Lot 50 - 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine by Mulliner

Lot 50 - 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine by Mulliner

Lot 50 - 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Limousine by Mulliner

Lot Number 50
Registration PU 5650
Chassis Number AU21
Engine Number U17
Estimate £140,000 - £160,000

Originally named the ""40/50h.p."" the chassis for Rolls-Royce ""Silver Ghost"" were originally produced at Royce's Manchester works moving to Derby in July 1908 and between 1921 and 1926 at Springfield, Massachusetts factories.  Chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201, was the car that was originally given the name ""Silver Ghost"".  Widely considered the most famous, and almost certainly the most valuable car in the world, this particular Rolls-Royce has an insurance valuation of some USD $57million.  Other 40/50 hp cars were also given names but the Silver Ghost title was taken up by the press and soon all 40/50s were called by the name, a fact not officially recognised by Rolls-Royce until 1925 when the Phantom range was launched.

Chassis no. AU21, originally registered to one F.J. Ward, a rubber magnate living at ""Wansfell"" in Theydon Bois is a interesting example.  Not quite the dizzy heights of $57million, she is however a spectacular concours car that has in the last few years been restored to an incredibly high standard.  The coachwork is by Arthur Mulliner of Northampton and is in the form of an enclosed drive limousine.  The magnificent coachwork is Black over a Bright Blue and is in formidable condition with no evidence of cracking, chipping or blemishes.  Twin side mounts are fitted to the running boards, and a commodious re-manufactured Brexton trunk adorns the rear.  The front screen is in a 'V' configuration comprising four panels, two of which hinge open for summer motoring.

The bills that come with the car are eye-watering; £64,000 on the engine alone for example.  The engine was completely disassembled by marque specialists, Ristes of Nottingham and rebuilt to an arguably better-than-new standard.  Everything that could be attended to was, without regard to cost.  Since then, this very capable engine has travelled just a few hundred miles and even now is still in the process of being run in.

Similar attention to detail was given to the chassis, braking system & every mechanical part on the car. Thus the car is in impeccable order and ready for the next few hundred thousand miles of its life. She is fitted with new brake shoes to the 4 wheel brakes as well as new tyres.  Correct leather gaiters cover the springs fore and aft. The interior is no less special; the front is black leather, with matching black leather inserts, embossed with a leaf motif. The passenger compartment is Bedford cord with the leaf motif carried on throughout and embroidered in gold thread, to the doors and also roof lining. The oval theme also is found throughout the car with ovals to the door inserts, an oval rear window and a wonderfully crafted curved division in the form of two sliding convex glass panels.  The graceful arch of the dash provides the concave answer to that of the convex division, effectively making the drivers compartment also oval in plan. An intelligent and delightfully well thought out design.

Most spectacular of all is the woodwork which is in a quality of its own.  Both fiddleback mahogany and burr walnut are used generously adorning all surfaces including a complete edge ceiling lining.  Satinwood marquetry banding is let into the main wood areas by way of an accent.  The roof woodwork has alcoves let into it containing lights that throw a soft glow across the ceiling after dark with an additional ceiling mounted opening skylight. The front doors, unusually, are hinged from the 'A' posts including additional features that include the three scuttle mounted air vents.  The Lucas light fixtures are all silver plated, the door handles are of superb quality, embossed as they are with acanthus leaf motifs in raised relief.

A extraordinary example beautifully restored and worthy of the name, Rolls-Royce.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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