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Rolls Royces fit for Princes

Rolls Royces fit for Princes.

Two glamorous and highly desirable pre-War Rolls-Royces with Royal connections will be offered by H&H Classics at its forthcoming sale on saturday 20 June  at Burghley House, the home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Exeter. 1923 Silver Ghost Shooting Brake has a unique body built by Barker and finished to the design of H.R.H the Prince of Wales for use on his Scottish estate and it was he who requested the aluminium coachwork be painted to give the appearance of walnut. The car gave sterling service at Royal shooting parties transporting all the guests, dogs, guns, cartridges, hampers and muddy boots around the estate but the black silk blinds in the rear compartment give credence to the rumour they were fitted to give privacy to its occupants when the Prince (now King Edward VIII) was courting Miss Simpson and needed to smuggle her in and out of Balmoral.

Let us travel from Scottish moors to the Indian jungle and look at the  1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca De Ville. Records suggest that an Indian prince, Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji – Maharaja Jam Sahib, who played cricket for England – first commissioned the car with tiger shooting in mind but died before receiving it. Mrs Amy Davies, of the Tate & Lyle sugar empire, bought it for her daughter, Elsie Partington, to lift her spirits after her recent divorce. Elsie was based in Cheshire and the distinctive Phantom became well-known in the area - it is said policemen on point duty in Manchester's Oxford Street regularly stopped the other traffic and saluted as they waved the Rolls through. The unusual wrap-around rear windows are often found on Maharaja's cars used for hunting Tigers.

The post-WW1 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost still justifiably carried the title of 'Best Car in the World' and one of the many famous roles it has undertaken is as an armoured car in the desert for 'Lawrence of Arabia'. The man who supplied the cars for the film of that name used the rear wings from one of them when he re-bodied this 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Shooting Brake and we urge you to take the time to read the fascinating description where you will learn that one owner, a skilled wood worker, made the enormous drums used in the film 'Zulu'.

(Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy H&H)

Thursday, 18 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A hidden cask of wine

Chateau du vin

Our frequent reporting Karel Vermeer writes: "While travelling in the Provence two weeks ago, we visited a chateau du vin to buy a few bottles. Outside we saw the remains of a Fiat Topolino or Simca cinq. And while inspecting this 'project' a very nice young lady asked me if I was interested in old cars, which I am. Then she took me to the back of the shop and we entered the garage. Well, it was amazing... About 20 pre-war cars all in very good condition, Bayard, Daimler, Talbot, Delaunay-Belleville, Amilcar, Ballot, Citroën half track and so on, and so on."

Editor: So when travelling France, be sure to take frequent stops to check the wine...
(Photos Karel Vermeer) 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Three Chauffeur-driven Mysteries (Update: Humber, Renault, Wolseley)

Chauffeur-driven mysteries

In the years immediately before and after the First World War, Bertie Allaston was a chauffeur to two wealthy British families, first the Ashworths, and later the Andreaes. Bertie Allaston was to stay in the employment of Herman Anton Andreae until his death in the 1960s, as did his son Cyril. Both Ashworth and Andreae families ran a series of exotic, expensive motor cars, photographs of which survive in the collection of Bertie's grandson, Mike. The photographs span the earliest years of Bertie's career at the turn of the last century, all the way up to Cyril's retirement in the 1980s and are a fascinating historical document, charting the progress of the motor car from its inception through its golden years.

Amongst the earliest photographs are a number of cars that Mike cannot identify, all taken before the First World War and owned by the Ashworth family, and he would love it if any readers could help. You can see a whole lot more from the Allaston family albums in the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

How many pre-war Siata heads?

Pre-war Siata heads

What do you say about that. A good old friend picked up this Siata 500 head (#1628) from an online fleemarket in the former eastblock. You won't be surprised to learn that it is part of a pre-war tuning kit for the Fiat 500 Topolino. We understand these were made from 1937 up to 1942. One was presented on these pages some time ago. And when you search google images with Fiat-Topolino-Siata you'll find a large selection barchettas and funny prototypes. The Siata head is however not always visible as detailed as now. Enjoy the sideview and click the picture above to see how it looks from the other side. We just started to wonder how many of these were made. 1628? Or? Anybody of you owns or drives a car with the Siata 500 kit?

(Pictures by Jimsky)

Monday, 15 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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The Market



Post War Choice

1959 Cadillac Série 63 Sedan DeVille
Dusty lady: 1959 Cadillac Série 63 Sedan DeVille...  Go >>