1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver GhostSOLD

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine

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To be offered at auction at RM Sotheby's Monterey event, August 13-15, 2015. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/.

Chassis No.
2BD

Estimate:
$550,000 - $750,000

50 bhp, 7,428 cc L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with direct-drive fourth gear, live front and rear axles with semi-elliptical front and cantilever rear leaf-spring suspension, and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 138 in.


The Hamshaw; delivered to the U.S. for Alicia du Pont
Formerly of the Atwater Kent, Cohn, and Solove collections
Recent extensive mechanical freshening by Steve Litton
Completed the month-long 2014 Silver Ghost Association tour of Tasmania and Australia
An important, respected, and pure Edwardian Silver Ghost

Chassis 2BD was one of the very last Silver Ghosts built prior to World War I and, therefore, one of the last with the distinctive, desirable, and simply iconic early parallel bonnet styling. Following testing, the chassis was delivered to coachbuilders H.A. Hamshaw Ltd., of Leicester, and fitted with a handsomely designed and beautifully appointed limousine body—one of reportedly only five they constructed for Rolls-Royce chassis—for original owner, Captain H. Whitworth, of Beverley, Yorkshire.

Apparently not long after, the Silver Ghost was exported to the U.S. for a new owner via R.W. Schuette, of New York City. Reportedly, as Delaware armaments manufacturer Alfred I. du Pont's factories were working overtime to support the war effort, King George V had insisted that Mrs. Alicia du Pont's request for a Silver Ghost Limousine be met, with this car. Thus, 2BD was delivered on January 30, 1917, to Wilmington, where it remained in the care of one of the wealthiest families in America for several years.

In 1923, the Rolls-Royce was sold on to Arthur Atwater Kent Sr., patriarch of the prominent Philadelphia radio and electronic components family. As a man who could afford virtually any automobile he desired—to the point where his home was literally featured in Packard ads!—the selection of a decade-old Silver Ghost may seem unusual.

However, Mr. Atwater Kent's son, Arthur Jr., was an early antique automobile enthusiast at a time when the hobby was just brewing into existence among a cadre of wealthy and eccentric young enthusiasts on the East Coast. He was involved in early AACA events and had a small, well-chosen collection of Brass Era automobiles, which were, at the time, the only old cars there were, as the automobile was still an invention less than half a century in age!

Thus, the Rolls remained in the Atwater Kent family for several decades, finally being sold in 1980 to a British buyer, J. Wilkins of Kent. It was eventually purchased by renowned British enthusiast Terry Cohn, then at the height of his buying and fame in the hobby. Mr. Cohn owned the Silver Ghost for several years before selling it to the late Richard J. Solove, a prominent Ohio attorney and, perhaps, the most well-known American Silver Ghost collector, recognized for amassing a stable that included one of every year of pre-World War I Silver Ghost production, from 1907 until 1915. The car was therefore one of the centerpieces of the Solove Collection for over a decade, before its sale at auction to benefit Mr. Solove's charitable endeavors.

The Hamshaw, as it was known was cosmetically restored and mechanically sorted some years ago by legendary British Silver Ghost restorer David Hemmings, and it has recently undergone extensive freshening and improvements by American expert Steve Litton, including new button-tufted leather upholstery to the driver's seat. Nothing short of opulent, it features beautiful brass fittings throughout and an extremely dark olivine green paint scheme detailed in thin gold pinstriping. The rear passenger compartment is luxe, with like-new beige cloth, embroidered silk window pulls and trim work, a cloudlike billowing pillowed headliner, carved ivory inner door handles, beveled glass windows, cut crystal reading lamps, an inlaid wood folding table, a pair of jump seats, door pockets for valuables, and a speaking tube to the chauffeur's ear.

Importantly, Mr. Litton also installed new wire wheels and a two-speed rear end as part of service work exceeding $100,000 (receipts on file) in preparation for the car's successful completion of the Silver Ghost Association's extensive, month-long Wholly Ghost Tour of Tasmania and Australia in February and March of 2014. It finished the tour and still runs like a watch. It is in superb overall condition, with its brass still gleaming.

Having always been looked after by everyone from in-house chauffeurs to famed restorers, The Hamshaw retains not only its original chassis, engine, and body but also an extensive amount of original fittings and trim, and it is among the most proper and correct Edwardian Silver Ghosts known to survive today. It stands ready to be the exclamation point for any Brass Era or Rolls-Royce collection, just as it once was for Mr. Solove, et al.

Reference Number 363557

as of 8/19/2015

Overview
Car 1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost
VIN 2BD 
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