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1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Sedan by Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work

Sold For $89,600

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 6 - 7 MARCH 2020 - The Todd and Peggy Nagler Collection


Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
124TG
20227
SS150
  • Offered from the Todd and Peggy Nagler Collection
  • “The Ghost of Detroit,” originally delivered to prominent Detroit businessman J. B. Book
  • Known ownership history since new; always a resident of the Detroit area
  • Older cosmetic restoration; engine rebuilt by Classic & Exotic Service
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

THE GHOST OF DETROIT

Silver Ghost chassis no. 124TG was delivered on 27 October 1922 to J. Burgess Book, developer of Detroit’s renowned Book-Cadillac Hotel and the Book Building, the latter now familiarly known as the Book Tower for its landmark later addition. After nine years of mostly having been chauffeur-driven, in 1931 the car was put into storage under a tarp on the Book Building’s 13th floor and remained tucked away there until 1945. It was sold at that time with only 13,000 actual miles and still wearing its original paint.

John Mathews acquired the car soon thereafter; he subsequently drove it with his family to Seattle, Washington, and back again to Detroit, with a slight detour after the car gently turned into a ditch while visiting Yellowstone. Wonderful 1940s photographs, included in the file, show the Mathews family proudly displaying their three Rolls-Royces. However, the most exciting photo documentation features this car in various stages of its transcontinental journey, including parked at the famed sign that leads into Beverly Hills, California!

The car passed in 1950 to a woman in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and eventually in the 1960s to longtime Detroit enthusiast Roy Scharfenberg. Mr. Scharfenberg maintained the car for half a century, during which time it was repainted and partially reupholstered, leaving much of the rear passenger area original. During his long-term ownership, the Ghost saw occasional touring use and participated in RROC regional events.

In the fall of 2002, Todd Nagler, a proud Detroit native and lifelong area resident, was thrilled to acquire what he dubbed “the Ghost of Detroit.” He meticulously recorded and documented its history; his handwritten notes are included in the file, along with an article he wrote on the car, additional ownership documentation and correspondence, and a maintenance logbook. Also included are invoices for the considerable mechanical work undertaken during the Naglers’ ownership, including a full rebuild of the engine by Ed Linn at Classic & Exotic Service and remanufacturing correct 23-inch wheels.

Still retaining its original charm and patina, “the Ghost of Detroit” is a memorable one, indeed—a fabulous throwback to the Motor City’s glory days, when J. B. Book cruised down Washington Boulevard, “the Fifth Avenue of the Midwest,” in his silent Rolls.


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