Offered by Bonhams | Newport, Rhode Island | October 1, 2021
The Silver Ghost was the first giant Rolls-Royce. It’s the car that put them at the top of the heap when it came to luxury and engineering. It was produced between 1907 and 1926, and the company churned out 7,874 examples in that time.
This car is powered by a 7.4-liter inline-six rated at 40/50 horsepower. 1913 was the first year that a four-speed manual transmission was offered. The “London to Edinburgh” name is tied to a test the company undertook in ~1907 when they drove a 40/50HP (before the Silver Ghost name came about) from London to Edinburgh in top gear the whole way, stopping at Brooklands on the way back to hit 78 mph.
The London-Edinburgh model specified an enlarged fuel tank and radiator, lightweight pistons, and an increased compression ratio. Rolls-Royce sold 188 examples in this spec, and this is one of very few with a four-speed gearbox.
The original coachwork (a Torpedo Tourer by Connaught) was removed during WWI and replaced by a wagon body for use during the war. The car was sold at a military surplus auction at the end of the war. It later made its way to Australia where it was rebodied as a tourer. Later in the decade, the car was used as a tow truck before being purchased by a Silver Ghost collector, who rebodied it in 1964 with the current body, which was originally fitted to a Sunbeam.
It was restored between 2001 and 2017 and now looks pretty menacing. The solid black disc covers over the black wire wheels are the best touch of them all. The pre-sale estimate is $1,450,000-$1,850,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Skiff by Schapiro-Schebera
Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
The Silver Ghost is the most famous of all Rolls-Royce models. Many were huge touring cars or sedans for the wealthy to be chauffeured around in. But not everyone wanted to sit out back and there are a number of “sportier” variants of the 40/50HP Silver Ghost, including this nautical-themed Skiff.
The Silver Ghost was so named because of an early factory demonstrator that was painted in silver. The car still exists – it’s actually owned by Bentley and is hugely famous. Between 1906 and 1926 (an eternity), Rolls-Royce moved 7,874 examples – including the 1,703 built in the U.S.
The engine from 1910 onward was a 7.4-liter straight-six making 50 horsepower. This car was delivered new to France before making its way to Belgium. Around 1919, just after WWI ended, the car was taken to Berlin and re-bodied from an enclosed sedan to the skiff you see here. The car would later reside in Cairo, Egypt for decades until being taken back to England for a restoration in the 1970s. The restoration was not all that intense, as the car was well-preserved in its desert home for many years. In fact, some of the car appears original.
In 1985 the car went to a new owner in California. It’s current owner has the car in Denmark. It has certainly led a well-traveled life. It is thought that this may be the only wooden skiff-bodied Silver Ghost ever built, even if it was a re-body (but although this was done in period, it’s really not a big deal). It should bring between $1,100,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 19, 2012
This is one of my favorite cars in the world – ever. When I set up my calendar of cars to feature from the various Monterey sales (yes, I have a calendar of cars to feature – I have to, this year is completely overwhelming with the number of unbelievable cars on offer), this car wasn’t among them. It didn’t show up in Gooding’s “Auction Preview.” But when their full catalog came online, I stopped everything when I saw this was in the auction. I recognized it immediately as the 1999 Best in Show winner at Pebble Beach (perhaps, if you recognize it, it is from this as well).
The Double Six was first introduced by Daimler in 1926. They were over-engineered masterpieces and quickly became the car of choice for the British royal family. It is also one of only two models of cars that have used a sleeve-valve V12 (the other was a Voisin). This car has the 6.5-liter V12 making 150 horsepower. It could also do more than 80 mph.
This car has the longest wheelbase of any of the Double Sixes, coming in just a few inches shorter than a Bugatti Royale, which it somewhat resembles. The body was built by Martin Walker Ltd. and The styling is just amazing – the long hood, low roof and four suicide doors all add up to a somewhat menacing – and totally breathtaking – look.
Only 26 Double Sixes were built, but this car is truly one-of-a-kind. I’ve loved it since the first time I saw it after the ’99 Concours d’Elegance. You won’t find a better-looking four-door anywhere. The pre-sale estimate is $3,000,000-$4,000,000. For the complete description, click here. And for more from Gooding & Company in Monterey, click here.