Cars of 1998
Among the tremendously demanding reliability trials from the pre World War I period the „K.u.K. Oesterreichischen Alpenfahrten” (Alpine Trials) were listed as extremely tough. These were very long-distance tours on roads that more often than not were of miserable condition and extremely steep Alpine passes at high altitudes had to be conquered. Very strict survey in conjunction with sealed radiators and bonnets guaranteed the strict control checks penalised any re-adjustment or repair. In 1913 Rolls-Royce entered a works team of 3 meticulously careful prepared Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and these finished highly successful. A private entry – that had benefited from all the modifications of the work's cars, too – has been the Silver Ghost, #2260E, privately entered by James Radley.
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A peculiar item worth a note of Radley’s Silver Ghost has been his 'Personal Mascot'. Instead of a 'Spirit of Ecstasy' which was available from the manufacturer (and indeed fitted to the other Rolls-Royce cars at that event) Radley had opted on attaching a bronce statuette 'Speed Nymph' atop the steam-separator which was screwed onto his radiator’s filling orifice. His choice was an exquisitely made Object d’Art; no doubt one with a certain erotic splendour. Hundred years later, i.e. Anno Domini 2023, our world shows certain strange developments and lamentable among these that in the US-state Florida a creation like Michelangelo Buonarotti's 'David' is defamed as pornography. The risqué 'Personal Mascot' of James Radley by certain circles on the other side of the Atlantic perhaps would be dismissed similarly inadequate? – Whereas this marvellous piece of art deserves that echo it found in all the countries which were crossed during the "K.u.K. Oesterreichische Alpenfahrt 1913": Speed Nymph was accepted and admired.
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