The legend that was to become Rolls-Royce was founded in May 1904 when a deal was struck between Frederick Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls. Shortly after the first Rolls-Royce motor car, the Rolls-Royce 10hp, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in December 1904. It was agreed that Rolls-Royce would initially manufacture four different models being a two cylinder 10hp model, a three cylinder 15hp model, a four cylinder 20hp model and a six cylinder 20hp model. It was immediately apparent that to manufacture their cars Rolls-Royce would require a larger factory and the decision was made to establish their headquarters and manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Derby in the east midlands of England.
On the 15th March 1906 the company Rolls-Royce Limited was formed and during this year Royce had been developing an improved six-cylinder model with more power than the 30hp. Initially designated the 40/50hp, this was the company’s first all-new model that was also to become known as the Silver Ghost.
Introduced in 1907, the 40/50hp or Silver Ghost remained in production until 1926. Originally powered by a 7,036cc six-cylinder engine, this was increased to 7,428cc in 1909 and following rave reviews was designated by the English car magazine Autocar as ‘the best car in the world’.
Like all car manufacturers Rolls-Royce was impacted by the First World War, however, post war the company made a strategic decision to manufacture a cheaper smaller car, enter the Rolls-Royce 20hp. This model was a success and produced alongside the Silver Ghost and its successor the Phantom ensuring the Rolls-Royce motor car company would survive and prosper.
In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired the Bentley motor car company.
The Silver Ghost was an outstanding success and unbelievably a total of 7874 cars were produced from 1907 to 1926 and it is understood that some 200 cars were sold new in Australia. A hard act to follow indeed, enter in 1925 the Rolls-Royce ‘New Phantom’ known later as the Phantom 1. Although using the same chassis as the Silver Ghost the Phantom featured a new 7668 cc six cylinder engine.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for a sale a fabulous and incredibly original 1925 Rolls-Royce ‘New Phantom’ or Phantom 1 bodied by Martin & King.
The car goes by the name of 'Rosie' and she is chassis number 78MC with engine number AY15. The factory build sheets confirm the car is 'matching numbers'.
The car is a 'long chassis' and the build sheets note the car as off-test in July 1925. The cars was ordered new with brass fittings, including the radiator shutters. The coachwork was by Windovers and the build sheets note the body type as an open tourer.
The car sold through Dalgety to Sol Green a well-known book maker, financier and philanthropist in Melbourne, Australia in August 1925.
Green obviously had a like for brass fittings on his Rolls-Royces motor cars as his 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, a car previously sold by Oldtimer Australia, was also ordered that way.
The car is well documented in the book Rolls-Royce and Bentley in the Sunburnt Country by Tom Clarke & David Neely. Following is the history as described in the book:
78MC – engine AY15, long chassis , off test July 1925, brass fittings, Windovers allweather, possibly with California top (body no.5168, Aug. 1925), Dunlop artillery wheels, via Dalgety and All Bristish to Sol Green (bookmaker and financier), St Kilda, Melbourne, Feb. 1926 reg’d VIC-22-766, VIC-26-635. Bumpers, levers, hubnuts and interior fittings goldplated. Rebodied as Martin & King saloon ca 1933 for Green (L. Dalton, Rolls-Royce: the Derby Phantoms, 1991, p.33); Mr Baker, ‘Greengables’, East Malvern, Melb., late 1930’s reg’d VIC-197-663 Oct. 1936, VIC-214 Jan. 1939; to Mr Baker’s son Arthur Baker reg’d VIC-HE-432, VIC-SK-762 Oct. 1950; Harold H. Paynting, Vic., 1960s, reg’d VIC-JYK-800 Mar. 1968; in Mansfield.
The most recent and fourth owner acquired the car off Paynting (the author of the David Flood series of books) in 1989. During his ownership the engine was rebuilt by McDermotts in the mid 1990's. The car is estimated to have travelled some 5,000 miles since.
The charm of this car is its originality. Apart being re-bodied in c1933 the car is essentially original and it looks to have original paint and trim, which whilst showing some age and patina are remarkably well kept. As they say the devil is in the detail and the original Bosch car radio (which works!), hat rack, blinds, pull out rear seats and table are all just a fabulous addition to the car.
The car has been a regular attendee on an annual classic car rally through country Victoria over the last twenty years where it has always performed impeccably. Today the car starts relatively easily and once warm settles into a clinically smooth ‘Rolls-Royce’ idle. The engine pulls strongly and car cruises effortlessly on the highway. On the road the car drives really well and performs as it should.
‘Rosie’ is accompanied by the original owner’s manual, parts book (copy), service instructions (printed on very fine carbon type paper), Rolls-Royce build sheets, receipts for the engine work completed by McDermotts, some interesting Sol Green memorabilia as well as general Rolls-Royce memorabilia. There is also a Rolls-Royce tool kit.
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