OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE
Chassis #: 27LB
40/50 hp, 7,428 cc, L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142.5"
• Coachwork in the style of Joseph Cockshoot & Co.
• Exceptional pre-World War I Silver Ghost
• Ex-Newman, Lutgert and Magee Collections
• Ready for long-distance touring
As the 20th century entered its second decade, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost gained longer legs and wider acclaim. This was due to several widely publicized events. In 1911 a specially-built Ghost was driven from London to Edinburgh by chief test driver (and later general manager) Ernest Hives, the entire distance in top gear. The difficulty of James Radley, a friend of Charles Rolls, in the 1912 Austrian Alpine Trials resulted in a re-engineering of the engine and gearbox, the latter to add a fourth speed. As a result, Rolls-Royce dominated the 1913 Alpine Trial.
Among the various coachbuilders to clothe Rolls-Royce chassis, Joseph Cockshoot of Manchester is certainly one of the most rarely seen firms. Joseph Cockshoot was among the oldest and prestigious of coachbuilders in the north of England. Founded in 1724, the company embarked on building motor car bodies in 1903, quickly becoming principal British supplier to Renault. Cockshoot took on a Rolls-Royce franchise soon afterwards. The firm first exhibited at the London Motor Show in 1909 with a Rolls-Royce, and they did so every year, with one exception, through 1938. Over the years, car sales far overtook coachbuilding activities, but Cockshoot retained close ties to Rolls-Royce, and later Derby Bentley, continuing as dealers through the 1960s.
The original owner of 27LB is said to have been a Mr. L.H. Hardy of Nantwich, Cheshire. A Dr. S. Keidan of Manchester is listed as the owner in 1954 and 1958. It was later known to be in the United States, in the ownership of James Radford English of New York City and Red Bank, New Jersey, whose name is documented in J.S. Inskip records. At this time it may have worn a stylish, extended coupe body. The next known owner was Robert Tyson of Del Mar, California, in whose care it was recorded in 1969 and 1973 Rolls-Royce Owners Club registers, as a chassis only. It then went to renowned Silver Ghost collector Millard Newman of Tampa, Florida in 1986. It is believed that Newman fitted the current body, which was built in the style of Joseph Cockshoot & Co. and indeed carries the sill plates of that British firm.
Naples, Florida collector Raymond Lutgert acquired the car around 1986 and had British restorer David Hemmings complete a total restoration the following year. It then covered 3,000 miles in the United Kingdom on a five-week tour, beginning a career that it has followed ever since. Well-outfitted for the open road, it has a folding tonneau windscreen, rear luggage rack and trunk and carries extra luggage on the right running board.
From the Lutgert Collection it was purchased by New England Silver Ghost aficionado Douglas Magee, from whom the Milhous Collection acquired it in 2000. A veteran of many tours, it has been maintained by specialist Steve Littin, who reports it to be in excellent mechanical condition.
The 1987 restoration still presents extremely well. Its correct deep blue paint exhibits a deep shine, particularly after the recent paintwork, and the black canvas top is in excellent condition and has likely been replaced recently. The interior is upholstered in brown leather, all in very good condition. The brightwork includes C.A.V. nickel-plated electric headlamps, side lamps and tail lamps, as well as an outboard Elliott speedometer.
The engine compartment is bright and sanitary, a stunning display of brass, copper, polished aluminum and black baked enamel. The undercarriage is similarly clean and painted black. B.F. Goodrich 33x5 Silvertown tires are fitted, the spare located on the driver’s running board. All are in good condition.
The car has toured in New Zealand recently, and earlier this year completed the 2011 Transcontinental Reliability Tour, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, by way of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. A proven long-distance touring car, it stands ready to serve a new owner on the open road.