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Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 6-Passenger Oxford Touring, Red, for sale in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, price on application.
440MF represents a Springfield Ghost with an authentic Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work body that has been comprehensively restored.
Rolls-Royce motorcars are as much about history as they are about beauty and engineering. Few other marques can claim such comprehensive ownership records, which include details about engines, chassis, and bodies, much of which is still available from the factory. As these cars were recognized as special vehicles from the very start, passionate enthusiasts have kept exacting records of the engines, chassis and bodies fitted to them. Silver Ghosts in particular, having decades of experienced owners behind them, often have interesting, varied stories to tell that only add to their mystique. And as is the case with any object of value, the more detailed and solid the history, the more valuable it becomes.
This particular 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, chassis number 440MF, engine number 22403, was originally purchased by Mrs. D. L. Cady in Burlington, Vermont and delivered on May 25, 1925. At that time, it wore body number H692, a Canterbury limousine built by Holbrook. Sometime after 1930, the original limousine body was replaced by a touring body of unknown origin, and it is with this body that it appeared in John W. deCampi’s book, “Rolls-Royce in America. ” Subsequent owners include Merwin O. Kittle in 1957, when it was still equipped with this unknown touring body, and later E. R. Stephens, who purchased it as a bare chassis in the mid-1960s. Well-known Rolls-Royce enthusiast and historian Millard Newman is listed as the owner of record in 1971, at which time it carried a roadster body. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Newman sold the chassis alone to H. Edward White, a close friend, as well as the current Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work “Oxford” six-passenger touring body, number NH386, built by the New Haven Carriage Company. This body was originally fitted to a 1913 Silver Ghost, chassis number 30EB, in the 1920s, and as such is one of the very few factory rebodies of an early Silver Ghost. In the late 1970s, the car was purchased by Dr. Truman McGhee, who completely restored the car using this six-passenger Oxford touring body.
Under the guidance of Rolls-Royce experts, the car was comprehensively refinished with an emphasis on retaining the car’s authentic appearance and mechanical integrity. It is important to note that these experts were some of the biggest names in the Rolls-Royce hobby, including John McFarlane (editor of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club journal “The Flying Lady” for 19 years), Ed Lake (the RROC expert on Silver Ghosts, Phantom Is, and Royce carburetors from the founding of the Club until 2006), Art Soutter (General Maintenance Manager of Rolls-Royce of America and a Springfield employee from 1920 until the factory was closed), and Ed White (RROC technical consultant on Springfield Silver Ghosts for many years). The restoration was thorough, exacting, and the result was an RROC national award in the early 1990s. Current mileage shows 9309, which is since this comprehensive restoration was completed.
In 1995, the car was purchased by the current owner’s father, and was used on the 2006 Silver Ghost Association tour, as well as local and national club events ever since. It has been mechanically sorted by noted Silver Ghost restorer Steve Littin, and is an excellent example of a tour-ready Springfield Silver Ghost.
Paint and bodywork were done to concours standards of the time, and it remains in very good condition showing only minor signs of use. The Oxford body is aesthetically outstanding, and is one of the most highly-sought of all Springfield Ghost styles. Although it was quite popular, few Oxford touring bodies remain today (President Woodrow Wilson owned an Oxford bodied Springfield Ghost, and there are rumors that 440MF was also owned by FDR, although these are unconfirmed). It is particularly well suited to touring with a family, which is how both Dr. McGhee and the current owner have used the car.
The vivid red bodywork with black wings is a striking combination, and emphasizes the car’s long 143.5-inch wheelbase, particularly with the top down. Details such as the hand-painted pinstripes that accentuate each body panel, as well as the fine nickel-plated accessories, make this a car that can be admired for hours and you still won’t see all the details. All the plated parts remain in good condition with a soft patina, with an original Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament that is exquisite. Springfield Ghosts are easily identified by their drum headlamps, with this car sporting a set of matching cowl lamps with etched ‘RR’ logos in their lenses. Dual taillights have been installed, unusual for the era but a welcome safety upgrade for driving on today’s roads. Fitted tool boxes on each running board increase storage capacity, and a rear-mounted trunk makes this an ideal long-distance touring car. You will also note that this car is equipped with dual side mounts, and correct matching wire wheels and tires are included with the sale of the vehicle.
Black leather upholstery shows light use, and the two occasional jump seats behind the front bench afford true six-passenger touring. The original gauges have been fitted to the refinished dashboard, and all are fully functional save for the clock. Seatbelts have been fitted in the interest of safety, and as a car that has been used extensively for touring, you will find such upgrades as a Gear Vendors overdrive unit and a folding rear windscreen for back seat passengers. Detailing is commensurate with the car’s overall condition, showing light use but remaining fully functional. Overhead, a tan canvas hood has been recently fitted, and a matching cover for the trunk is included.
The total mileage on the chassis and engine, which are both original to this car, is unknown. However, the comprehensive restoration performed by Dr. McGhee ensured that mechanically this car was in as-new condition. Considering that was less than 10,000 miles ago, and with the reputation of Rolls-Royce motorcars in general, this car remains in exemplary mechanical condition. In addition to the aforementioned overdrive unit, this car also benefits from a Frank Cooke full-flow oil filter, making it reliable and comfortable under modern conditions. The engine compartment shows signs of use and is no longer in concours condition, but it runs extremely well with no issues. Springfield Ghosts also benefitted from improvements such as fully enclosed valve trains, making them wonderful vehicles for RROC events and tours. This car retains its original 2-wheel brakes, 6-volt electrical system and other auxiliary equipment.
440MF represents a mid-era Springfield Ghost with an authentic Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work Oxford touring body that has been comprehensively restored and mechanically vetted in the intervening years. Ideally suited for touring and club events, there are few automotive experiences that compare with piloting a Silver Ghost, and it is no surprise that their owners are quite passionate about putting their cars on the road. An outstanding, accurate Rolls-Royce motorcar with a detailed history behind it, this Silver Ghost could not be duplicated at the asking price.
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Engine:7.4-liter l-head inline-six
Location:Warrensville Heights, Ohio