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Rolls-Royce

Overview

Britain's most famous car manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, was formed by aristocrat, Charles Rolls and engineer, Henry Royce in 1904. Rolls had been selling French built cars quite successfully and was looking for a British car to market. A mutual friend, Claude Johnson, introduced Rolls to Henry Royce who was already building his own Royce cars from a small factory in Manchester.

By 1906 Rolls-Royce had launched its first successful model the 40/50HP. This car captured the imagination of the press and public alike and soon gained the name "Silver Ghost". The Ghost was well built and extremely reliable (by Edwardian standards!) and remained in production until 1925. By the mid-20's Rolls-Royce had become so popular in the USA the company had set-up its own US plant in Springfield, although the US buyers preferred UK built cars and so the factory was shut in 1931.

1931 was a busy year for the firm which included the acquisition of Bentley. By now Rolls-Royce had become a household name and was exporting cars and Aero-engines all over the world. In WW2 the company opened another factory in Crewe, Cheshire, where it mass-produced its famous Merlin Aero-engine (as used in many allied planes such as the Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Mustang). In 1946 the company transferred its car production from Derby to Crewe where it remains today.

Rolls-Royce has suffered financial problems at different times during the past, in 1971 the company almost disappeared although it was rescued and eventually became part of the Vickers empire. Sadly the company was sold-off in the late-1990's by Vickers in a very messy and complicated way. This will mean that soon ownership will pass to BMW whilst Bentley remains with VW, quite ironic since Rolls-Royce spent 7 years of the last century supplying Aero-engines which would destroy the factories of its future German owners!

Models produced by Rolls-Royce

20/25

20/25

1930-1937

25/30 HP

25/30 HP

1936-1938

Camargue

Camargue

1975-1985

Corniche

1972-0

Corniche II

Corniche II

1977-0

Corniche III

Corniche III

1986-1991

Flying Spur

Flying Spur

1994-1995

Phantom

Phantom

2004-2004

Phantom II

Phantom II

1929-1936

Phantom III

Phantom III

1936-1939

Phantom IV

Phantom IV

1950-1956

Phantom V

Phantom V

1959-1968

Phantom VI

Phantom VI

1968-1992

Silver Cloud I

Silver Cloud I

1955-1959

Silver Cloud I LWB

Silver Cloud I LWB

1957-1959

Silver Cloud II

Silver Cloud II

1959-1962

Silver Cloud III

Silver Cloud III

1962-1965

Silver Dawn

1949-1952

Silver Dawn

Silver Dawn

1952-1955

Silver Shadow I

Silver Shadow I

1965-1977

Silver Shadow II

Silver Shadow II

1977-1980

Silver Wraith II

Silver Wraith II

1977-1980

Silver Wraith LWB

Silver Wraith LWB

1951-1959

Wraith

Wraith

1939-1939