Lot #1378.1 - The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost motorcar is a legend that really began the Rolls-Royce tradition. Once the Rolls-Royce Company, formed in 1906, started manufacturing cars in the tiny Manchester factory, four models would be produced before one, the six-cylinder Rolls-Royce 40/50, would prove so successful that it was decided, in 1908, to discontinue all others. Having proved their “Silver Ghost” car through publicized speed and reliability trials, Rolls-Royce started serious production of the 40/50 Silver Ghost chassis at a rate of four per week. It is as a luxury touring car or town carriage during the Edwardian era, rather than a sports car, that the Silver Ghost had set a world standard. The client for whom the car was intended had not the slightest interest in specific output or power-to-weight ratios. What interested the discerning high-society motorist, including women, of the time was that the Rolls-Royce 7428cc engine could propel its load without noise or vibration from 3 mph to 70 mph using only the top gear of its 4-speed transmission, and for a petrol consumption between 16 and 20 mpg. This 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is the last of the 116 of the B-Series Silver Ghosts produced and is still in its original elegant and handsome Barker-bodied landaulette configuration. It was recorded as being on chassis and engine test on January 28, 1914, and was then delivered to Barker of London to be fitted with its open-drive limousine coachwork. Barker & Co. Coachbuilders, established in 1710, built coaches for Queen Anne, King George II and Queen Victoria. The car’s body had a high roofline featuring large windows around the rear compartment, as well as a sliding division window between the enclosed passengers and the chauffeur in the open. Barker gave the design its own flair with a carriage-style curved molding running through the front doors, which themselves are curved up into the cowl. These touches lighten the appearance of the car and give it a distinctive grace. The completed Silver Ghost was delivered to its original British owner, D.E. Cameron Rose, Esq., of The Hall, Pinner, Middlesex, on May 28, 1914. It did not remain in the U.K. long, as it was subsequently acquired and imported to New York by Robert W. Schuette, the U.S. Rolls-Royce distributor at the time and also the American agent for Barker & Co. The motor car was subsequently sold to Miss Helen Brice of New York City, the daughter of U.S. Senator and Mrs. Calvin S. Brice, who had amassed fortunes in the ultimate industries of his era, railroads and banking. The Silver Ghost was traded in to the dealer for a more modern automobile in early 1934, but Miss Brice’s chauffeur, Francis Cox, wrote a letter to Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI, suggesting that the vehicle, as an elegant example of original coachwork on a great chassis, would be appropriate for Ford's new museum. Apparently Mr. Ford agreed. The car was shipped from New Jersey to Michigan to join one of the most amazing and complete collections of its kind at Henry Ford's museum. The Silver Ghost was put on display at what was then known as the Edison Institute, later to become today's The Henry Ford, and remained on display there until 1971. Including the 1,703 made by Rolls-Royce of America, Inc., at Springfield, MA, a total of 7,876 Silver Ghost cars were manufactured over nearly two decades. The car’s reliability and longevity was summed up in Royce’s own words: “The quality will remain when the price is forgotten.” Over the years, this Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost on display has been in the collections of a number of renowned Rolls-Royce enthusiasts, including B. Paul Moser, Denean Stafford III and Richard Solove.