Silver Ghost appears at Amelia Island

Here's another look at RM Auctions' forthcoming Automobiles of Amelia Island sale, which takes place weekend after next.

Starring alongside one of the major highlights, the 1958 Tojeiro-Jaguar Sports Racer, is another classic piece of British automotive history.

The 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer was born of Henry Royce's exploration into largely-unchartered territory: to design a six cylinder engine in 1906.

Royce's solution was to go back to basics, placing two sets of three cylinders on a common crankcase, set back-to-back so that the third and fourth pistons rose and fell together.


The 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer

Pressure lubrication, another forward-looking feature, and a silver Barker body culminated in the birth of the "Silver Ghost", whose production began in 1907.

The nickname would last throughout the Tourer's 19-year production run - officially called the 40/50 for its horsepower rating.

"Silver Ghost" referred to the car's performance as much as its appearance. Drivers often noted the lack of engine sensation and sound at whatever speed the car was travelling.

Also remarkable is the car's provenance, including taking part in the 2,000-mile Scottish Reliability Trial and winning a gold medal, followed by 15,000 miles of trips between London and Glasgow.


The Silver Ghost's pioneering six cylinder engine, designed in 1906

The success of this legendary London-Edinburgh model resulted in a challenge from Rolls-Royce's arch rival Napier, in 1911.

Napier was the other prominent carmaker of the era to explore the idea of a six cylinder engine.

Raced by Ernest Hives - later Rolls-Royce's chief engineer - the Silver Ghost easily outshone the Napier on fuel consumption and speed, besting its rival 78.26 to 76.42 miles per hour.

In 1911, the press began referring to Rolls-Royce as the "Best Car in the World," but it was several years before the company adopted the slogan in advertising.

Now extensively restored, the 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer will auction at Amelia Island on Saturday, March 13.

It is estimated at $400,000-500,000.

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