electric headlamps, side lamps and tail lamps, as well as an outboard Elliott speedometer.

The engine compartment is bright and sanitary, a stunning display of brass, copper, polished aluminum and black baked enamel. The undercarriage is similarly clean and painted black. B.F. Goodrich 33×5 Silvertown tires are fitted, the spare located on the driver’s running board. All are in good condition.

The car has toured in New Zealand recently, and earlier this year completed the 2011 Transcontinental Reliability Tour, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, by way of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. A proven long-distance touring car, it stands ready to serve a new owner on the open road.

914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Landaulette by Barker  
LOT: 221  
Estimate:$700,000-$900,000 US
Chassis No. 25EB
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $550,000
40/50 hp, 7,428 cc L-head inline six-cylinder engine with cylinders cast in two blocks, three-speed manual gearbox, live front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live axle rear with cantilever leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 143.5″

• Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn
• Provenance including Henry Ford Museum, Ben Moser and Richard Solove
• Original body, chassis and engine; documented in The Edwardian Rolls-Royce
• Beautifully restored by noted Rolls-Royce marque expert Steve Littin

The legendary Rolls-Royce model first introduced in 1906 was not initially referred to as the “Silver Ghost” but rather the 40/50, referring to its 40 taxable and 50 true horsepower output. The first 40/50 to bear the name Silver Ghost was actually the 13th chassis of the series built and featured an aluminum body by Barker with silver-plated exterior fittings and a sliver-plated brass plate bearing the name “Silver Ghost.” The dramatic name stuck, and Silver Ghosts became known not only for their incredible reliability but also for their virtual silence and uncannily smooth, almost vibration-free operation.

The aforementioned 13th chassis became a demonstration car for Rolls-Royce, and it was first put to the test in a 2,000-mile trial under the supervision of the Royal Automobile Club. During this test, the car recorded fuel economy better than 20 mpg on the road between London and Glasgow—quite astounding considering the size of the vehicle with such a large displacement engine (7,036 cc). Next, the car entered the Scottish Reliability Trials. Unfortunately, the Rolls had to make an unscheduled stop at 629 miles caused by a faulty petrol tap shaking shut. The car continued to run flawlessly day and night following the trials, resting only on Sundays, until 15,000 miles had been covered; thus, 14,371 miles were travelled without an involuntary stop, setting a new world record. The car was then dismantled under the supervision of the R.A.C., with all parts reported “as new.” In short, a Silver Ghost simply did not wear out, especially when compared to its contemporaries, and it went on to become one of the longest-running automotive models until it was succeeded by the Phantom, with production spanning 1906 to 1925 in England and American production continuing until 1926 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

This Silver Ghost, the elegant and handsome Barker-bodied Landaulette offered here, chassis 25EB, is the last of the B-Series Silver Ghosts. The chassis was “on test” on January 28, 1914, and once complete the car was delivered to its first owner, D.E. Cameron Rose, on May 28, 1914, registered LL 4138. Robert W. Schuette, the U.S. Rolls-Royce distributor and an agent for Barker Coachworks, imported 25EB to the United States and sold it to Miss Helen Brice of New York City. Subsequent history is unknown until 1959 when 25EB joined the renowned Henry Ford Museum collection in Dearborn, Michigan. Remaining quite original except for a single exterior refinish in the original Burgundy, 25EB was acquired by the California-based collector and enthusiast B. Paul (Ben) Moser in 1971. Following the death of Mr. Moser, his remarkable classic automobile collection was sold, including 25EB, which was acquired by Chris Lambert, quickly passing to Denean Stafford III. Under the next owner, Jonathan Proctor, the coachwork was refinished in Burgundy, and the rear-opening Landaulette roof was modified to a closed configuration, the roof reupholstered as well, with this work representing a minor and easily reversed modification, according to Rolls-Royce restoration experts.

Next, 25EB was acquired by Mike Ciera and exported to the United States, where it later joined the early Rolls-Royce collection of the late Richard Solove, who commissioned Steve Littin of Vintage and Auto Rebuilds, Inc. to perform the car’s first restoration, which was completed in 2004-2005. The body was removed from the chassis, and as related by Mr. Littin, the structural woodwork was sound and just one piece of wood needed replacement. He also stated that it was a simple operation to return the rear roof to its original opening configuration, with all the original catches and hinges acquired from early Rolls-Royce expert John Fasal, the author of the definitive Edwardian Silver Ghost. All the inlaid wooden interior panels are original to the car, the wood-spoke wheels are original, and only some very light engine work was required. In fact, according to Mr. Littin, the only major restorative work involved the car’s refinish in cream and the upholstery. Following the passing of Mr. Solove, 25EB was sold in the summer of 2007.

Beautifully presented in its original Landaulette configuration, 25EB is equipped with CAV electric lighting, a “double Elliott” speedometer, dual side-mounted spare tires and a rear luggage rack. The chauffeur’s area is trimmed in tan leather, while the opulent passenger compartment features privacy curtains, silk window pulls, beautifully inlaid wood, a secretary and vanity. The highly detailed engine and engine compartment are equally impressive. Documented in John Fasal’s The Edwardian Rolls-Royce and depicted during its earlier life in John Webb de Campi’s Rolls-Royce in America, 25EB retains its matching body, chassis and engine and a distinguished and well-known provenance commensurate with its desirability and impeccable quality.


#25EB SOld RM Arizona for US$550,000

#27LB SOLD RM Milhous Collection for US$572,000

Value: US$500,000 – 1.0 mil.

Comment: Both of these examples show the market speaking, the value for a 1914 Rolls will be approx. $500,000 – 600,000,  with particularly great examples reaching up to the Million $ mark. Either would make a good events/ show car. I personally would prefer #25EB due to its originality.

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