Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost (1907 – 1925)

It’s truly incredible how long Rolls Royce have been established. Since 1904 they are still synonymous with high quality engineering. Simply hear the name Rolls Royce and you expect the upmost excellence in standards.

They have maintained this reputation in the car industry for what seems like forever and have never failed to deliver. In 1907 the Silver Ghost was launched, named to emphasise its ghost like quietness out on the road.

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost first debuted at the Olympia as a prototype model in 1906. Propelled by a powerful six-cylinder engine with two groups of three cylinders rather than the usual three groups of two, this made a marked improvement on performance. The engine and chassis were still produced through World War I and were even used by the British Army for armoured cars, a testament to the quality of Rolls Royce. No wonder they claimed they had made the best car in the world.

Buyers Guide

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost is an exceptional car to own. Buy the right one and it will take care of itself, buy the wrong one and you could be looking at around £50,000 worth of restoration and repair costs.

Your best bet when buying a pre-war car is to take an expert with you. Professional restorers will often provide this service at a cost. The Rolls Royce Owners Club have members who will help a prospective member evaluate a potential car that you may wish to buy. This could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Look more closely underneath rather than at the shiny paint job as there are plenty of sellers looking to catch a buyer who are drawn in by the superficial.

Many Silver Ghosts may be American imports. The best way of telling one from another would be to check the hub-centres. US-spec cars have an indentation for the wheel spanner; whereas UK-spec wheel hubs are flat. . The chassis was more robust than the bodies and many of these original bodies did not survive, so a Silver Ghost with its original body will commend a higher price when it comes up for sale. It will be important to find out whether the original body has undergone some restoration work, as well as how much.

You may also wish to familiarise yourself with the terminology and learn to differentiate between the four varieties of engine used. You may find many that are not in the best of working conditions or have other flaws such as rust or even missing parts as previous owners may have not been able to source parts or worse performed sub-standard work on such a delicate machine.

The Silver Ghost has been reported as having no glaring weakness, not surprising given the quality of engineering. With regular maintenance and lubrication the impressive engine has a nearly unlimited life. Reassuring to know.

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow


Years Produced1907 - 1925
Performance0 - 60mph 5.1 sec / Top Speed – 75mph
Power & Torque 370 bhp / 376 Ib ft
Engine7036cc straight 6 12 valves
Drive-train front engine FWD
Transmission4 speed manual
Weight1590 kg



Interesting Fact

No robots or machines are used to paint the coach lines on Rolls-Royce; They are hand painted by Mr Mark Courts. This requires great focus and a steady hand, there is no erasure if he makes a mistake. No pressure then.

Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:

“Rolls-Royce is steeped in automotive history with exquisite designs and great feats of engineering with outstanding innovation looking forward into the future and looking back at the past. The Silver Shadow was indeed a look into the future way back in 1907 which just proves Rolls Royce have the insight to keep moving forward”

mark says

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