1904 is the year that represents the founding brick of what today is one of the most luxurious and expensive automobile manufacturers – The Rolls Royce Company.
The name Rolls Royce is derived from Charles S. Rolls and Henry Royce. These two had absolutely nothing in common. The first was of aristocratic descent, with a distinctive education, whilst the second was the son of an impoverished miller, yet they both teamed up and made one hell of a corporation.
Their first success is dated back in late 1906, when the Rolls Royce unveiled to the world – The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. It had a 40/50 HP engine and the coachwork was made by Baker&Co. Due to the fact that rich people and the gentry back in the day used to go everywhere with their butlers and maids , Rolls Royce made this car quite big, able to transport a big party.
Claude Johnson, the company’s first managing director, took the car on a trip to Scotland and back. Upon he’s return he disassembled the car and asked for the Royal Automobile Club to search for any clues of wearing or technical malfunction.
Charles Rolls also had a crush on aviation. He flew balloons and airplanes and later on in 1910 he received certificate number 2 from the Royal Aero Club. He also achieved another unwanted record. He became Britain’s first aviation casualty. The biplane he was riding broke up in mid air.
Claude Johnson then turned to Charles Sykes – former graduate of the London College of Art. The young artist presented a personal mascot for his RR Silver Ghost. – The Whisperer and the model for it was Eleanor Thornton, secretary and mistress to Lord Montagu. The mascot was renamed as “Spirit of Ecstasy”, fixed onto the Rolls-Royce hoods and it sits there today.
In the 1920s, Rolls-Royce’s Silver Ghost was supplanted by the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom I was launched in May 1925. It was imperative that the company had to do a great job about this car, due to the experience it had in the eighteen-year production period of the Silver Ghost.
Engine & Mechanics
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom I featured an all new pushrod-operated overhead valve engine with detachable cylinder heads. It was equipped with 6 cylinder in-line engine that was split in two groups of three (7,668 cc). The push-rod operated valves were located in one-piece detachable cast iron cylinder head (from 1928 aluminum alloy cylinder head). Other features were: aluminum alloy crankcase; bore x stroke 108 x 139.7 mm (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 in), capacity 7,668 cc, dual ignition with coil and magneto; single dry-plate type clutch, 4 speed gearbox, spiral bevel final drive; semi-elliptic springs front, cantilever springs rear; 4-wheel brakes servo-assisted; wheelbase 3,638.55 mm (143 1/4 in) or 3,822.7 mm (150 1/2 in), tire size 33 x 5.