The Guyton Collection | Lot 376
1925 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster by Merrimac
$280,000 USD | Sold
| St. Louis, Missouri
4 May 2019
- One of the most desirable body styles on the Springfield Silver Ghost
- Original chassis, engine, and coachwork, as delivered to the first owner
- Well-maintained restoration in very attractive colors
- Formerly owned by golf legend and Rolls-Royce enthusiast, Gene Littler
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
As with the cars built at Derby, the majority of the American Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts produced in Springfield, Massachusetts, carried closed coachwork that was heavy and formal, albeit beautifully constructed and finely detailed. Lightweight sporting bodies for the Silver Ghost were rare indeed, but they did exist. Most prominent was the Piccadilly Roadster coachwork provided by Massachusetts coachbuilder Merrimac under the Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work label.
One hundred and five examples of the Piccadilly were produced for Springfield Silver Ghosts, followed by another 45 on the successor Phantom I chassis. They were popular choices as second bodies on used chassis, which makes this car, an original body Piccadilly, particularly rare and wonderful.
Chassis no. S369RK was originally delivered with its Piccadilly bodywork to bond dealer A.E. Fitkin of New York City on 26 July 1926, as noted in the Rolls-Royce Foundation records. By 1959, the car had moved to the sunny shores of Honolulu, Hawaii, where it was owned by John D. Monnett. It then passed in 1962 to Victor Erenberg of Los Angeles, then in 1983 to the late Gene Littler, the well-known U.S. Open-winning Hall of Fame golfer known as “Gene the Machine” for his powerful swing. Off the green, Mr. Littler was a true automobile enthusiast, with a particular passion for vintage Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and counted such luminaries as William Harrah and Phil Hill among his friends.
Chassis S369RK was later acquired in 1990 by the Blackhawk Collection, from which it was purchased by Fred Guyton in January 1997. It has had a good home in St. Louis for the past two decades and during that time has been seldom seen outside of private events at Mason’s Garage. Its restoration is overall well preserved, with very good medium blue paint and a tan leather interior showing only minor signs of age and use. Much of the exterior trim is nickel, with prominent Bausch & Lomb drum headlights and a rolled aluminum bumper in evidence. The rumble seat is unusually cushy and delightful, with full folding armrests and a particularly comfortable backrest. The chassis and engine compartment are overall clean and well detailed.
A lovely Springfield Ghost of excellent quality, this would be a brilliant addition to any fine Rolls-Royce collection.