Previous Next

Lot 068

1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Roi des Belges Tourer

  • Chassis no. 1677

Sold for $876,982


This lot will be sold with the following documents: Bill of Sale





Frederick Henry Royce was an engineer trained in the British electric power industry. He began tinkering with motor cars in 1902 and soon decided he could build a better car himself. Charles Stewart Rolls, 14 years Royce’s junior, was educated at Cambridge University. He became fond of bicycle racing and took to motor racing in 1899 with a De Dion-Bouton tricycle. Rolls’ friend, Henry Edmunds, a pioneer motorist and founder of the Royal Automobile Club, arranged for the two to meet over lunch in May 1904.



They hit it off very well, and Rolls took on the selling of Royce’s entire output. The first Rolls-Royce car was shown at the Paris Salon in December 1904. In 1906, Rolls cancelled all of his other franchise arrangements and the two men’s businesses were merged as Rolls-Royce Ltd.



Henry Royce set out to design a six-cylinder engine in 1906. He went back to basics and set two blocks of three cylinders on a common crankcase. Pressure lubrication was a forward-looking feature. Production began in 1907, the most famous of the genre being a silver Barker-bodied tourer built for Managing Director Claude Johnson. Christened “Silver Ghost”, its name was later appropriated for the entire 19-year model run of what was officially called the 40/50, from its horsepower rating.



Surviving records show that chassis 1677 was ordered on 25 April 1911, specified with a “Colonial” front axle and rear springs for extra ground clearance. The order called for a limousine-landaulet body with extra seating from H.J. Mulliner, for delivery to Calcutta for the Secretary to the Viceroy. The order appears not to have been consummated, because there is another order for “prompt” delivery, “as it stands”, on 6 June 1912, to H. Eric Trevanion, of Bayswater, London. The coachbuilder is listed as Hooper & Co.



When acquired by the Baron in the early-1960s, this Silver Ghost was fitted with the current, nice rendition of a Roi des Belges tourer, in dark blue with black mouldings coachlined in red. The seating is upholstered in buttoned red leather, and the car is nicely set off with contrasting red wheels and rims. The paintwork is generally good, and the brass is very nice, comprising BRC headlamps, side lamps and a correct bulb horn. An accessory windscreen is fitted for the rear seat passengers.



The engine and undercarriage are, apart from a few oil leaks, very presentable. One of the most desirable renditions of the Silver Ghost, the Roi des Belges tourer is the archetypal icon of its era.





Frederick Henry Royce var tekniker, uddannet inden for den britiske elektriske industri. Han begyndte at rode med motorbiler i 1902 og besluttede snart, at han selv kunne bygge en bedre bil. Charles Stewart Rolls, der var 14 år yngre end Royce, var uddannet ved Cambridge Universitet. Han blev glad for for cykelløb og gik i 1899 over til motorløb med en af De Dion-Boutons tricycles. Rolls' ven, Henry Edmunds, en af de første motorister og grundlægger af Den Kongelige Automobilklub, arrangerede et frokostmøde mellem de to i maj 1904.



De kom godt ud af det med hinanden, og Rolls overtog salget af Royce's samlede produktion. Den første Rolls-Royce blev udstillet i Paris Salon i december 1904. I 1906 opsagde Rolls alle sine andre franchise-aftaler, og de to mænds forretninger fusionerede under navnet Rolls-Royce Ltd.



Henry Royce begyndte at lave planer for en seks-cylindret motor i 1906. Han gik tilbage til grunddesignet og satte to blokke á tre cylindre sammen i et almindeligt krumtaphus. Tryksmøring var en fremsynet funktion. Produktionen begyndte i 1907, hvor den mest berømte i serien blev en sølvfarvet tourer med Barker-karosseri bygget af den administrerende direktør Claude Johnson. Den fik navnet “Silver Ghost”, som senere overtaget af hele den over 19 år løbende modelserie, som officielt blev kaldt 40/50'eren på grund af dens hestekræfter.



Bevarede kilder viser, at Chassis 1677 blev bestilt den 25. april 1911, udtrykkeligt med en “Colonial”-foraksel og bagfjedre for at opnå ekstra frihøjde. Bestillingen var på et limousine-landaulet karosseri med ekstra sæder fra H.J. Mulliner, med leverering til Calcutta til statholderens minister. Bestillingen ser ikke ud til at være blevet gennemført, for der findes en anden bestilling af “omgående” levering, “som den er”, den 6. juni 1912, to H. Eric Trevanion fra Bayswater, London. Den anførte karosseribygger er Hooper & Co.



Efter at være blevet overtaget af Baronen i begyndelsen af 1960'erne, blev denne Silver Ghost ombygget til den nuværende pæne fortolkning af en Roi des Belges Tourer i mørkeblå med sorte pyntelister med røde kantstreger. Sæderne er polstrede i rødt læder med knapper, og bilen fremstår pænt med kontrasterende røde hjul og fælge. Lakeringen er generelt i god stand, og messingen er meget pæn, herunder BRC forlygter, sidelygter og et korrekt horn. En ekstra rude er indsat til gavn for de bageste passagersæder.



Motoren og understellet er, når man ser bort fra et par olieutætheder, meget præsentable. Roi des Belges Tourer er en af de mest attraktive fortolkninger af Silver Ghost og et arketypisk ikon for sin periode.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more