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Rolls-Royce History

1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Chassis number : 1513

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Sold for $1,430,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $484,000 at 2011 RM Auctions at Monterey.
Sold for $693,946 (DKK4,312,500) at 2015 Bonhams : The Frederiksen Auction.
The Honorable Charles Stewart Rolls had come from a family of wealth. His family had made a fortune in real estate development and land holdings. They held tens of thousands of residential units and very prosperous.

C.S.Rolls had earned a degree in mechanism and applied science at Cambridge. His company, C.S. Rolls & Company, distributed several cars made in France. He used his contacts, visibility, and entrepreneurial talents gained from his family, in his endeavors.

He met Frederick Henry Royce and soon became the exclusive marketing agent for Royce's cars bearing the Rolls-Royce nameplate. The cars were well built, easy to sell, durable, well appointed, and highly sought after. With little challenges left in his life, C.S. Rolls eventually turned to flying and would become a famed aeronaut.

His flying exploits began in a balloon fueled by coal gas. Together with his friend John Moore-Brabazon, they purchased the first balloon built by the Short brother and would make over 130 balloon ascents.

In the early days of ballooning, the course and destination were very unpredictable. When the flyers would make their descent, aeronauts would bundle up their balloon, its rigging and the basket (also known as the 'car'). They would then commission a local farmer, if one could be found, to haul the balloon and its related materials to the railway station. C.S Rolls soon bypassed this routine by outfitting a Silver Ghost chassis with a special two-seat body that had a platform in the rear where the balloon-car could be placed. The riggings and related materials could then be loaded into the basket, and the transportation problem was solved.

C.S. Rolls had commissioned H.J. Mulliner to create the body for the original Rolls Balloon car. It was equipped with many special features including Rudge Whitworth wire wheels and metal front wings and patent leather at the rear. The car had inlet-over-exhaust cylinder heads and a longer stroke resulting in an increase in horsepower to around 70.

The original car was destroyed many years ago but this example, along with one other, still remain; it is a 1910 Rolls duplicate with chassis number 1513 and coachwork by Wilkinson. This replica was built under the guidance of Millard Newman and is one of two recreations made. One car went to the Harrah collection and the other to Newman.

This was the Newman owned car. It was later purchased by S. Prestley Blake, and in 1991 it was purchased by Richard Solove.

Chassis 1513 is fitted with Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels and a very raked split windscreen. A dickey seat can be installed in the rear platform where C.S. Rolls would have mounted his balloon. The car is painted in red with black accents, chassis and fenders. This car wears an older restoration that shows well in modern times.

There are fender-mounted bulb horns, a 'Double Elliott' speedometer/odometer, and lots of brass work and fixtures.

In 2007 it was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California where it was estimated to sell for $900,000 - $1,100,000 and offered without reserve. Bidding soon surpassed those estimates with the final bid settling at $1,430,000 including buyer's premium.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Sold for $1,430,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $484,000 at 2011 RM Auctions at Monterey.
Sold for $693,946 (DKK4,312,500) at 2015 Bonhams : The Frederiksen Auction.
This Rolls-Royce was fitted with Landaulette coachwork by Barker and sold to Mrs. William (Lucile) Carter who was a Titanic disaster survivor in 1912. By 1969 the car was found in the middle of a field in Pennsylvania by Rolls-Royce connoisseur Millard Newman. Around 1970 Newman supervised the construction of two extremely accurate Balloon Car replicas and one is this example.

The car is powered by a 7428 cc six-cylinder engine developing 50 horsepower.

It ended up in a collection in Denmark until purchased by the current owner in 2015. It has been toured extensively. The car is named 'Lucie' in honor of her first owner.

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2015 Bonhams : The Frederiksen Auction

Sale Price :
USD $693,946 (DKK4,312,500.00)

2011 RM Auctions at Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $450,000-USD $600,000 
Sale Price :
USD $484,000

2007 Gooding & Company

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $900,000-USD $1,100,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,430,000

1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

(Data based on Model Year 1910 sales)
1910 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Pullman Limousine
Chassis#: 1392
Sold for USD$2,535,000
  2021 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours Auction
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50 SILVER GHOST 'BALLOON CAR'
Chassis#: 1513
Sold for USD$693,946
  2015 Bonhams : The Frederiksen Auction
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Balloon Car by Wilkinson & Sons
Chassis#: 1513
Sold for USD$484,000
  2011 RM Auctions at Monterey
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Landaulette by Brainsby
Chassis#: 1204
Sold for USD$539,000
  2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Sold for USD$1,430,000
  2007 Gooding & Company
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulet
Chassis#: 1300
Sold for USD$469,800
  2007 Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost image  
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer
Chassis#: 1302
Sold for USD$435,076
  2004 Bonhams - Veteran, Vintage & Collectors' Motor Cars & Automobilia
 

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts That Failed To Sell At Auction

1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1910 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Limousine13652004 Bonhams Important Collectors Motor Cars $260,000$320,000

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1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Profiles

1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost vehicle information
Open Drive Landaulet
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis #: 1300
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost vehicle information
Balloon Car
Coachwork: Wilkinson
Chassis #: 1513
Engine #: 1513
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost vehicle information
Roi-des-Belges
Coachwork: Wilkinson
Chassis #: 1341
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost vehicle information
Landaulette
Coachwork: Brainsby-Woollard
Chassis #: 1204
1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Holbrook