Best of Show 2019 Concours of Elegance Hampton Court
This Elegant car with polished aluminium bodywork was certainly the most flamboyant Silver Ghost, ordered by a man who owned 25 of those Rolls-Royces: Lt-General his Highness the Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh of Patiala GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE, ACD (1891 to 1938).
In its care it spent many years in North West India. Its styling had been inspired by the French coachbuilder Henri Labordette, whose stylish Art Deco bodies built on Rolls-Royce chassis in 1913-14 had caught the imagination of the Maharaja, but in December 1915 he chose the leading British coachbuilder Barker to build this body on chassis 11 PD
Work had to be suspended during WWI and then it emerged in 1919 as the first of the J Series with a new chassis number 32 PP. This was the 16th Silver Ghost ordered by a man who surely agreed with the Pall Mall Gazette that the Silver Ghost was the best car in the world.
The Maharaja was the ruling prince of the Sikh nation in the Punjab state of Patiala, an area of nearly 6000 square miles. There it was used for bird shooting and carried the Prince of Wales when he visited Patiala state in February 1922. It still carries four 12 bore shotguns.
After one of the Princesses of Patiala was killed the Maharaja gave the car to his friend Rustom Boga of the Ice Factories in Patiala and Amritsar on the condition that it never returned to the State during his lifetime. Another accident in 1935 left the car in a sorry state and in 1969 it was brought to England to spend the next 32 years with Silver Ghost connoisseur Jeremy Bacon in South Kensington and Kew.
In 2001 it was acquired by current owner John Fasal, the Rolls-Royce historian, author and publisher with a particular interest in Rolls-Royce and Bentleys in India. He has restored the chassis with a team of other specialists to bring the car back to its original splendour.
The 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost won the Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace in September 2019.