Lot 267

Amelia Island 2020

1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton in the style of Barker

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$582,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Amelia Island, Florida

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Chassis No.
2018
Engine No.
15G
  • Classic example of the “parallel bonnet” Silver Ghost
  • Handsomely restored with coachwork in the original style
  • A fit veteran of decades of touring all over the world
  • Wonderful, elegant, and well-detailed presentation throughout

Chassis no. 2018 is one of the most desirable “parallel bonnet” Silver Ghosts, produced prior to World War I. It was dispatched from the factory to Barker, the renowned British coachbuilders known for their dignified coachwork and long association with the royal family. Barker outfitted the car with a high-sided torpedo phaeton body of rather sporting lines, with full front doors to enclose the driver’s compartment, a very modern touch—styling similar to the famous example pictured in Melbourne Brindle’s Twenty Silver Ghosts. It was then shipped to original owner Dr. Frank Tidswell, a prominent surgeon in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Tidswell apparently used the car sparingly, with factory records indicating that he had Rolls-Royce update it with a full electric starting system in the 1920s.

In 1957 the car was discovered at Nowra, New South Wales, in the ownership of one J. Andrew, with the chassis and drivetrain largely complete but the body beyond salvation. It was acquired in 1968 by South Australian enthusiast Derek Hartley, who completed the restoration with a new body along the lines of the famous Maharaja of Mysore Silver Ghost. Subsequently the Rolls returned to the United Kingdom and in 1984 was sold to Peter Harper of Cheshire; it then passed in 1987 to W. K. Handcock of Northumberland.

In 1991 the Silver Ghost was acquired by a new British caretaker who decided to have the car restored anew, this time to its original configuration. Barker design drawings were employed to recreate the torpedo phaeton body to the original 1912 lines, with the work ably handled by the noted modern coachbuilding firm of Wilkinson’s, while the chassis and engine were also freshly restored. Various subtle upgrades were made, including fitting a larger carburetor and high-compression pistons, as well as an overdrive, larger rear brakes, and even power steering.

Following completion of the work, the Silver Ghost was utilized extensively on tours and rallies, including the 1993 reenactment of the Alpine Trial, and various journeys in locales as far-flung as Norway, Spain, and here in the United States. After its purchase by the current owner, the Rolls-Royce was refinished to the present, highly elegant color scheme, a rich, deep blue with button-tufted burgundy leather upholstery. The polished brightwork serves as a brilliant accent, including correct C.A.V. headlamps as described in the original Rolls-Royce build documentation. Yet this has remained no trailer queen, with the current owner having driven it over 20,000 miles and happily describing it as “one of the finest automobiles I have ever owned.”

The Silver Ghost is a model with a rich history of reliable long-distance touring—and this particular example is true to that distinctive heritage. It would be a wonderful choice for any number of events all over the world, including Silver Ghost Association rallies, as well as the Glidden Tour here in the United States. The opportunities are endless, and the car is superb, as one of the few of its kind that genuinely represents how it was delivered new, with coachwork that is a delightful change from the typical Roi des Belges.