Lot 154

Arizona 2013

1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Oxford Seven-Passenger Tourer by Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork


$300,000 - $400,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



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Engine No.
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40/50 hp, 468 cu. in. inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf spring platform suspension, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 143.5 in.

• Stately open coachwork on a Springfield Silver Ghost chassis

• Ex-Barney Pollard and Robert B. Merrifield

• Numbers-matching car with original body and 24,000 actual miles

Rolls-Royce maintained an American factory at Springfield, Massachusetts from 1919 to 1931, where the Silver Ghost remained in production until 1926. In order to compete with other prestige manufacturers, Rolls-Royce set up a range of bodies to be sold under the name “Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork.” Many of these were built by Brewster, but some were commissioned by Merrimack, Willoughby, Holbrook, and Biddle & Smart. They all carried the names of British landmarks—Croydon and Henley convertibles, St. Stephen and St. Alban town cars, and the Piccadilly roadster, to name but a few.

The Oxford was a stately touring car, of dignity and good posture, befitting the elegance of the Silver Ghost chassis; 77 of them were produced.

The car offered here, one of the first “Springfield Ghosts” produced, has a particularly fascinating history. It was originally delivered to J.G. McHenry, a prominent Detroit attorney, apparently following use as a trials car at the Thompson Automobile Company. Mr. McHenry eventually sold the car to John S. Riggs, of New York, who, in 1948, passed it into the hands of Barney Pollard. Pollard was a prominent Detroit area businessman who was among the first to appreciate “old cars,” and who saved literally hundreds of valuable collector vehicles from the 1930s to the 1970s. It was a different era; when Pollard agreed to buy the car, Riggs wrote him, offering to have his chauffeur drive the car to its new home, back in its original hometown of the Motor City.

The Rolls was eventually sold from the Pollard Collection into the care of Robert Merrifield, and it was maintained by him until late-2009. Importantly, its long-term preservation by caring owners, never having been allowed to fall into the hands of well-intentioned customizers or a scrapyard, has allowed the car to retain its original engine, chassis frame, and body, and so it remains today very much as Mr. McHenry Esq. used it in Detroit. Incredibly, the Rolls still has under 25,000 actual miles—the vast majority likely covered in the ownership of its first two caretakers. It has recently been repainted and re-chromed, and it has had a full mechanical service.

This is a beautiful low-mileage example and is one of the earliest Springfield Rolls-Royces in existence today.