1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost originally owned by Lord Mountbatten to be auctioned; it came back into his possession just months before he was assassinated in 1979
Lord Mountbatten’s assassination by the Provisional IRA on 27th August 1979 is well documented but one story that is not is that he had the pleasure of being reunited with a car he first commissioned in 1924 when it returned to him in the final months of his life.
The car in question, a 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost cabriolet – chassis number ‘135EM’ – was ordered new by The Rt. Hon. Lord Louis Mountbatten, as he then was, with a number of unique features. It included “a raised, streamlined bonnet that flowed in an unbroken line into the scuttle, and a novel mechanical headlight dipping mechanism of his own design” and instead of the firm’s trademark ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ radiator mascot, featured a figure of a naval signaller semaphoring the letter ‘M’. As a result, Rolls-Royce declined to issue a guarantee.
Sold two years later by the highly decorated peer, the car passed through a number of owners before being discovered in the South of France by a dental surgeon named Captain Ralph Symmons. Restored and offered to Lord Mountbatten, the car was purchased. A letter relating to this transaction from the peer dated 9th November 1978 stated:
“Although he [the current owner] will be the legal owner of the car, it will, in fact, be on permanent loan to me until such time as my family and I are in a position to repurchase it from him at the price he is paying for the car”.
Restored again subsequently in the workshops of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in the early 1980s, the Silver Ghost has been displayed at Broadlands and more recently at Her Majesty The Queen’s Sandringham residence in Norfolk at His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ request. It is described as being “in good condition” and will be auctioned by Bonhams at their Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale on 20th March 2016 with a guide price of £170,000 to £230,000 ($240,000 to $330,000 or €220,000 to €300,000).
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When Mountbatten lived in Brook House on Park Lane in the twenties he worked a Portsmouth
He motored there each day when he wasn’t at Broadlands
His Royal Navy pay was three hundred and seventy pounds per annum – his wife Edwina’s interest on capital was three hundred and seventy five thousand pounds per annum
Edwina was the daughter of Sir Ernest Cassells, who was the private Banker to King Edward the Seventh
Mountbatten’s telephone number MAY 2412 was ex directory and his registration number was LM 2412 arguably London Mayfair 2412; this very typical of his quirky sense of humour
Royalty and bankers, eh?….plus ça change….
In the twenties Mountbatten lived in Brook House on Park Lane
He worked at Pompey and drove there most days
His Royal Naval pay was thee hundred and seventy pounds PA
Edwina – daughter of Sir Ernest Cassells King Edward V11’s private banker – had interest on capital of three hundred and seventy five thousand pounds
His telphone number MAY 2412 was ex directory, so he had the registration LM – arguably London Mayfair 2412 on this Rolls
Quirky sense of humour ….eh?
I am not sure she was Cassell’s daughter.
Did he not also have some other quirky habits?….I seem to remember he liked to pop into a ballgown in the privacy of his own home….
I believe he did Peter. However his odd hobbies aside, he certainly knew how to get the right sort of wife, £375k a year then must represent millions a year by today’s standard. Just the sort of wife I need to keep me in shooting and Astons.
Yes, Charles, he was a man who knew what side his bread was buttered. One wonders whether his wife had an affair with Nehru because she wasn’t. as Rod would say, ‘getting enough of it’.
I think the Earl had other pursuits…..
….and the wealth gap just keeps getting wider and wider. Beggars belief! What a world!
Sometimes Wayde you demonstrate you know too much.
“All the nice girl love a sailor, all the nice girls love a tar . . . ” And it wasn’t restricted to ‘nice girls|. Chortle, chortle, nudge, nudge!
That little seafaring ditty, Glemore, gives me the feeling that you too, know more of Dickie’s tendencies….(with apologies to Rod!!!!!)
Peter, when you say “other pursuits”, are you suggesting that he batted for both teams? It wouldn’t surprise me if he liked to wear ballgowns…
I fear so, Charles, there were also unsubstantiated rumours that some of his other pursuits were somewhat Saville like. No wonder the wonderful Queen Mother detested him(Dickie, not Jimmy!)
The filthy kiddy fiddler & and his Rolls Royce.
That is pretty accurate
The 1924 RR Silver Ghost was my Grandfather’s and it was he who discovered the car in France in the 1960’s, restored it and reunited it with Lord Mountbatten. The history and b/w photos of the car in this article are from articles I have written on the car. !! The car sold for £264,700 on Sunday 20th March 2016 to a German buyer based in Battenberg, Germany – the original seat and home of the Mountbattens!! aka family of the now Prince Philip.
your comment is the only “helpful” one to me :-)). I would be very glad you please could get in touch with me – I gotta ask you a few questions, thanks a lot.
to quick…. [email protected]
German Buyer…. ask me what you want to know….