IN his continuing search for the more weird and wondrous in this world, David Ellis says that the world’s only Rolls-Royce motor car built without the signatory Spirit of Ecstasy radiator mascot, has sold at auction in England for 264,700 Pounds (AU$486,731,) ninety-two years after being hand-crafted for British statesman and naval officer, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
Officially noted by the Rolls-Royce company as being “much to our chagrin,” Lord Mountbatten insisted his customised 1924 Silver Ghost Cabriolet be given an almost-bizarre one-off mascot depicting a British Navy Signaller semaphoring the letter M with two bright red and yellow metallic flags, just so that everyone knew whose Roller it really was.
In its 92 year history the famous car has changed hands at least a half-dozen times, including being re-acquired by Lord Mountbatten just weeks before his assassination at the hands of the IRA in 1979.
A subsequent owner had it meticulously restored in the workshops of Britain’s National Motor Museum a few years later, certified roadworthy for regular use, and it’s just recently been sold-on once more through historic auction house Bonhams for that near-half million AU$.
WHICH is a lot more than the 2000 British Pounds (AU$3,700) Lord Mountbatten paid for it brand-new in 1924 and – and with its unique Navy Signaller radiator mascot still in place on it today.