Since its inception model Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost famous for her quietness and reliability. These qualities and created the image of the company for many years ahead .
Among the famous Nostradamus prophecies mean and such ” from the shores of Albion will be marvelous invention , silent crew , wearing coat Rolle de Rua “. Three and a half centuries , and the prediction came true magician . From the shores of Albion ( speaking in our opinion, England ) was the car brand Rolls-Royce. And most importantly , he differed strikingly quiet engine …
It is now difficult to imagine how rattled cars of the last century with their unbalanced , unreliable engines and primitive silencers. It is not surprising that almost silent on the standards of the Rolls-Royce car model ” 40/50 hp ” seemed came from another world. Played its role and silver box from the famous studio Barker, which was equipped with exhibition copy . For all this, the car has received the nickname Silver Ghost – « Silver Ghost .”
Man who went for a walk in Europe , and around the world , this specter was a British engineer Henry Royce (Henry Royce, 1863-1933). He came from a poor family and in ten years he started his career by selling newspapers. Gradually, he was able to break out in people . Royce has established himself as a talented engineer and early XX century already owned companies manufacturing various electrical equipment.
In 1903, Royce became the owner of the French car Decauville. From an engineering standpoint Royce car horrified : she could hardly factory, constantly overheated and strongly vibrated . Royce decided that he was able to construct a better crew . The first of its car design was ready in the spring of 1904 .
This car – the only Rolls-Royce, originally bore the name Silver Ghost. So he was called for striking color and , at the time , quiet .
However, in order to establish a solid production, required investment. Royce found an investor in the face of Charles Rolls (Charles Rolls, 1877-1910). He was a man completely different social background – comes from an aristocratic family and a millionaire . He showed keen interest in technical innovations , and while studying at Cambridge was the first owner of the car in the city, and then became famous as a racing driver and . Rolls Royce agreed to finance the venture . Partners , the then custom, named the company its name. Thus was born the brand Rolls-Royce.
The first model , which was released just ninety two pieces, little success the company did not bring , and truly epochal was precisely the model of ” 40/50 hp “, which appeared in late 1906. The first digit in its name means the so-called tax power , which was calculated based solely on the diameter of the cylinders and their amounts , and the second – the real power .
Six-cylinder engine of this model had a working volume of more than seven liters – by today’s standards a bit much for 50 strength , but in the beginning of the XX century this power for a car was considered a very, very solid . Older specimens with lightweight body could reach a speed of 135 km / h Crankshaft was mounted on seven bearings , which greatly contributed to the balance and low noise motor. One of the main problems of automobile engines of the time was unreliable ignition. Royce has solved this problem by putting on each cylinder by two spark plugs .
Thanks to an ingenious design to be so balanced motor and quiet that journalists compared his work with the sewing machine chatter . For dealership , held in early 1907 in the London exhibition hall “Olympia” , was made a special exhibition copy chassis number 60544 . Here it was he who got the name Silver Ghost – « Silver Ghost .” I must say that was the name officially only this one car. All other car model ” 40/50 hp ” became known as the “Silver Ghost ” only in hindsight .
Like real ghosts , ” Silver Ghost ” turned almost unkillable . Test run 24 thousand km with a single car passed malfunction : broken fuel tap . Such strength is characteristic of brand cars Rolls-Royce. It is believed that each of the 10 ever built Rolls-Royce 6 still remain on the go! «Rolls-Royce never breaks – say company representatives . – He ceases to function . ” And when one day a lady in conversation with Henry Royce said, ” Sir Henry , and what happens if you do a factory bad car ? ” – He replied: “Do not worry , madam , the gatekeeper will not release it to the plant .” Much handcrafted . For example, it was made so famous brand radiator “Rolls “, and to the eye – do not use any measuring tools. In the manufacture of the radiator left one man- day and another five o’clock was spent on his finish.
Since 1911, on the radiator “Silver Ghosts ” set figure flying lady who is officially called the “Spirit of Ecstasy” . It was created by sculptor Charles Sykes (Charles Sykes) specifically for the car Lord Montagu (Lord Montagu), editor of The Car. Posed the same sculptor Eleanor Thornton (Eleanor Thornton) – Secretary and beloved Lord , whom he could not marry because of the difference in their social status . Such embellishment cars came into vogue , and the firm ordered Sykes similar statuette , only more stylized . For many years, Sykes personally sparkled all the figures that adorned the hoods “Rolls- Royce “, and each of them was his signature .
Brand reputation was so high that the plant for the production of “Rolls- Royce ” built even in the U.S. , in Springfield (Springfield) – despite the fact that Americans in those years were very proud of their cars and on European models were looked down upon . This plant operated from 1921 to 1931 .
Prized Rolls-Royce and the main Russian people . Cars of this brand appeared in the garage of Nicholas II. And though ” Silver Ghost ” was not a ghost of communism , and , perhaps, the most unbridled capitalism , the car caught the fancy and the Kremlin leaders . Two Rolls-Royce is in possession of Lenin , one of them instead of the rear wheels was equipped with caterpillar engine Kegressa system for driving on snowy winter roads . Another car after the death of the revolutionary leader somehow ended up in Kerch, at the disposal of the local union of fishermen. Car miraculously survived , was restored in 1959 , after which it was exposed in the Central Lenin Museum . Now she is in the Moscow office of Rolls-Royce in the territory of the Historical Museum .
Total for 1906-1925 years was built 6173 model instance ” 40/50 “. Thus, the machine was as durable as the famous Ford T. The volume of production of these two models completely comparable, but both of them , though there were at opposite poles of the automotive world , have become symbols of the era. Another important factor is that the ” Silver Ghost ” helped found “Rolls- Royce ” his face and tremendously strengthened the reputation of the firm.
Legacy “Silver Ghost ” lies in the fact that after the title of most models Rolls-Royce comes something ” silver »: Silver Spirit (« Silver Spirit »), Silver Shadow (« Silver Shadow »), Silver Seraph (« Silver seraph »), Silver Spur (« Silver Spur »), Silver Cloud (« Silver cloud ” ) – in a pinch, just Phantom. This is the model was the next after the “Silver Ghost .” And the very , very first ” Silver Ghost ” on chassis 60544 , with registration number AX- 201, is still alive . Veteran noted centenary.