Illustrated in the 1 Rolls-Royce Company Sales Catalogue, the ex-B. Paul Moser
1912 ROLLS-ROYCEHP SILVER GHOST TORPEDO-FRONTED LIMOUSINE
COACHWORK BY THRUPP & MABERLY No. 5805
Registration No. LE 7043
Chassis No. 1850 E
Engine No. 58X
Forest Green over black with yellow coachlines, black leather upholstery to the front, fawn Bedford cord to the rear.
Engine: six-cylinder in-line, side valve, 7,428cc, 48 bhp at 1,000 rpm; Gearbox: 3 speed manual; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf spring, rear three-quarter elliptic leaf spring;
Brakes: two wheel drum. Right hand drive
1850E is the sixteenth earliest Silver Ghost to survive with its original coachwork, and this survival can be attributed to the uncomplicated chain of ownership through which it has passed to today. It was sold new to John. J. Musker a prominent Merchant Banker, resident at Shadwell Park, Thetford, Norfolk. In 1977, Musker's grandson, Sir John Musker confirmed in a letter to the then owner, 'I am writing to confirm that my grandfather bought this car off the Rolls-Royce Stand at the Motor Show'. It was photographed by Percy Northey a trials driver attached to the Rolls-Royce Sales dept. and featured in their 1 catalogue. So it would seem that the car was kept for promotional purposes by the Rolls-Royce company or by Thrupp and Maberly prior to its display at the Motor Show and subsequent sale to Musker.
Between 1912-1947 the car remained with John Musker.
In 1947 it was sold to E. W. Butcher of Suffolk, U.K.
In 1954 it was sold to Ewart Bradshaw of Preston, U.K. At the time of his acquisition, it is understood that it was purchased from Lord Lonsdale, of Lowther Castle, Cumbria and had been won by him from Duke of Portland in a game of cards. This has not been substantiated, however the car certainly remained with Bradshaw for a decade, during which for much of the time it was on display in Loxons Garage, Preston.
1964 the car is sold to K. Marsden. It was subsequently sold to George E. Smith, Ontario, U.S.A. On arrival at a Montreal shipper the expenses of the journey were not paid and so the car was retained by the shipping company.
In 1970 it is understood to have been purchased by renowned collector and Silver Ghost aficianado B. Paul Moser, of Santa Barbara, U.S.A.
1971, 1850E returns to the UK, and into the ownership of Anthony Michaels, Hampstead, London.
1973, it was purchased by Dr. Gerald Moore, to be exhibited at Heathfield Park Museum, Sussex.
1977 Sold by Christie's at Earls Court, 27th October to P.J. Evans of Birmingham. At this time it was restored cosmetically by Antique Automobiles, of Baston (Colin Crabbe).
It later passed into the Lips collection (Autotron) in Holland. From where it was acquired by present owner in 1990.
Its period illustration serves to prove perfectly how original the car is even to its detail features: the sunroof, American Rushmore Headlights (though the catalogue lists prices for Lucas), Dunlop detachable rim Artillery wheels, all being visible amongst others.
The bodywork, whilst at first glance appearing very upright and formal, would have been ideal for all weathers. Of particular note in the design are the matched oval, division and rear, windows. Its large side windows provide excellent vision for the rear passengers, yet all slide down within the bodywork, as does the large oval window in the division. To add to the airy feeling the sunroof runs completely underneath the driver providing a square meter of light - it is said that this car was the first to feature such a device, and that in later years a legal action was taken for infringement of its patent. The commodious rear section has stirrup style occasion seats, which mount either on the division or to the sides of the compartment, and beneath the rear seat is an area of storage for an umbrella.
As with any car it is the details, so more evident on formal coachwork that give the car its charm, features which are so often overlooked when a derelict car is found and such pieces are missing. A perfect example of this is present on every window, which have rubber screw locks to stop them rattling. The sole branding of the coachbuilder are the subtle Bakelite Thrupp & Maberly plaques on the inside of each of the passenger doors. On close inspection, one can see that each wheel still bears its numbered Dunlop tag, as does the front right patent 'Frankonia' wing, the headlights even retain their original rear reflectors etched with Rushmore.
Mechanically, its originality is similarly easily confirmed every component being stamped with the chassis number. The only number that does not tally, the gearbox number, is clearly noted on the factory build sheets as being 1865 from new, rather than 1850 E.
In present ownership the Silver Ghost has continued to be cherished by its enthusiast owner. The engine was completely rebuilt shortly after his acquisition, by specialist Jonathan Harley, and subsequently proved itself on the 1993 Alpine run which it completed faultlessly. During this restoration its original flywheel was replaced with a lighter item, but the original is included in the sale and could be re-fitted. A practical concession confirming its regular use are the fitment of modern traffic indicators.
Original bodied Rolls-Royce from this period are extremely rare, of the few that remain one wonders how many if any can claim not only to have an original image of the car as it was supplied, let alone in colour in the Company's own catalogue. In addition to this, the car is featured in a number of modern publications, including 'Coachwork on Rolls-Royce' by Dalton (page no. 296), Fasal and Goodman's 'The Edwardian Rolls-Royce', Klaus Rossfeldt's 'Rolls-Royce and Bentley' as well as numerous magazine articles.
With the marque's centenary being celebrated in 2004, this would provide an ideal entry for the many events that have been scheduled for the commemorations.