Chassis number 443MF was originally supplied to Mr W. Blair of New York City on 3rd May 1925 with Piccadilly Roadster coachwork fitted. During this period, Springfield built Silver Ghosts were virtually identical to the UK cars being right hand drive with four speed gearboxes fitted. Electrical components, instrumentation and road wheels were locally sourced and many of the detail changes Springfield introduced were adopted by Derby in later years.
Although the Piccadilly Roadster offered a sporting flare and style, its practicality, especially for touring was limited. During the depression the Springfield Works would fit different coachwork on an earlier chassis to make the car more saleable and useable. The Pall Mall five passenger tourer has often been regarded as the coachwork of choice by motoring enthusiasts. To encourage sales the Works often offered a guarantee. 443MF features the period Works updates including valances over the cantilever springs, 20 inch wheels for a more modern look with adoption of balloon tyres and chrome bright work (R-R called them “untarnishable fittings” while retaining the nickel radiator. The body plate on the cowl is marked H879 which corresponds to Holbrook of New York who built bodies to order for Rolls-Royce in America.
The Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club of America have continuous ownership records for the car which date back to the 1950s. Whilst in long-term ownership by a well-known Silver Ghost enthusiast, 443MF participated in the first Alpine commemorative rally held in 1973. The car is featured in the hardbound 1913-1973 Alpine Compendium and is still wearing the commemorative badge.
In recent years, substantial work has been carried out to 443MF to ensure she is ready for touring and driving very well. Mechanical work includes a complete engine rebuild using high compression pistons, overhauled radiator with new correct core, the rebuilding of the exhaust system, rebuilt magneto, steering box overhauled and all new tyres fitted.
A recent comprehensive road test revealed the Ghost has excellent road manners. The engine has approximately 500 careful running in miles. It is flexible and pulls strongly. The gear box is particularly user friendly and the brakes are efficient. All mechanical and cosmetic work was performed with the goal of achieving an excellent touring car which shows exceptionally well finished in period correct colors.
The coachwork has been repainted to a high standard with good fits and shut lines. All weather equipment is in excellent order while the leather is older, but in very good order. The Pall Mall Tourer has often been regarded as the ideal tourer car. It was a popular body style in its day because of its smart appearance and functionality. The folding rear windscreen is a welcome and stylish feature.
The work was carried out by the two preeminent Silver Ghost practioneers in North America.
443MF is presently located in North America where the Silver Ghost Association is a very active club. Any prospective purchaser may wish to consider entering the 2016 SGA autumn tour of New Mexico in September which coincides with the Balloon Fest.