1909 Rolls takes Best of Show at new Atlanta concours

DeNean Stafford III accepts Best of Show award from honorary head judge Keith Martin | Atlanta concours photo
DeNean Stafford III accepts Best of Show award from honorary head judge Keith Martin | Atlanta concours photo

A 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost owned by DeNean Stafford III of Tifton, Georgia, won Best of Show honors Sunday at the inaugural Atlanta Concours d’Elegance at Chateau Elan.

The car, believed to be on the only short-wheelbase chassis of its kind, went to Atlanta after earning best in class honors at Pebble Beach. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Kellner Cabriolet

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1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Kellner Cabriolet | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the 13th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

Georges Kellner began making carriages in Paris in 1861. His sons, Paul and George Jr., joined their father’s enterprise in 1890. Thirteen years later, in the Kellners began producing bodies for motorcars.

Continue reading

Three British greats headed to Gooding sale in Monterey

The Aston Martin DB5 was once owned by a Hollywood producer | Gooding & Company photos
The Aston Martin DB5 was once owned by a Hollywood producer | Gooding & Company photos

Three pieces of British royalty with celebrity connections will be up for auction in August during Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale.

The auction, which takes place August 15-16 at the Equestrian Center adjacent to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, offers a collection of top-drawer collector cars during the annual sale, which last year soared well over $100 million during the two-day event.

Each of the three English cars is expected to go into seven figures. They are: Continue reading

‘Woodie’ tops H&H Classics Rolls-Royce sale

The scene at H&H's Rolls and Bentley sale | H&H Classics photos
The scene at H&H’s Rolls and Bentley sale | H&H Classics photos

The auction staged last weekend by H&H Classics in conjunction with the annual concours and rally by Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club did £1.4 million in sales ($2.21 million) at Burghley House in Lincolnshire, England.

The highlight of the sale was the approximately $255,000 paid for a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, formerly owned by the future Edward VIII. The car was bedecked with “wood-effect” paint on shooting-brake coachwork and is called one of the earliest of “woodies.” Continue reading

Historic Rolls-Royce vehicles head to auction

1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Flying Spur among cars heading to the block this weekend | H&H Auctions photo
1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Flying Spur among cars heading to the block this weekend | H&H Auctions photo

H &H may not have the name recognition in North America of a Bonhams or one of the other big British classic car auction houses, but the company has been in business since 1993 and has an international reputation for high-dollar vehicles.

Its next sale is Saturday (June 20) in conjunction with the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club annual concours and rally at Burghley House in Lincolnshire, England, where the docket will include several Rolls and Bentleys among other vehicles. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1976 Rolls Royce Corniche convertible

The impressive Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible offers terrific value for the money
The impressive Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible offers terrific value for the money

Of all the cars in the world, none is more storied and more impressive than a Rolls-Royce. The company’s motto is “The best car in the world,” and a good example of any Rolls-Royce certainly delivers on that promise.

This is partly due to the fact that a Rolls-Royce has always been one of the most expensive cars in the world, always costing more than the average house by a long shot. When just looking at a Rolls and sitting behind the wheel, you see immediately where all that money was spent. Continue reading

Classic Profile: Rolls-Royce comes to America

Rolls-Royce Model 30 Roi des Belges demonstrator car in New York City | Photos courtesy of the author
Rolls-Royce Model 30 Roi des Belges demonstrator car in New York City in 1906 | Photos courtesy of the author

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars famously started after an introduction in 1904 between Charles Rolls, a young automobile enthusiast and dealer of French automobiles, and Henry Royce, a middle-aged manufacturer of electrical components. Continue reading

Classic opulence on display at Petersen Museum

1927 Roll-Royce used by Fred Astaire among town cars at the Petersen. (Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum)

Town Cars: Arriving in Style, a new exhibit focusing on the grand chauffeur-driven limousines of history’s most rich and famous, highlights upcoming activities at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Opening this Saturday, the yearlong showcase of bygone opulence features the finest examples from 1900 through the 1960s of the ultra-formal vehicles known as “town cars,” a term which denotes an open chauffeur’s area and an enclosed passenger compartment. The name Town Car was later co-opted by Lincoln.

Elegant town cars came from a variety of premium European and U.S. brands, and from the earliest days of the automobile. Usually, they were the most-splendid and most-expensive vehicles that the auto companies had to offer.

Many were custom-bodied by luxury coachbuilders, and they were as much about being seen in as they were about going places. Fred Astaire’s classically styled 1927 Rolls-Royce will be among the celebrity town cars on display.

Other upcoming events at the Petersen, located on the busy corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, include:

  • The Automotive Design Symposium: Celebrating Southern California Design, at 11 a.m. Sunday, February 23, with a panel of auto designers and industry experts. A Car Designer Cruise-In featuring concepts, classics, hot rods and creative customs starts at 9 a.m.
  • A special Movies and Milkshakes showing of the documentary film “Where They Raced,” featuring racing footage and photos from California’s golden age of speed, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 26. Admission and popcorn are free, and milkshakes are vintage priced at just $1. Click here for a preview clip from “Where They Raced.”
  • The fourth annual Women’s Day at the Petersen Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8,  presents hands-on lessons in car care, maintenance, tricks and tips presented in an entertaining fashion. For more information, call (323) 964-6308 or email sreck@petersen.,org.
  • Continuing exhibits at Petersen include License Plates: Unlocking the Code, through March 30, and Pickups: The Art of Utility, through April 6.

For more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum and its programs, see www.petersen.org.

Enjoy your classics while you can

I also chatted recently with Jim Hery, owner of Chalfant Motor Car Company, a classic car restoration business in Belfast, Tennessee. It was at the Concours d’Elegance of America that I was admiring the big aqua blue 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I that Hery was polishing (see photo).

I asked if he was the car’s owner. He wasn’t, he said. But he had recently completed the car’s restoration, and he told me the owner’s story.

The car was shown at the concours by Helga Knox, who’s husband, George Knox Jr., died just a few months earlier.

Hery said George Knox Jr. had been in the equipment rental business. According to Knox’s obituary, his passions included classic cars — he was an original member of the Antique Car Club of Chester County — flying his Piper Cherokee (he also once flew a hot air balloon over the Alps), wildlife and domestic animal protection, and volunteering for missionary trips and doing equipment repair in several central African countries.

Hery said that Knox had collected 50 classic cars and planned to restore them after he retired. Sadly, he added, the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease meant that when it was time for those cars to be restored, Knox didn’t even know they were his.

Vehicle Profile: 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith models were part of the post WWII era resurrection and rebuilding of the automobile industry in Europe and were produced by Rolls-Royce, LTD at their “Bentley-Crewe” plant located in Crewe, Cheshire, England. The “Silver Wraith” moniker was first introduced in 1946, as new for 1947 models and would last through the 1959 model year. The 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was one of only a handful of the long wheelbase (133 inch) models built over the 13 year production run, where only about 1880 total vehicles were produced, of which around 639 were of the long wheelbase version (approx. 1/3 of the total production run).

The large displacement, in-line, 6-cylinder engine was increased to 4,887cc for 1954 and was coupled with a General Motors designed, four-speed automatic transmission, and had a live-axle, rear-wheel drive setup with semi-elliptic springs. Hydraulic brakes were now used on all four wheels and the front suspension was of the independent type with coil springs. All the press was continually impressed with whatever came from the Rolls-Royce factory and one even stated the following in trying to sum it all up: “All the world knows that Rolls-Royce carry on an unremitting search for engineering perfection in everything they undertake. The qualities which made their aircraft engines famous, and their cars the finest procurable, are the result of scientifically conducted engineering research and of painstaking attention to detail.”  And now a new range of cars is about to appear it is believed that the new cars are the best that Rolls-Royce have ever built.” Brilliantly said, Ol’ Chap! “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars” also boasted . . . “In common with all Rolls-Royce cars, the Silver Wraith has an indefinable something about it, a delicacy of behaviour, which escapes definition in written words. It is a car for the connoisseur in cars”!

Click to see all Rolls Royce’s for sale on ClassicCars.com.