1920 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Coupé Chauffeur by Binder

Sold For £123,200

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - LONDON 2015

Chassis No.
Engine No.
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Documents: Bill of SaleDocuments: Bill of Sale

  • Formerly owned by Roger Morrison and the Spilsbury family
  • Complete with a file of correspondence, history, and copies of the build sheets
  • Beautiful formal coachwork with exotic interior trim
  • An ideal Silver Ghost for touring

40/50 hp (taxable), 7,428 cc side-valve inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, live front axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and friction dampers, cantilever rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes with a gearbox-driven servo. Wheelbase: 3,810 mm

This Silver Ghost, chassis number 60RE, was acquired by its original owner, Monsieur Vallee, from the Rolls-Royce service depot in Paris in October 1920, and it was registered in Paris as 5447 RN9. Typical of Rolls-Royce owners of this time, Mr Vallee initially commissioned a limousine body by Charpentier, of the Rue Mesnil, but it experienced a constant evolution during his ownership. It was maintained by the Paris depot and regularly updated over time, with the addition of front-wheel brakes, an Autovac fuel system, and ultimately a second body, the current, well-proportioned coupé chauffeur, which was built in 1930 by famous Parisian coachbuilder Henri Binder.

In keeping with the updated art deco styling of the time, the car was outfitted with a higher radiator and shutters, updating its appearance to be similar to the present Phantom I, and it also received the famous French Grebel headlights, which it retains today. Typical of Binder’s superb interior workmanship, the car was trimmed in exotic Thuja wood, reportedly harvested by Bedouins in the French colony of Morocco. This is believed to be one of only ten Silver Ghost chassis rebodied in period by Binder.

The car was exported to the United States in April 1972 and subsequently owned by noted Rolls-Royce collector Roger Morrison, of Salina, Kansas. It was acquired from him in 1986 by long-time Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club member Walter Spilsbury, and it remained in his family collection for many years. Mr Spilsbury’s son, Terry, an equally active Rolls-Royce connoisseur, inherited the car from his father in 1998 and continued to tour with it, driving it over 40,000 miles in seven countries, including on the 2003 Alpine Rally and the centenary 2004 Ghost to Coast tour, a 4,000-mile trans-American journey organised by the Silver Ghost Association.

The Rolls, now featuring a well-presented older restoration, is ready for many more enjoyable tour miles, as its high-compression engine and high-speed rear axle provide exceptional cruising performance. It is still finished in light blue with black leather in the chauffeur’s compartment and luxurious beige fabric to the rear. In recent times, it reportedly benefitted from a total engine overhaul, performed by the late and highly respected American Silver Ghost guru Frank Cooke’s Vintage Garage in 1991, and subsequently, it also received a comprehensive body-off chassis and coachwork restoration in 2003 and 2004.

This car is one of the most beautiful formal Silver Ghosts of that model’s later era, and it has benefitted both from continual evolution in the hands of its enthusiastic original owner and long-term care in the collections of great enthusiasts. Undoubtedly, it deserves a similar home today.


Please note this vehicle is now offered on Bill of Sale.

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