Hershey

5-6 October 2017

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Lot 270

1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer by Grosvenor

  • Chassis no. 85TG
  • Engine no. P223

Sold for $176,000


  • Single-family ownership for 57 years
  • Believed to be a one-off design
  • Original coachwork, engine, and gearbox
  • Documented provenance


Among the pre-World War II Rolls-Royce cars, the supreme example of the marque is the 40/50 HP Silver Ghost, the target motor car for many collectors. Designed for long life and reliability, all but a few of the 6,173 Silver Ghosts built in England between 1907 and 1925 are still on the road. Apart from neglect, very little goes wrong with the Ghost. The engine is nearly indestructible due to the massive design, generous bearing dimensions, very low compression, and low rev capacities. Mechanical adjustment and maintenance is straightforward, and many owners find hours spent with the oilcan and hand tools are as enjoyable as time on the open road, where the charm of driving a Silver Ghost can become addictive.

The Rolls-Royce chassis was more robust than the ash frame/aluminum skin body, and many of these original bodies did not survive. However, this splendid example still carries its original coachbuilt touring body, by the Grosvenor Carriage Company of Kilburn.

The original owner, Maxwell Norman, a French artist, sold it to his family physician, Dr. Chario, where it was used on the Isle of Capri for almost two years before it was brought to Long Island, New York. The car remained in storage for about 15 years until it was acquired by Harold Priest of Glensondale, Massachusetts. Its next owner was F.R. Schreiter, of South Lancaster, Massachusetts. In 1947, it was sold to William Gregor, who drove it home to Flint, Michigan, before performing a complete chassis, mechanical, and cosmetic freshening. The odometer reading at that time was about 30,000 miles. Used for the next few years in car club events, it was then stored until 1960 when it was purchased by Jack Skaff of Flint. Showing scarcely 50,000 miles use, its next owner was Calvin T. Zahn of Ann Arbor, an avid motor car collector and grandfather of the current owner. The car has remained in the Zahn family for 57 years. In storage since 1999, it is now ready to be used and enjoyed again.

Its pleasing and well-proportioned four-place body is finished in silver, with fabric black hood, period-correct black leather interior, and rear-mounted trunk. The original mahogany fascia displays original instruments, including a Waltham speedometer/odometer now showing just 58,399 miles, a Rolls-Royce Waltham clock, Ampmeter, fuel gauge and oil gauge, and several post-war club dash plaques. Charming bits remain with the car, including a period-correct Klaxon horn, hand and wheel tool kit under the right side running board, vintage luggage trunk, Grosvenor coachbuilder sill plate, side-mount rear-view mirrors, original British registration plates, and the all-important original Rolls-Royce chassis and patent plates on the firewall.

Ask yourself what other motor car investment offers the opportunity to experience fun, reliable motoring in a century-old design, than that of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.

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