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Car of the Month Selection


Car of the Month - April 2011
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, 1951, #WME14
Touring Limousine "Teviot III" by Hooper


Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

A tremendous success was the 1907 Rolls-Royce 40/50 H.P. that was launched with a plate riveted to the firewall giving that car’s name as “The Silver Ghost”. That actually was the 12th car from the model series and befoe long its name was accepted by the public as the designation for all cars of that type. Specially made to show most impressively the advantages of the new model and succeeded splendidly in achieving that – not least due to its highly attractive coachwork, an exquisitely executed Semi Roi de Belges by Barker.

Attached to the firewall's inside just in front of the passenger’s seat is a wooden box containing a notable technical component – the battery ignition’s trembler coil. From there a high tension lead supplies high tension current to  the distributor. That is mounted at the right side near the engine’s front and from there one set of spark plugs is supplied.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Separately there is a second ignition system, a unit that had been imported from the Continent. Mounted on the engine's left side (underneath the exhaust manifolds) is a high- tension magneto by Bosch and that supplies the second set of spark plugs (two spark plugs per cylinder).In 1886 Robert Bosch had founded his „Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik“ in Stuttgart, Germany, and thanks to his interest in front edge technical innovations and strict quality control the business flourished. Well worth a note that in 2011 Bosch is celebrating their 125th Annversary? A remarkable success as regards the automobile (by then still at infant stage) was in 1897 the adaption of the low-tension magneto to enhance motor cars engines’ ignition. When in 1902 Bosch had developed that into a high-tension magneto plus spark plug he had done a decisive step forward. His system was so reliable that the Owner's Manual has but a short paragraph on this device advising a driver to take off the distributor-cap from time to time and clean the inside.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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Over a long period a book about Rolls-Royce that had been pulished in the 60ies was considered a standard reference book – and there was a note, early motor cars by Rolls-Royce had been fitted with magnetos by Eisemann. That error was copied by quite a few other authors and thus incorrect information is found in the literature repeatedly. Fact is that Rolls-Royce had opted for the Bosch D6 magneto – that was standard up to Chassis #2699. Later the Bosch ZR6 was used and only due to supply dwindling due to the outbreak of the Great War that was by a device from another manufacturer. As per documents from Eisemann's archives their company only delivered magnetos for 4-cylinder engines to the United Kingdom – and such could never be used on the 6-cylinder engine of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.

Bosch Magnet

In 1990 the ‚original’ Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost became subject to a complete restoration with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. entrusting S.C. Gordon with the work on the body and asked P&A Wood to all the work on the cars chassis, engine and drivetrain. Andrew Wood informed that the Silver Ghost with its Bosch high-tension magneto still had been as per original technial layout and mentioned, too, that no "restoration" of that component had been necessary but merely to arrange for thorough cleaning and precise adjustments.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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