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Car of the Month Selection

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow


Car of the Month - October 2010
Knox and Rolls-Royce of America


Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

US-made Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and Rolls-Royce Phantom I were built at the Springfield-plant in Massachusetts. In Springfield the Knox Automobile Co, founded in 1901 by Harry Knox, from a meagre beginning with a one-cylinder car had developed to a motor car maker offering cars with 4- and 6-cylinder engines, some of which were entered successfully in competitive events. Although the product range was widened to cover the truck-market, too, the manufacturer couldn’t stand the pressure from the competitors from Detroit. Knox closed down in 1922.

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Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

This was just at a time when Rolls-Royce of America found to an important decision. The Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork Organization was established to comply with a desire expressed by many US-customers. American clients were not too fond of what was standard in the United Kingdom – to wait for months after a car had been delivered in the form of a running chassis for that to become completed with a body. Rolls-Royce of America arranged for an attractive portfolio of variants of coachwork and such was built exactly to the company’s plans by various coachbuilders. Thus Rolls-Royce of America with their ‘Coachworks Division’ combined the advantages of quick reaction to their clients’ demands with full access to the experience of coachbuilders of fine reputation.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

- And this is the point where Knox is to be mentioned again. Fred Doolittle became Superintendent of the Coachworks Division; previously over many years he had been Superintendent of the Knox Automobile Co. The Coachworks Division was established in the Waltham Avenue Plant in Springfield/Massachusetts. That indeed was the factory which previously had been used by the Knox Automobile Co. In addition to “top brass” personnel a considerable number of craftsmen were employed whose names previously had been on Knox’ wage-list. It is a qualified guess to believe that a little bit of Knox is with any Rolls-Royce with a body by Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks.

Knaox Radiator

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