Frederick Henry Royce made his first car, a 'Royce', in his Manchester factory in 1904. He was introduced to Charles Stewart Rolls at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on May 4th of that year, and the pair agreed to a deal whereby Royce would manufacture cars to be sold exclusively by Rolls. A clause was added to the contract stipulating the cars would be called 'Rolls-Royce.' The company was formed on March 15, 1906, and moved to Derby in 1908.
The Silver Ghost, built from 1906 to 1926, was the car that made Rolls Royce the 'Best car in the world', a phrase coined not by themselves, but by the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907. In 1921, to help meet demand, the company opened a factory in the US, at Springfield, Massachusetts, where 1,701 'Springfield Ghosts' were built. Only the last 600 had left-hand drive. By 1926, some models cost an astonishing $16,000. This factory operated for 10 years, closing in 1931 as a casualty of the Great Depression.
This Silver Ghost was delivered on February 2, 1926 in Boston with 'Mayfair Town Car' coachwork designed by Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork and built by the Massachusetts coachbuilder, Merrimac. In the mid-1980's, a fire destroyed the body and part of the chassis. The present owner later acquired the damaged chassis and also a derelict Silver Ghost 'Pall Mall Tourer' body of the same vintage. The two were combined to create this magnificent automobile.