Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Coupe de Ville

When Henry Royce set out to design a six-cylinder engine in 1906, he was embarking on largely uncharted territory. In Britain, only Napier espoused the concept, and the vitality of longer crankshafts was of concern. Royce went back to basics and placed two sets of three cylinders on a common crankcase, set back-to-back such that the third and fourth pistons rose and fell together. 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.

Changes to the Silver Ghost over its lifetime were modest: platform cantilever rear suspension replaced three-quarter elliptic springs in 1912, electric lighting and starting became standard in 1919, and likewise four-wheel brakes in 1924.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

40/50 hp, 7,428 cc side-valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf spring platform suspension, four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 3,645 mm (143.5")

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

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