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Car of the Month Selection

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Wood: Rolls-Royce and Bentley: Spirit of Excellence


Car of the Month - July 2007
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 2002, #JH29
"Pall Mall" by RRCCW (Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork)

  Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

With a trouble free 15,000 mile (ca. 24,000 km) non-stop run under supervision of experts from the Royal Automobile Club established the Silver Ghost in 1907 established Rolls-Royce as the car manufacturer whose products as regards engineering and workmanship stood head and shoulders above the rest of the world. Though the company’s designation was to remain for all production chassis as 40/50hp type 6-cylinder contrary to what the majority of authors and commentators have insisted for many years – that only this particular car with its nameplate “The Silver Ghost” was dubbed so – the name Silver Ghost had been adopted for all chassis produced from that year onward. The company themselves described the model as “Silver Ghost type” in their instruction manual of 1908.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Hence it is fair to state the name Silver Ghost was a model designation when after the Great War a factory at Springield, Massachusetts, USA, was purchased and equipped. The Silver Ghost with chassis number #79JH is from the production on the other side of the Atlantic. There were Silver Ghost motor cars from the JH-series made in England, too. Several sequences of JH-numbers allocated to cars built in the UK are proof of the close conjunction between productionin Derby, England and that in Spüringfield, Massachusetts, USA. But then some particular specifications show that a genuine standard of independence did exist.


Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

An obvious difference was that the typical English Silver Ghost was delivered as a rolling chassis which was then bodied by an independent coachbuilder as per customer's choice. In North-America however a reaction to different market conditions had been to offer complete motor cars that customers could take from the showroom and employ in traffic immediately. Rolls-Royce of America, Inc., had commissioned pre-designed types of touring and formal coachwork. Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork was built by various well-known coachbuilders, one of which was Brewster, New York. Their "Pall Mall" was an open touring car that was described in the price list as a "4 and 5 passenger Phaeton" at a cost of approximately 12,000 US-Dollar (with no extras) – and that sum for one Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost at that time would have been sufficient to acquire three Cadillac 61 Sedans.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Over the years #79JH has been subject to certain alterations. Among these are for example vertical shutters in place of horizontal, later style bumpers and wheels (23” had been standard in 1923), windshield has been cut down and steering wheel was replaced.

Note: There is a new book available on the Silver Ghost!

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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