Skip to main content

Selling on Saturday Evening

1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster

  • Known ownership history from new
  • Documented since new with extensive service records and notes from previous owners
  • A lovely example that has been faithfully toured throughout the globe

Register To Bid Auction Info

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost series of cars first came to market in 1906, originally called the “40.50 h.p.” The cars were first produced in Manchester before moving to Derby in 1908 and to Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1921 to 1926. They were originally powered by a 7,036cc straight-six engine before a more powerful 7,428cc unit was introduced in 1910. The chassis were fitted with various different styles of bodies by coachwork companies, with the same chassis being used as the base for Rolls-Royce Armored Cars during World War I. Only 7,874 Silver Ghosts were produced from 1906 to 1926.

This particular example, Chassis S100LK, is the last right-hand-drive, four-speed-gearbox car manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts, and began life with a Town Car body. It was purchased as such on April 14, 1925, by W.H. Porter of New York City. He owned the car in its original configuration until 1934, when he gave it back to Rolls-Royce and had them swap the Town Car body for a Piccadilly Roadster body (#M588) from chassis number S164JH that was owned by Walter Reade of Deal, New Jersey. The body was also altered to resemble a Playboy, lowering the car and the now one-piece windshield, adding valances over the rear springs, and changing the wheels to 20-inch.

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster was sold in 1935 to a New York advertiser named John MacKenty, who spent his spare time on Ashakomaksett Farm at Martha’s Vineyard. The car spent the duration of WWII there and was entirely painted grey to avoid it being spotted by patrolling U-boats. Mr. MacKenty bought the car with around 40,000 miles and reportedly drove it less than that during his ownership. In 1957, it made its way to Ken Sowles of Falmouth, Maine, as confirmed by the included Schoellkopf Card. Sowles was a close friend of Prince Phillip, who often asked him for horse and carriage advice and invited him to the Windsor Horse Show. In service records dating back to 1987, Mr. Sowles frequently had the car serviced at The Vintage Garage in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, which is documented by a stack of records. After 37 years of ownership, the car was sold to its fourth owner in 1996, who continued maintaining the car and toured England, Scotland, Canada, and the western/southern United States with it over the span of 17 years. He meticulously kept track of all repairs and maintenance performed on the car, also at The Vintage Garage, dating back to 1996 when he purchased the car.

May of 2000 saw the Rolls receive a new fuel line with a new coil, and fan belt; a repaired clock followed in September. In December, the differential was cleaned, a new gear set was installed, the rear axle was refurbished, the rear brake linings were redone, and the rear and front shocks followed suit.

Fast forward to 2010, and the straight-six engine under the hood received a full rebuild, from top to bottom, totaling just under $4,800 and giving this British beast a new lease on life. The fourth owner continued driving the car until 2019 before selling it to the current consignor. Mid to late 2020, the radiator was balanced and readjusted at American Honeycomb Radiator in Bowdoin, Maine. The most recent service record on file dates to November of 2021, when the connecting rod and piston assembly was refurbished. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive the original owner’s manual and pouch, original keys, a vast amount of service records on file, and several pieces of correspondence between the previous owners of this car.

Contact Us