Rolls-Royce Limited was established over a legendary lunch in May 1904. Henry Royce, an outstanding engineer, landed a deal with Charles Rolls, a well-known dealership owner. The rest is history. The following series of 2, 3, 4, and 6 cylinder vehicles broke the standards for craftsmanship and engineering. The Silver Ghost was unveiled in 1907 and was known for its groundbreaking smoothness and completion of a 14,371 mile run, establishing ‘the best car in the world’ legend.
Charles Rolls attended Cambridge where he studied mechanical engineering. He was the first undergraduate to own an automobile, and soon began racing. As a means to fund his passion he opened one of the first car dealerships, selling mainly cars from overseas. His pursuit for a supplier of dependable English automobiles led to his encounter with Henry Royce.
Rolls became the first aviator to complete a double-crossing of the English Channel. In July 1910, he died in a tragic flying accident at an air show.
Henry Royce was known for pursuit of perfection and his attention to detail. In 1887, he registered his first patent, the bayonet lamp socket. Royce’s company made electrical motors, dynamos, and cranes.
Dissatisfied by the operation of his Decauville, Royce set out to improve and refine it. This lead to his pursuit of constructing the best and finest cars across the globe. In 1903, he designed and built his very first engine. By 1904, Royce made his first prototypes.
Launched in 1907, the 40/50 HP, also known as Silver Ghost, stayed in production until 1925. The vehicle was initially powered by a 7,036cc 6-cylinder engine, in 1909 this was increased to 7,248cc.
The popular body styles were the Barker Tourer and the Barker enclosed cabriolet. The legendary vehicle was originally built in Royce’s factory located on Cooke Street in Manchester. After much success the company relocated to a custom-built factory in Nightingale Road, Derby.