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Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club Inc


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1914 Hotchkiss Model

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Bundaberg

Vintage Vintage Vehicle Club.


Is an all makes vintage and classic car club based in Bundaberg Queensland Australia

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1922 Rolls - Royce Silver Ghost

Chassis no 20HG                                                    engine no P453

Owned by St John and Pauline Herbert

It was the Silver Ghost that in 1907 caused the motoring press to name Rolls-Royce the best car in the world. The characteristics of the Silver Ghost were silence, smoothness and power. Only 7876 cars were built over a period of 19 years - by comparison Henry Ford in a similar period made over 15 million Model 'T' s.

The engine is a six cylinder with a capacity of 7.5 litres. The ignition timing, and fuel mixture are controlled from the steering wheel. Petrol consumption is about ten miles to the gallon. The car uses sump oil for a number of purposes. For example, when the clutch pedal is depressed, a valve on the end of the crankshaft opens, allowing oil to be sprayed on the leather cone clutch. Similarly whenever the accelerator pedal is pressed more than three quarters of the way down, oil is pumped into each of the six upper cylinders , prolonging engine life. The car is also fitted with a governor driven by an air pump, which allows a steady speed to be maintained up hill and down dale. Nowadays we call it 'cruise control' and think it quite a modern device.

The car has had a chequered history. At one time in the early thirties the driver decided to check the level of petrol in the tank and as it was dusk struck a match to obtain more light. The resultant conflagration destroyed much of the body as well as melting the rear wheels. The wheels were rebuilt locally but in 20 inch instead of 21 inch, and the anomaly remains on the car to this day. Later during the depression, the second owner put the car into Kellows for a service, but could not afford the 63 pounds bill (a lot of money in those days) "Give me a pound" the owner said to Mr. Kellow, "and you can keep the car". Henceforth the car was known as the 'Bankrupt Ghost'. However, better days were ahead, the car being owned at one time by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, and later by Keith Martin a WWII fighter pilot.

he car weighs just over two tons, but has only rear wheel brakes. However, the foot-brake works on 18 inch drums with asbestos linings, while the hand-brake on 12 inch drums, cast iron to cast iron.

Despite the weight, the car handles like a sports car, slightly sluggish by today's standards, but a delight to drive, reflecting on the spirit of Ecstasy, a silver lady who stands on the radiator cap. It was in 1911 that Lord Montague of Beaulieu was so taken by the quietness and smoothness of the car that he asked the famous sculptor of the time, Charles Sykes, to design a n emblem for the car. His secretary Eleanor Thornton posed for the artist. The silver lady on this car is signed by the artist.

Sadly, the story has a tragic ending. In 1915, during the Great War, Lord Montague and Eleanor were sailing to Port Said on the SS Persia when it was torpedoed off Crete by a U -boat. They were both in the saloon when the ship was hit, and, unable to reach a lifeboat they went down with the ship, hand in hand, but were parted by the turbulence. Lord Montague was wearing a quaint device known as a "gieves waistcoat" which inflated. He rose to the surface, but Eleanor was drowned.

    1922 Rolls - Royce Silver Ghost

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