Rolls-Royce 'Silver Ghost' motor car, 1907.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:4). In 1907 this 40-50 hp six-cylinder Rolls-Royce motor car undertook a 15,000 mile reliability road trial, officially observed by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC). It ran 14,371 miles without an involuntary stop for other than tyre troubles. At the conclusion of the trial, the car was dismantled and examined, and all the parts in which the slightest measurable wear could be detected were replaced at a cost of just over two pounds sterling. Described at the time as 'the best car in the world', the Silver Ghost was Henry Royce's (1863-1933) masterpiece of car design, which emphasised comfort, reliability and quality of workmanship. With little variation in the basic design, Rolls-Royce continued to produce the Silver Ghost until 1925.