Haunting Beauties at V&P

Haunting Beauties at V&P

Northampton dealer Richard Biddulph’s Vintage & Prestige had an astonishing 13 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts for sale as we compiled the Market Watch pages. Of those, five are Edwardian examples, with one as early as 1909.


This is a particularly interesting car in the world of Ghosts, as it seems to be the only survivor of its series and it sports a desirable combination of rare features: the four-speed gearbox in which third is direct drive and top gear is an overdrive, plus the larger 7.4- litre engine. It has worn this so-called Balloon coachwork (the flat area behind the seats was capable of carrying a folded hot-air balloon and basket) since 1959 when it was constructed by Maurice Schwarz of Bohmann & Schwarz in Pasadena, California.


1909 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP SILVER GHOST 7.4 LITRE 4 SPEED BALLOON CAR

Another Edwardian Ghost, but with a remarkable original body, is V&P’s 1913 Colonial Open Drive Landaulette by Barker. Thanks to a charmed life and a top-notch restoration in 1987, the 100 year-old coachwork survives in fine condition. The quaint arrangement of permanently open sides to the driver’s seat and optionally opening roof to the rear seats seems to ensure that only those sitting on the two jump seats in the middle are guaranteed safe from a rain shower. Original extras such as a foot heater for the rear passengers and a ceiling-mounted hat net for errant headwear add to the charm.

Perhaps the most eye-catching car of the lot, thanks to a dazzling fresh coat of silver paint, is a 1912 Roi des Belges tourer that’s just emerged from a nut-and-bolt restoration. It’s a remarkable sight – a 110 year-old car on which everything looks brand new. Ever wanted to know what it felt like to have a new Silver Ghost delivered, or fancied yourself as the owner of the original Silver Ghost, AX 201? This might be as close as you could get. But for all their appeal, can these ancient machines really cope with modern roads? Yes indeed, says Richard.

‘I did 2000 miles around Spain in a 1912 Ghost on an Iberian rally, happily cruising at 50 to 60mph, and the car never missed a beat,’ he says. ‘These earlier Ghosts have only rear-wheel brakes, but they work well and you just adjust your driving style to give a little more room. They are amazingly capable.’

See vandp.net

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