1911 Rolls-Royce 4050hp Silver Ghost

Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale Features The Silver Ghost

A 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Semi-Open Drive Limousine will be one of the main highlights at the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale at New Bond Street on October 30th.

The auction format will be a traditional live auction starting with the automobilia at 1pm, while the motor cars are scheduled for 5pm. There will be an auctioneer at the rostrum and a limited number of bidders will be allowed in the Bonhams New Bond Street saleroom, respecting social distancing and all COVID-19 related guidelines. 

1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tulip-Backed semi open drive Pullman Limousine

Estimate: £ 1,000,000 – 1,300,000

The Silver Ghost was considered to be the embodiment of Edwardian engineering and coachbuilding excellence. Nicknamed The Silver Ghost because of the silver paintwork of the display car at the 1906 Motor Show, the vehicle was the flagship of Rolls-Royce and was regarded as the ‘best car in the world.’ It set a new world record in the 15,000-mile Scottish Reliability Run. 

1911 Rolls-Royce 4050hp Silver Ghost
front of 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tulip-Backed semi open drive Pullman Limousine

The Silver Ghost is powered by a 7-liter engine mated to a three-speed gearbox that was not only reliable but was also unrivalled in its performance. It offered a smooth and civilized driving experience as the engine was ‘ghostly’ quiet compared to its rivals. 

engine of 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tulip-Backed semi open drive Pullman Limousine

The superiority of its engineering was matched perfectly by the elegant style that could be seen in the example that is on offer. Joseph A Lawton & Co of Liverpool fashioned its coachwork with a tulip-backed limousine body to the specification of the first owner, Mrs. Benger of Benger’s Foods company, a neighbor of Henry Royce

It is beautifully finished in deep red with black wings and exquisite coach lines. All the fittings of the Silver Ghost are made of brass, even the stunning French opera lamps. 

exterior of 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tulip-Backed semi open drive Pullman Limousine

The chauffer’s compartment, which is separate, is traditionally trimmed using deep-button black leather upholstery. The driver’s instruments include a dashboard-mounted fuel pressure gauge, a speedometer, a speaking tube to communicate with passengers, and an electric klaxon. 

The rear compartment is grandly fitted out with silk blinds and curtains, along with beveled glass rear windows, and a magnificent burr walnut door paneling and headlining. Other luxury features include a courtesy lamp, full-width vanity tray with scent bottles and a flower vase, cocktail cabinet, and a rear clock. There is also a luggage rack for the long-distance motor tour. 

interior of 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tulip-Backed semi open drive Pullman Limousine

This glorious machine has been featured in several Rolls-Royce books and has been in the possession of the most discerning of enthusiasts and collectors. 

“This Rolls-Royce is an outstanding example of its type, truly the crème de la crème, and will be a very special highlight of the sale.” 

Bonhams Motor Cars UK, Head of Department Tim Schofield. 

Showcasing the finest and rarest veteran, vintage, and post-vintage vehicles, The Golden Age of Motoring Sale also features: 

1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Velox Tourer 

Estimate: £ 250,000 – 300,000

It is considered to be the finest British sporting Vintage motor car and a car that kept their rival, Bentley, on its toes.

1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Velox Tourer
side of 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Velox Tourer
interior of 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Velox Tourer

The first model immediately set a new record at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. The later OE versions, with a 110hp, 4.2-liter engines were also successful at the Brooklands motor circuit. This original bodied example comes with full matching numbers and has been in possession of the current owner since 1968. 

1902 Arrol-Johnston 10/12hp Dogcart 

Estimate: £ 80,000 – 120,000

A pioneer in British motor cars, the Arrol-Johnston has a very distinct dogcart body, with the driver’s seat placed in the second row.

1902 Arrol-Johnston 10/12hp Dogcart
side profile of 1902 Arrol-Johnston 10/12hp Dogcart
seats of 1902 Arrol-Johnston 10/12hp Dogcart

Manufactured by the Mo-Car Syndicate Ltd, Glasgow, Arrol-Johnston conceived its name from financial backer Sir William Arrol (builder of the Forth Railway Bridge) and its designer George Johnston, a locomotive engineer.

This example was found neglected in a quarry in the 1960s and since then, has had two restorations. The current owners have had the unit since 1991, and it has successfully completed a number of London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs


More information regarding Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring may be found on their website.

[Source: Bonhams]