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For Sale: 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in Saint Louis, Missouri

Vehicle Description

Upon its debut in 1907, the Rolls-Royce 40/50 horsepower "Silver Ghost" was undoubtedly the most advanced motorcar money could buy. Henry Royce's astonishingly overbuilt 7,428cc side-valve inline six-cylinder engine was the centerpiece of this true engineering marvel, which rendered virtually every other automobile obsolete overnight. The impressive engine was durable yet lightweight thanks to the extensive use of aluminum alloy, particularly in the large crankcase. While competitors struggled to achieve reliability due to their long, flexible crankshafts, Royce's design utilized a crank that was shorter, stronger, and supported by seven oversize main bearings. Rolls-Royce engineers and machinists assembled the 40/50hp with surgical precision, finely fitting each component and hand-polishing mating surfaces to ensure turbine-smooth, smoke-free operation - characteristics virtually unheard of for the time. Features such as pressurized oiling, fixed heads to eliminate leaks, and a twin ignition system via magneto or distributor were advancements that established the Silver Ghost as the world standard for fine motorcars. Of course, the Ghost was more than just the engine; the chassis was similarly overbuilt to withstand virtually any abuse an owner could throw at it. Given its remarkable durability, a Silver Ghost 40/50hp chassis would often outlive its original body, sometimes several times over. Over the eighteen-year production run, the design underwent numerous refinements, gaining significant improvements, including four-wheel brakes, revised suspension, improved steering, and much more. It is a true testament to the quality of these cars that a vast majority of the approximately 6,500 Silver Ghosts produced still survive today. Even as many Silver Ghosts have surpassed the century mark, a global community of dedicated aficionados continues to enjoy them as intended on the road, and few veteran cars can match the experience of piloting a mighty Silver Ghost. Chassis number 355XH is a beautifully restored Silver Ghost wearing striking and sporty 'Playboy' roadster in the style of Brewster. It boasts a fascinating history and a marvelous, nut-and-bolt restoration by a highly respected marque specialist. According to published records, chassis 355XH was originally sold to Mr. Huntington Reed "Tack" Hardwick of Boston, Mass. Hardwick was a star football player at Harvard who later served as an artillery officer for the US Army in World War I. When he returned home, he built a highly successful career with the trading firm Benton & Stone. He was one of the first owners of the Boston Nighthawks hockey team, and he helped found the Boston Garden. For a man so ingrained in Massachusetts, it is fitting that his Silver Ghost was built in nearby Springfield and fitted from new with Pall Mall Tourer coachwork by Merrimac. By the 1930s, 355XH had left Hardwick's ownership and was reportedly offered for sale in Tom Mix's Boston showroom. In 1938 it was purchased for $1750 by a man named Fred Roe - a young car enthusiast who was so smitten with his purchase that he went on to be one of five founding members of the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club. Fred is a legendary character in the world of collector cars, and much-loved copies of his seminal book on the Duesenberg marque sit on the shelves of many motoring enthusiasts. 355XH passed through several more hands, including those of Everett and Cort Pauls, both former RROC officers. In the 1940s, before Everett Pauls's tenure, the original Pall Mall body was removed and fitted to Springfield Ghost chassis 320KG, replacing that car's worn-out Windsor body. Remarkably, 355XH's original body still exists on 320KG, which is owned by the Heritage Museum & Garden in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Everett Pauls acquired 355XH sans coachwork, ultimately settling on a period appropriate Playboy-style roadster. In the 30s, Playboy bodies were only fitted to pre-owned chassis, often when there was an abundance of formal cars in stock. While most Playboys were convertible coupes with roll-up side windows, this car's dramatically cut-down doors necessitate the use of side curtains. According to Pierce Reid, who restored 355XH from the ground-up, the fenders and bonnet are original to this chassis. Fred Roe had described his very first drive in the car in 1938, when he learned the perils of 2-wheel brakes on wet roads and slid gently into the back of his mother's limousine, bending the front wings! Reid found evidence of the repairs - properly hammered back to form and leaded smooth. As offered here, 355XH is in superb condition. The respected specialist Pierce Reid, now of The Vintage Garage in Stowe, Vermont, performed the exquisite nut-and-bolt restoration for himself in the early 2000s. The exhaustive project included a total engine overhaul, including new Hepworth pistons, new bearings, and correctly restored hardware. The radiator was re-cored by American Honeycomb, and the fuel system was totally renewed. Likewise, the chassis was restored and virtually every component was replaced or rebuilt before being detailed to concours-quality standards, ensuring it is road-ready for years to come. The cosmetics are restored with the same meticulous attention to detail and quality. The coachwork is superb, and the subtle two-tone gray paintwork suits the elegant yet sporty style. Details include gorgeous nickel-finish drum headlamps, six red-painted wire wheels with alloy discs, an authentic Springfield-made mascot (supplied to Reid by John Webb de Campi), wood running boards, and a fully restored metal trunk in matching gray. The beautiful top and interior were restored by Petter Davidsen of New Hampshire to concours-quality standards and are presented in excellent order today. Also included are a matching top boot, a Silver Ghost tool kit, and a restored original jack. Silver Ghosts are renowned for their superb road manners, and 355XH is certainly no exception. The Ghost is highly sought-after by RROC and CCCA touring enthusiasts because few other veteran cars offer the same levels of performance, reliability, and ease of use. 355XH is strikingly beautiful remains entirely suitable for concours events, though it will also make an exceptional touring car thanks to the comprehensive nature of the restoration. With its fascinating history, beautiful looks, and superb mechanical condition, Silver Ghost 355XH is an excellent choice for concours events or touring and is sure to be a highlight of any prestigious collection. Offers welcome and trades considered For additional details please view this listing directly on our website

Vehicle Details

  • 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • Listing ID:CC-1547401
  • Price:$375,000
  • Location:Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Year:1923
  • Make:Rolls-Royce
  • Model:Silver Ghost
  • Odometer:0
  • Stock Number:7162
  • VIN:355XH
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