- This Rolls-Royce was made in the U.S., in Springfield, Massachusetts.
- Until 1950, all Rolls-Royces only came with a factory-built chassis, and the body was made by whatever coachmaker the customer selected.
- The beautiful hood ornament has romantic history.
The Rolls-Royce “Silver Ghost” was produced in Derby, England, from 1907 to 1925. It was also produced in Springfield, Massachusetts, for American customers from 1919 into the 1930s. To this day, Springfield is the only place outside England that Rolls-Royce cars have ever been built. The engine, finished with a jeweler’s precision, was incredibly quiet and smooth. Like all Rolls-Royce cars until 1950, only the chassis was factory made, the body being produced by whatever coachmaker the customer specified.
This Silver Ghost Pall Mall Phaeton illustrates an American custom-made body. The customer ordering this body style desired an open car with sporting lines, accommodations for five people, generous leg room in both driver and passenger sections, and a phaeton top which was quality tailored and unlined to afford a neat and compact appearance.
Around 1910, the directors of Rolls-Royce were dismayed to learn of owners who were fitting a variety of strange mascots (hood ornaments) to the radiators of their motor cars. The beautiful and famous Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament has a romantic history. British car enthusiast Lord John Walter Montagu fell in love with his assistant Eleanor Thornton. Montagu hired sculptor Charles Sykes to design a hood ornament for his Rolls-Royce using Montagu’s beloved mistress, Eleanor Thornton. as his model. He placed her in a whispering pose to signify the secret love between Thornton and Montagu.
In 1911, Rolls-Royce asked the same artist, Charles Sykes, to sculpt a mascot for all their cars. He modified his sculpture of Thornton into a mascot recognized around the world as a symbol of quality and excellence. In 1915, when Montagu sailed to India during World War I, his wife did not accompany him, but Thornton did. Tragically, their ship, S.S, Persia, was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Lord Montagu survived and Eleanor did not.