1910 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER GHOST "BALLOON CAR" ROADSTER
COACHWORK BY WILKINSON & SONS
Chassis No. 1322
Maroon with black wings with brown hide upholstery
Engine: six cylinder, 7,248cc, side valves, 48bhp at 1,000rpm; Gearbox: three speed manual; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear, three quarter elliptic; Brakes: two whel drum. Right hand drive.
The Rolls-Royce has been widely accepted as the ultimate symbol of quality for almost nine decades. The six cylinder 40/50 h.p. 'Silver Ghost', introduced in 1906 at the London Motor Show at Olympia, swiftly established itself as the ultimate in luxury motoring and was soon credited with the title of 'The Best Car in the World'. This remarkable model remained in production for almost twenty years, with only minor modifications, and was solely responsible for establishing the firm's reputation for engineering excellence.
The Silver Ghost would naturally continue to be developed and improved upon and, by the 1300 series, new features would include the introduction of a three-speed gearbox, the removal of under-seat fuel tank to rear mounting on the chassis frame, fitment of shock absorbers as standard, and from chassis 1264 onward, cast aluminum number plates were offered. The Silver Ghost had become regarded as the finest car of its era; not only did Rolls-Royce achieve a quality of engineering far higher than had ever been attained, but the chassis was also perfectly suited for a very diverse range of coachwork, from the most beautifully formed landaulette to lightweight long distance rally cars. Originally ordered with a Cockshoot seven-passenger body, this Ghost was discovered in Argentina in chassis form and restored in the style of the famed C.S. Rolls 'Balloon Car' in which it is offered today (the original car was literally designed with the purpose of carrying a small hot air balloon on the rear of the car). The new coachwork was carried out by the well-respected firm of Wilkinson & Sons of Derby, England.
For added visual appeal, the bonnet has been left in its unpainted aluminum state, enhanced by professional polishing. All lamps and brightwork are polished in brass including the Lucas Duplex lamps and the King of the Road front driving and rear lights.
Extras on this car include Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels, a complete and quite scarce Silver Ghost tool kit, a full and correct set of engine and transmission pans, a complete fitted set of spring gaiters and a convoluted eight inch diameter bulb horn of singular design.
Interestingly, Bill Lassiter has owned this car on a number of ocassions, his first ownership started in 1982, when the car was brokered to him by Ben Moser from James McCloud (who had rescued the car in Argentina, restored it and taken it on the show circuit). In May 1985 he sold the car to a New Jersey buyer, and two years later he bought it back again. He later sold the car to fellow Florida collector, Ray Lutgert, who in turn sold the car through Christie's at Pebble Beach in August 1995. Less than six months later, 1322 was once again sold back to the Lassiter Collection.
This car has received numerous honors since its restoration was completed, including an AACA National First Place Junior award, the Foo Dog Trophy from the Rolls-Royce Owners Club for the best Silver Ghost and a first place at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1978