will offer two finely restored Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, both formerly in the famed collection of Richard Solove of Ohio, at their annual Collectors Motor Cars and Automobilia auction at the Goodwood Revival Meeting on 16th September 2011.
The first is a magnificent Maharajah's Ceremonial Car from 1911 and is estimated to fetch £300,000-400,000. Of all the buyers of the model, the Indian princes were among the most numerous in their acquisitions of Silver Ghosts. They prized the quality of the Rolls-Royce and its ability to withstand the difficult road conditions in their country. This example was ordered for the Delhi Durbar celebration of the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in December 1911. The event included spectacular displays of Indian pageantry, and many cars were purchased to provide transport for the honoured guests and the rulers themselves. This Silver Ghost was emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Maharaja of Mysore, to whom it passed after the Delhi Durbar.
The Maharaja, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV (1884-1940), was one of the most celebrated rulers of the Indian states and he was also one of the worlds wealthiest men he died with a personal fortune estimated at $400 million. He was a popular and spiritual leader who Mahatma Ghandi referred to as Rajarshi, or saintly king.
The second Silver Ghost offered for auction by Bonhams has been attributed as a 1908 example, which makes it one of only a four surviving examples from that year's production. This car was restored in the 1990s by an Irish enthusiast and wears magnificent open touring coachwork with three rows of seats, built by noted French coachbuilder Labourdette. It was used by the Works at Brooklands as a test vehicle in advance of the International Touring Car Trial and has a pre-sale estimate of £325,000-425,000.