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‘AX201’, the 1907 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp that first gained the ‘Silver Ghost’ nickname, is coming to this summer’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace on 3-5 September.
It will be the first time in more than 20 years that it has been shown in public – and you can get Concours of Elegance tickets using our exclusive offer.
This very car won the gold medal in its class at 1907’s 750-mile, four-day Scottish Reliability Trials, before Claude Johnson, Rolls-Royce’s managing director, decided to use it to attempt to break the record for non-stop motoring. With an observer from the Royal Automobile Club, ‘AX201’ was run continuously for two weeks, reaching 15,000 miles on 8 August, smashing the previous 7098-mile record.
The car then received its ‘Silver Ghost’ sobriquet because of its colour and, for the time, silent operation – all 40/50hp cars subsequently adopted this moniker.
After a period in private hands, this 1907 Rolls-Royce returned to the factory for repairs between 1948 and 1951, before being used by the manufacturer for publicity.
A full restoration followed in 1989, before it came into the ownership of Bentley in 1998 and then, in 2019, was sold to a private collector in England.
‘AX201’ will be joined at Hampton Court Palace this September by a 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ‘Twenty’ with Indian provenance, as well as the only surviving Silver Ghost with bodywork by the Belgian coachbuilders Van den Plas, and a Phantom III once owned by Field Marshal Montgomery that transported dignitaries including Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower.
Other features at the 10th Concours of Elegance include a Gulf vs Martini display, the oldest Aston Martin, and the launch of a new ‘30 Under 30’ concours to encourage younger enthusiasts and their much-loved cars.
And you can find out more about our exclusive two-for-one Concours of Elegance ticket offer, plus parking for C&SC readers, here.
Images: Tim Scott
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