Lot 128

2015   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2015

1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Barrel-Sided Tourer

Coachwork by Barker


$500,000 - $700,000



Car Highlights

A Striking Original-Bodied Silver Ghost
Desirable Barker Barrel-Sided Tourer
Accompanied by Period Photographs and Original Delivery Documentation
A Wonderful Driving Example and Touring-Event Veteran
Tasteful Presentation Throughout
A Superb Example of One of the World’s Finest Motorcars

Technical Specs

7,428 CC Inline L-Head 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Updraft Carburetor
50 HP at 1,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
Rear-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
Solid Axle Front Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Live Axle Rear Suspension with Cantilever Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

George Milne, Adelaide, Australia (acquired new)Peter Campbell, Sydney, Australia (acquired in the 1940s)Allan Blomfeld and Allan Kearley, New South Wales, Australia (acquired circa 1954)Rex Turner, Sydney, Australia (acquired from the above in 1955)John McNamara, Australia (acquired from the above in 1955)John Sevenoaks, Sydney, Australia (acquired from the above in 1958)Laurie O’Neil, Australia (acquired from the above circa 1960)Lance O’Neil, Glenelg, Australia (acquired from the above circa 1960)Jack A. Jefrey, Sydney, Australia (acquired from the above in 1969)Peter McGrath, Sydney, Australia (acquired from the above in 1982)John Vawser, Australia (acquired from the above)Malcolm N. Jones, Australia (acquired from the above circa 1985)Private Collector, Sydney, Australia (acquired from the above)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, May 2012Paso Robles Tour, Paso Robles, California, May 2012Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2012Kirkland Concours d’Elegance, Tacoma, Washington, September 2012Paso Robles Tour, Paso Robles, California, May 2014

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is perhaps the finest motorcar ever constructed. Arguably no other manufacturer has bested the standard of engineering and refinement implemented by Rolls-Royce more than 100 years ago. The reputation of the Silver Ghost for both quality and reliability endures today, with enthusiasts holding them in the highest regard. Silver Ghosts are a staple of the world’s greatest collections and continued veterans of grueling touring events.

Given the extensive merits of the cars, it was not uncommon for a Rolls-Royce customer to have more than one Silver Ghost. One such individual was George Milne of Brougham Place, Adelaide, Australia. The son of Sir William Milne, an Irish-born Australian politician, George Milne was a wine and spirit merchant. Mr. Milne was also an active member of the local motoring club, and prior to WWI, he had acquired the 1913 Silver Ghost Barker Landaulette, chassis 2243E.

The reputation of Barker coachwork was unparalleled in the prewar era, and Mr. Milne’s familiarity with the high quality of their work undoubtedly dictated his desire for yet another Barker-bodied Ghost. Completed of test July 1923, chassis no. 22NK was a long-chassis example of the Silver Ghost fitted with engine R111. Specified with Barrel-Sided Tourer coachwork by Barker, so named for the curvature of its body panels, the car was originally finished in gray.

Dispatched to Australia in late 1923, 22NK was delivered new on January 12, 1924, and received registration SA-27-120. Remarkable period images show the Silver Ghost with its prewar counterpart and proud first owner. After Mr. Milne’s passing in 1934, his motorcars passed to his wife and daughters. It is uncertain how long 22NK remained with the Milne family, but with the onset of war the Rolls-Royce was taken to Sydney and eventually stored at King’s Cross Parking Station for safekeeping.

In the 1940s, the barrel-sided tourer was acquired by Peter Campbell prior to known enthusiasts Allan Blomfield and Allan Kearley purchasing the car in 1954 or 1955 for the sum of £180. Shortly thereafter, Rex Turner of Neutral Motors, Neutral Bay, acquired 22NK in 1955 for £280, who in turn sold the car to John McNamara. Further owners included John Sevenoaks, brothers Laurie O’Neil and Lance O’Neil, Jack A. Jeffrey, Peter McGrath, and John Vawser.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Silver Ghost became a familiar sight at motoring events in the Sydney area, catching the attention of enthusiast Malcolm N. Jones who eventually purchased the car in 1985. During this time, the Barker Tourer gained the reputation of being “the quietest Silver Ghost in Australia,” and those familiar with the smooth idle of a 40/50 HP Silver Ghost would even be surprised by the nearly inaudible nature of 22NK’s operation. Club publications confirm 22NK as having won a competition in which owners strolled next to their cars as they idled across a long field, the object being the slowest possible pace.

In 2011, the Silver Ghost left Australia for the first time since its original delivery, en route to the US. Acquired by the consignor, a noted collector with a passion for both Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars – in addition to Brass and Nickel Era automobiles – 22NK received some minor mechanical attention and a beautiful refinishing in its current gray and black presentation. Subsequently, the Silver Ghost was exhibited at the Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Kirkland Concours d’Elegance, and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Barker Barrel-Sided Tourer also participated in two Paso Robles Tours, where it performed wonderfully.

Not only is 22NK a remarkably pure example of the British Silver Ghost, the Rolls-Royce retains its original and striking open coachwork constructed by the most desired coachbuilder – Barker. Accompanied by its original handbook, several period photographs, and the original delivery sheet denoting accompanying tools and spares when new, the Silver Ghost is bettered by a strong reputation for mechanical prowess. This is without question one of the finest Silver Ghosts to be offered at public auction in years and presents an opportunity of considerable note.