The Rolls-Royce 40/50 was introduced at the 1907 Olympia Motor Show where it caused a sensation. Using twin iron blocks with an alloy crankcase, the 7,036cc, six cylinder, sidevalve engine featured a seven bearing crankshaft, integral cylinder heads, roller cam followers, full pressure lubrication, twin plugs per cylinder and dual magneto and coil ignition. Breathing through Royce’s own carburettor, it produced 50hp at a lowly 1,500rpm allied to tremendous torque and unrivalled smoothness, ahead of anything else at the time; using a clutch and four speed gearbox in unit with the engine, it was also capable of 55mph. The 40/50’s ladder frame chassis was immensely strong too, with semi-elliptic spring suspension all round, while a footbrake operated on the transmission and a handbrake on the rear drums.
Orders flooded in, despite a price of £895, and by 1908 the Silver Ghost – so renamed after the striking silver plating and paintwork of the 13th 40/50 produced – was Rolls-Royce’s only model. For 1909 capacity increased to 7,428cc and two years later a torque tube drive was fitted while power rose to 58hp. The latter was instigated for the Scottish Reliability Trial which saw a Silver Ghost run from the south coast to Scotland entirely in top gear; soon after the Ghost was advertised as ‘The Best Car in the World’. Cars subsequently prepared for the 1913 Austrian Trial, incidentally, could top 80mph.
Ordered on the 28th September 1912 by Frank D Benjamin of 16 Drayton Place, London and was delivered on 20th March 1913 shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Originally delivered with a Barker Landaulette body work. Now resplendent with Doctors Drophead coupe bodywork with dickey seat, this fantastic motor car underwent a restoration in 2000 and we are informed that the car is in excellent condition overall. The coachwork in a contrasting yellow and red with a matching red interior and boasts many hard to find original features including stirrup mounted headlights and two wheel brakes.
Chassis 2233 still possesses the qualities of refinement, reliability and performance that established Rolls-Royce as the pre-eminent British motor manufacturer as long ago as the Edwardian era, this car represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a well cherished Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.