Produced from 1907 to 1926, the Silver Ghost established Rolls-Royce’s reputation as one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers. The car was renowned not only for its uncommon reliability, but also for its smooth and quiet running. One hundred years later, the car still stands as a shining example of top-tier craftsmanship and design, which students today have a lot to learn from.
Here are five facts about the revolutionary Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
1. The Original “Silver Ghost,” Built in 1907, Is still Running Today
The model now known as the Silver Ghost was originally called simply the “40/50 h.p.” Before beginning full production, models were exhibited at the 1906 Olympia Motor Show and received an overwhelmingly positive reception. In 1907, a publicity model was specially built to bring the car to a wider audience. It was dubbed the Silver Ghost, for its striking silver paintjob and details and its ghost-like silent running. It was from this specific car that the model eventually took its name.
Incredibly, the original Silver Ghost is still running today. It’s toured the world, and after some major repairs in the late eighties, it remains in excellent driving condition.
2. The Silver Ghost Set a World Record in 1907 for Longest Non-stop Drive
Students in auto mechanic training will be interested to know what’s running under the hood of these classic luxury cars.
The Silver Ghost was originally built with a side-valve, six-cylinder, 7036 cc engine with cylinders cast in two units of three each, with 48 bhp at 1,250 rpm. The car’s seven-main-bearing crankshaft and stiff crankcase were credited with its famously quiet running. Other specifications included a precision carburetor, full-pressure lubrification, and a three-speed manual transmission (upgraded to 4-speed in 1913).
It was this famously reliable engine that set a new world record in 1907 for the longest non-stop run at 23,128 km, more than double the previous record-holder.
3. The Silver Ghost Chassis and Engine Were Used for Armoured Cars in World War I
The Silver Ghost’s chassis and engine were so reliable and durable that in World War I, they were used as the basis for Britain’s armoured cars. The vehicle proved so effective on the front lines that by September of 1914, all Silver Ghost chassis had been requisitioned by the military. During the war, civilian production of the car stopped, and the Silver Ghost was built solely for military use as an armoured vehicle.
4. Students in Auto Mechanic Training May Know Approximately 1,500 Are Said to Survive
It’s estimated that a total of 7,874 Silver Ghosts were produced during its production run from 1907 to 1926, including 1,701 from an American factory in Springfield, Massachusetts. Around 1,500 are estimated to survive today—a testament to the car’s longstanding toughness and durability, which students in auto mechanic courses should take note of.
5. In 2018, Rolls Royce Released a Special run of 2018 Silver Ghosts, Based on the Original
In 2018, Rolls-Royce announced a special collection of 35 model year 2018 Rolls-Royce Ghosts, in homage to the original Silver Ghost. The cars are significantly updated from their classic inspirations, with modern engines and entertainment systems, but feature many nods to the original, including a blacked out front grille and unique silver finish.
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