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Rolls-Royce History

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost

Chassis number : 23ED

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High bid of $500,000 at 2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey. (did not sell)
Sold for $368,500 at 2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island.
Sold for $660,000 at 2013 RM Auctions - Monterey.
The name 'Silver Ghost' was used for the entire 19-year model run of what was officially called the 40/50, from its horsepower rating. Production began in 1907.

A silver Barker-bodied tourer was built for Managing Director Claude Johnson, and it was christened the 'Silver Ghost.' It took part in the 2000-mile Scottish Reliability Trial, where it won a gold medal. The car was then subjected to further endurance testing, covering 15,000 miles in repeated London-Glasgow journeys. At the conclusion of the test, the car was disassembled and examined for wear. All of the parts were found to be within tolerances. In modern times, the car still exists, and has covered nearly 600,000 miles. It is currently in restored condition.

The London-Edinburgh model was the result of a 1911 challenge by Napier. Selwyn Francis Edge, Napier's distributor, entered a 65-horespower car in an RAC-observed run from London to Edinburgh, driven entirely in high gear. Rolls-Royce responded, using a nearly standard Silver Ghost wearing a lightweight touring body. The car was stock except for a higher compression and a larger carburetor.

The Rolls-Royce outperformed the Napier on fuel consumption, and in a timed run at the Brooklands track. The Rolls-Royce achieved 78.26 mph while the Napier reached 76.52 miles per hour. The same chassis, with a single-seat body and a high ratio axle, was driven to 101.8mph in the flying mile at Brooklands a year later.

In 1919, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost were given electric lights and self-starter. In 1923, it was given four-wheel brakes. Production of the Silver Ghost continued until 1925.

This vehicle, chassis number 23ED, was ordered by the British Admiralty on February 21, 1915 and delivered on April 28. The car was eventually shipped to the United States and was discovered by an Ohio collector in the 1970s. It has remained in the same family ever since.

In preparation for a restoration, a London-Edinburgh tourer body was supplied by British coachbuilders Crailville, Ltd., of Southall, Middlesex. The company specializes in construction of period-correct bodies for classic cars.

In the mid-2000s, the restoration work began. It was given a complete mechanical rebuild, including the engine, transmission, axle and chassis. It was given a new stainless steel exhaust system and an electronic overdrive. The close-coupled London-Edinburgh body was fitted and finished in archetypal silver with a leather interior.

Accessories include an Elliott speedometer, mirrors and electric side- and headlamps.

In 2009, this Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction in Monterey, California presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $700,000-$900,000. The lot failed to sell after achieving a high bid of $500,000.

In 2010, this car returned to auction, again at an RM Auction sale, this time at their 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' event. The car was estimated to sell for $400,000 - $500,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $368,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010

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2013 RM Auctions - Monterey

Sale Price :
USD $660,000

2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $400,000-USD $500,000 
Sale Price :
USD $368,500

2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $700,000-USD $900,000 
High Bid (Lot was not sold)
USD $500,000

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost

(Data based on Model Year 1915 sales)
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Limousine
Chassis#: 9AD
Sold for USD$277,516
  2020 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer
Chassis#: 6AD
Sold for USD$329,419
  2019 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival
 
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine by Hamshaw
Chassis#: 2BD
Sold for USD$506,000
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer
Chassis#: 23ED
Sold for USD$660,000
  2013 RM Auctions - Monterey
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Limousine
Chassis#: 2BD
Sold for USD$561,000
  2012 RM Auctions - Monterey
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  
1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer
Sold for USD$368,500
  2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Amelia Island
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2007 Gooding & Company
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost image  

Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghosts That Failed To Sell At Auction

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Tourer15BD2022 Mecum : Monterey$475,000  
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Limousine9AD2018 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais $450,000$550,000
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Limousine by H.A. Hamshaw2BD2011 RM Auctions Villa d'Este$440,000$520,000$700,000
1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo Tourer by Maythorn & Son24 CB2009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company $775,000$850,000
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost23ED2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey$500,000$700,000$900,000

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1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Profiles

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost vehicle information
Limousine
Coachwork: H.a. Hamshaw Ltd.
Chassis #: 2BD
Engine #: 11B
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost vehicle information
London-Edinburgh Tourer
Chassis #: 23ED
Engine #: 88E
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost vehicle information
Torpedo Tourer
Coachwork: Maythorne & Sons
Chassis #: 24 CB
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost vehicle information
Alpine Eagle Torpedo
Coachwork: Portholme
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost vehicle information
Sports Torpedo
Coachwork: Wilkinson
Chassis #: 15BD