Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Balloon Car Roadster For Sale (1911)
Year : 1911
Make : Rolls-Royce
Model : Silver Ghost
Body Type : Balloon Car Roadster
Colour : Garnet and Black
Trim : Beige Leather
History : From late 1906 onwards Rolls-Royce Ltd began production of their 40/50hp which later became known as the Silver Ghost. The London Motor Show at Olympia in November of 1906 heralded its introduction to the motoring world and by the spring of 1907 the first batch of deliveries were met. The leading coach makers of the time were familiar with being provided with the under carriage from the manufacturers and constructing a body to suit their customers’ requests. Rolls-Royce continued with this tried and tested method, providing chassis and engine to the coachbuilder of the customer’s choice who constructed the bodywork, painted, trimmed and furnished the car to order. Almost overnight long established coach makers who had been in business for generations had to adapt their way of thinking away from horse drawn carriage to the new horseless vehicle. The Silver Ghost became an almost instant success thanks to the soundness of its design and the pain staking lengths the Rolls-Royce engineers and workmen went to during construction. The term “The Best Car in the World” was deservedly earnt and it is fair to say that the Ghost’s efficiency, reliability and superb performance were unmatched at the time and its reputation laid the foundations for the continued success of the company. Charles Rolls was of course a motoring pioneer by profession, but it could be argued that his true passion lay in aviation. He was a great friend of Wright Brothers and entertained them during their visit to Britain in 1909, making the first fixed wing return flight over the English Channel in one of the Wright’s planes in 1910. Prior to this Rolls took great pleasure in balloon racing, taking part initially in a race in 1906 in Massachusetts and completing in excess of 100 balloon flights in the following four years. For his balloon expeditions, Rolls had a Silver Ghost roadster created by H.J. Mulliner, capable of carrying the basket of his balloon. The long platform behind the seats left ample room for the car to be loaded at the conclusion of a flight. The rear wings were finished in leather, flexible and hard wearing enough so that the loading of the basket would not damage the car. Unfortunately, Rolls’ passion for flying took his life, when his plane crashed at an exhibition over Bournemouth later that year. A number of replicas of the original balloon car Rolls had built have been constructed over the years, to varying degrees of accuracy. This particular car, Chassis No 1513 could arguably be described as one of the finest and most accurate examples ever built. It was re-bodied in 1970 by the very well established firm of Wilkinson and Sons of Derby in England, as one of a pair of bodies built at that time, this particular car being created for the well renowned Rolls-Royce enthusiast and collector Millard Newman of Florida in the United States. Two further owners have taken stewardship of Chassis No 1513 in the ensuing years, with the car moving to Connecticut and then to a collection in Ohio, prior to the cars return to the United Kingdom in recent times. The body has a dickey seat concealed in the rear decking and fittings include an Elliot double speedometer odometer, an Automobile Association radiator badge, a brass bulb horn and beautiful brass fitting. The body is painted in deep garnet, finished with cane work. The front wings are painted black, the rear wings made from black leather. It also runs on Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels, details which faithfully reproduce the original specification constructed by H.J. Mulliner. The interior is trimmed in beige button leather. This exceptionally attractive Silver Ghost is in beautiful condition throughout, a pleasure to drive and would make an ideal addition to the most exotic and high quality car collection.
Condition : Very good condition.
Technical Data : Three speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.4 litres displacement, 7,428cc capacity.
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