A Quietly Brilliant Piece of History Made in America
In 1921, Rolls-Royce made their first automobile in America, a Springfield Silver Ghost. Called a Springfield after the town in Massachusetts where it was produced, these American-made classics are considered by many Rolls-Royce experts to have improved chassis and superior bodies to their British siblings.
The Ghost itself earned its name because it ran so quietly.
This particular 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost has a Pall Mall body style, which was of the most popular open Springfield styles and is instantly recognizable by the beaded edges on doors and the cradles to support the lowered top.
What is unique about this particular Silver Ghost, No. 77JH, is that it is one of just two known that sport the dual-cowl and dual-windshield options on the already fetching Pall Mall coachwork.
An Evolving, Timeless Mascot
The Rolls-Royce hood ornament, or mascot, is a symbol of excellence and luxury recognized around the world. However, the Spirit of Ecstasy, as it is called, has a more romantic affair than most realize.
An Affair for the Ages:
Montagu and Thorton
The journey of the iconic ornament begins with Lord John Walter Montagu falling in love with his assistant, Eleanor Thorton. So in love was he with Thorton that he hired a sculptor, Charles Sykes, to craft a hood ornament immortalizing her and their secret love. The ornament featured a woman, dress flowing behind her, bent forward with a single finger held to her lips to implore secrecy. The sculpted image of Thorton adorned Montagu’s Rolls-Royce.
Sykes was again asked to design a hood ornament, this time by Rolls-Royce, who was looking for a new mascot for all of their cars. Using the already elegant design symbolizing Montagu’s forbidden love, Sykes reshaped his previous work into the elegant piece that we all know and recognize today.
1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost specs:
- 40/50 HP
- 7,428 cc L-Head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
- 4-Speed Manual Transmission
- 2-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
- Solid Front Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
- Live Rear Axle with Cantilever Elliptical Leaf Springs
- Chassis: 77JH
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 2023
The JBS Collection is honored that our 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall was awarded 2nd Place in Class H: Rolls-Royce Prewar. It also received the Ansel Adams Award, which goes to the most desirable touring car in its era.
The Ansel Adams Award is named after the world-renowned American photographer and environmentalist, who was an automobile enthusiast and a frequent Honorary Judge at Pebble Beach.
See photos from the event, featuring the newly restored 1923 Rolls-Royce.