Auctions and Brokerage
E.D. Gaither, Cincinnati, Ohio (acquired new in 1923)Richard C. Paine Jr., Seal Harbor, Maine (acquired by the mid-1950s)Sidney G. Hughes, Essexville, Michigan (acquired in 1962)Albert Storace, Gloversville, New York (acquired in 2001)John Kendall, Boston, Massachusetts (acquired in 2007)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
RROC Annual Meet, Greenwich, Connecticut, 2005 (First in Class)
Upon introduction in 1906, the Silver Ghost immediately established Rolls-Royce as one of the finest motorcars in the world. Its mechanical superiority was validated by its 20-year production run, during which more than 7,400 examples were built. Fulfilling demand in the US market, stateside-built Springfield Silver Ghosts, produced from 1921 to 1926, benefited from the subtle mechanical improvements made over the model’s life. By 1923, those enhancements included double-row bearings in the rear axle, American Bosch single-battery ignition, and Bosch horizontal coil. Of the 1,701 Springfield Silver Ghosts produced, just 79 were originally fashioned with lightweight Piccadilly Roadster coachwork, such as the example presented here.
A number of US firms provided the Springfield, Massachusetts, factory with bodies categorized as Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work examples. This car, carrying body no. M-583, was built by the Merrimac Body Company of Merrimac, Massachusetts. The Piccadilly Roadster is sometimes referred to as a “Clubman’s Roadster, two passenger” which, with its dickey seat at the rear, offers the option of accommodating another passenger. This is perfectly suited to the maroon paintwork with black fenders, leather upholstery, and canvas top. A tan tonneau snaps into place when the roadster top is lowered.
John Webb de Campi’s Rolls-Royce in America identifies chassis 318XH as being delivered to E.D. Gaither of Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 31, 1923. During the 1950sthe car was owned by famed collector Richard C. Paine Jr., who established the Seal Cove Automobile Museum in the 1960s. In 1962, Sidney Hughes of Essexville, Michigan, acquired the Piccadilly Roadster, adding it to an impressive collection of notable motorcars including Cadillac, Lincoln, and Packard. Mr. Hughes was also a longtime member of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club.
Albert Storace of Gloversville, New York, acquired this car in 2001 and treated it to a comprehensive restoration by the renowned experts Vintage Garage in Stowe, Vermont. After restoration, 318XH made its judging debut at the 2005 RROC annual meet in Greenwich, Connecticut, where it placed first in the Late Silver Ghost Concours class. In 2007, this Piccadilly Roadster was purchased by another prominent collector, John Kendall of Boston, who retained 318XH for nearly a decade. The Piccadilly body style is particularly attractive, and a mere 23 of these Springfield examples are currently listed in the RROC roster.
A whimsical “Ode to the Silver Ghost” credited to Paul Hoppe in a vintage RROC publication declares: “The Silver Ghost was seen, not heard, She taught what silence meant, When other motors groaned, she purred, When others stopped, she went.” Who could argue with this verse, particularly when speaking of an example still carrying its original open coachwork? Its next owner will certainly be able to add to its praise.