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 Rolls-Royce - The Classic Elegance

Rolls-Royce and Bentley

Car of the Month - February 2006
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 1912, #1850E
Torpedo-fronted Limousine by Thrupp & Maberly

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost will be featured prominently in 2006 with special events around the world. At the 1906 Olympia Show the new model was launched (although by then with the simple designation Rolls-Royce 40/50 H.P.). The new model was a fabulously impressive piece of engineering. Neither the strong frame nor the powerful engine did suffer when a customer decided on elaborate coachwork. Well, then, we’ll celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost by showing a particularly fine car from the period before the Great War.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

One of the first-ever sliding sunroof mechanisms did appear on this Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in 1912. The English coachbuilder Thrupp & Maberly built a 'Torpedo-fronted Limousine' on chassis #1850E and created a special roof. Set into the rear part was a large panel, which could be unlocked and moved forward. There it rested under a cover atop of the chauffeur's compartment. Of course a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was a most attractive basis to be enhanced by this new idea, because its fame as "The best Car in the World" was already established.

Some time later another coachbuilder built a sliding sunroof to a similar design. The company felt sure to have invented the sliding sunroof and was most surprised when they didn't get a patent. They were advised instead that the idea was not to be protected as it was not new - not least because an illustration of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost #1850E had been included in the 1913 Rolls-Royce catalogue.


A highlight in this car’s younger history was that in 1993 it took part in Alpine '93. During the re-enactment of the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trials (K.u.K. Oesterreichische Alpenfahrt) some 50 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts toured more than 2,000 miles over the most ardous Alpine passes in Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Neither this one nor any of the other Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost motor cars failed to proceed. - No mean feat considering that both modern 4-wheel-drive motor cars of an accompanying BBC-TV-team suffered from mechanical problems...

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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