1905 Rolls-Royce 20 H.P. 2Grey Ghost2, #24263, Roi de Belges by
Barker (some sources state "Tonneau" as body type) with Eric Platford in
the driver's seat. Used as car for officials in the Gordon Bennett Race
Trials in the Isle of Man. Photo taken May 1905 at entrance to Glen
Arguably is the most famous designation opted for during Rolls-Royce's
history has been "Ghost"? However it was not the legendary 1907
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, #60551, that has been the first Rolls-Royce
with the name "Ghost". Fact is that two years prior to "The Silver
Ghost" the first Rolls-Royce with 4-cylinder in-line-engine, i.e.
Rolls-Royce 'Heavy' 20 H.P., #24263, had been christened "Grey Ghost".
It has been the first Rolls-Royce car ever on which a name was bestowed.
Hence 2015 marks the 110th Anniversary of the "Ghost".
That particular motor car played a significant role during the infant
stage of the new marque. For the first ever public exhibition of
Rolls-Royce cars on English soil there were several cars shown on C.S.
Rolls' stand at February 1905 Olympia Show in London. In addition the 20
H.P. "Grey Ghost", #24263, was in attendance outside the exhibition hall
as a demonstrator. A few months later in 1905 the Rolls-Royce 20 H.P.
"Grey Ghost", #24263, was used by Charles. S. Rolls to conduct fuel
trials in preparation for the Tourist Trophy Race on the Isle of Man. A
photo of the Grey Ghost with C.S. Rolls behind the steering wheel did
appear in "The Autocar, 6th May 1905".
As per Rolls-Royce's parlance from that time #24263 was a Rolls-Royce
"Heavy" 20 H.P. with 109" wheelbase. Coachwork was by Barker in the form
of a Roi de Belges Tourer (paintwork: French Grey, trim: red). After a
'mixed career' as the company's demonstrator and trials car the
Rolls-Royce 20 H.P. "Grey Ghost", #24263, towards the end of 1906 was
sold to a customer. Before delivery of "Grey Ghost" front and rear
windshields were added plus a collapsible tonneau cover with extension
that could be fitted to protect the rear seats' occupants in inclement