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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

A Corgi Classic

The “Corgi” Rolls-Royce sells for £4 million

 

Yesterday, at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale at Goodwood, near Chichester, a 1912 Rolls Royce Double Pullman Limousine achieved over double the estimate when it sold for £4,705,500.

 

Considered to be one of the rarest Rolls-Royce cars in existence, this 100-year old vehicle acquired the “Corgi” name in the 1960s when toymakers Corgi® copied it as part of their range. Undoubtedly the most recognisable Rolls-Royce “Silver Ghost” produced, it now is thought to be the only car of its type left in the world.

 

The 1912 Rolls-Royce Double Pullman Silver Ghost Limousine, registration “1912 RR”
A Corgi® model of the 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Designed in the style of a Pullman railway carriage, this 40/50hp 7.3 litre masterpiece was delivered new to John M. Stephens of South Croydon, a known connoisseur of Silver Ghosts, and then passed through the ownership of John C. Sword and Denis de Ferranti in the UK and Richard Solove and most recently John M. O’Quinn in the USA. The vehicle came to auction following the death of Mr O’Quinn, a lawyer who also owned the 1975 Ford Escort GL once owned by Pope John Paul II and John F. Kennedy’s 1962 Lincoln Continental Bubble Top Limo, in a car crash in Houston, Texas.

 

Of the “Corgi,” James Knight of Bonhams commented:

 

“Back in those days, customers would buy the engine and chassis and would employ coach builders to do the bodywork. The first owner of this car hired the best coach builders of the day and the car epitomizes the upper echelons of Edwardian society.”

 

What makes this vehicle especially rare is that it is in perfect condition. Most similar vehicles were converted into ambulances during the First World War and suffered inglorious fates. Whoever purchased this car has undoubtedly added a treasure to their collection.

 

For more information, contact Helen Buckingham of Bonhams on +44 (0) 20 7468 5870 or go to: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20143

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