Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Merrimac
Samuel S. Conrad, Boston, Massachusetts (acquired on April 15, 1925)Redman Auto, Phoenix, Arizona (acquired in 1939)Don Bringold, Phoenix, Arizona (acquired in 1944)Fred Buess, Sonora, California (acquired in 1949)Current Owner (acquired from the estate of the above in 2009)
The highly desirable Piccadilly body, a two-door roadster with rumble seat, originated with Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Works and was constructed by several reputable coachbuilders. This Silver Ghost, chassis S77LK, carries body number “M1116,” indicating this was a Merrimac-built body.
This sprightly Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster is one of the last right-hand-drive Springfield cars produced. It was delivered on April 15, 1925, to Samuel S. Conrad, a committed Rolls-Royce owner and proprietor of a Boston department store, who was best known as a yachtsman and sportsman. The jaunty paint scheme that Mr. Conrad ordered for the Piccadilly was a rich turquoise and green combination, accented with its beltline and fenders in black – perfect for a Roaring Twenties era roadster.
The car’s history takes us on a circuitous route. When Mr. Conrad sold the Piccadilly, it traveled to California in the care of its new owner. Then just before WWII, it was taken to Redman Auto in Phoenix, Arizona, for repairs. Unclaimed for a substantial period, the shop sold S77LK around 1944 to Don Bringold. Mr. Bringold, obviously a car enthusiast, drove it round-trip to Indianapolis to watch the Indy 500. In 1949, Mr. Bringold sold the car to renowned Rolls-Royce authority Fred Buess, when he was just 19 years of age. The Piccadilly remained in the care of the Buess family for the next half century, again ending up in California. In 2009, the consignor – recognizing it as a superb example – purchased S77LK and managed its stunningly detailed restoration.
A journal of the work performed accompanies the car and includes such minutiae as this paragraph describing the engine rebuild: “...completely disassembled, crankshaft cleaned and ground...block cleaned and sealed... all internal and external parts rebuilt...lifters ground...new babbitt main bearings...new cylinder assemblies, new valves, guides, springs, retainers and locks...forged high compression pistons...110 lb. compression. More HP...” Similar detail is recorded for all parts of this remarkable car.
The car appears now as it did when new, with original color scheme, wheels restored in appearance and function, the interior meticulously restored with leather as close to the original as possible, and upholstery skillfully finished with proper pleating.
The restoration was completed in 2013 in time for a trip bound for the 18th Fairway at Pebble Beach, where it completed the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance without incident and was given a class award by the most knowledgeable Rolls-Royce experts. This sporting Rolls-Royce Piccadilly Roadster has it all: a fresh era-correct restoration and, as a result of its Pebble Beach honors, this Piccadilly is judged to be one of the finest such examples.