Lot 270

Hershey 2017

1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer by Grosvenor


$176,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Single-family ownership for 57 years
  • Believed to be a one-off design
  • Original coachwork, engine, and gearbox
  • Documented provenance

Among the pre-World War II Rolls-Royce cars, the supreme example of the marque is the 40/50 HP Silver Ghost, the target motor car for many collectors. Designed for long life and reliability, all but a few of the 6,173 Silver Ghosts built in England between 1907 and 1925 are still on the road. Apart from neglect, very little goes wrong with the Ghost. The engine is nearly indestructible due to the massive design, generous bearing dimensions, very low compression, and low rev capacities. Mechanical adjustment and maintenance is straightforward, and many owners find hours spent with the oilcan and hand tools are as enjoyable as time on the open road, where the charm of driving a Silver Ghost can become addictive.

The Rolls-Royce chassis was more robust than the ash frame/aluminum skin body, and many of these original bodies did not survive. However, this splendid example still carries its original coachbuilt touring body, by the Grosvenor Carriage Company of Kilburn.

The original owner, Maxwell Norman, a French artist, sold it to his family physician, Dr. Chario, where it was used on the Isle of Capri for almost two years before it was brought to Long Island, New York. The car remained in storage for about 15 years until it was acquired by Harold Priest of Glensondale, Massachusetts. Its next owner was F.R. Schreiter, of South Lancaster, Massachusetts. In 1947, it was sold to William Gregor, who drove it home to Flint, Michigan, before performing a complete chassis, mechanical, and cosmetic freshening. The odometer reading at that time was about 30,000 miles. Used for the next few years in car club events, it was then stored until 1960 when it was purchased by Jack Skaff of Flint. Showing scarcely 50,000 miles use, its next owner was Calvin T. Zahn of Ann Arbor, an avid motor car collector and grandfather of the current owner. The car has remained in the Zahn family for 57 years. In storage since 1999, it is now ready to be used and enjoyed again.

Its pleasing and well-proportioned four-place body is finished in silver, with fabric black hood, period-correct black leather interior, and rear-mounted trunk. The original mahogany fascia displays original instruments, including a Waltham speedometer/odometer now showing just 58,399 miles, a Rolls-Royce Waltham clock, Ampmeter, fuel gauge and oil gauge, and several post-war club dash plaques. Charming bits remain with the car, including a period-correct Klaxon horn, hand and wheel tool kit under the right side running board, vintage luggage trunk, Grosvenor coachbuilder sill plate, side-mount rear-view mirrors, original British registration plates, and the all-important original Rolls-Royce chassis and patent plates on the firewall.

Ask yourself what other motor car investment offers the opportunity to experience fun, reliable motoring in a century-old design, than that of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.