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Abandoned Rolls~Royce Silver Ghost !

Guest Silverghost

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Guest Silverghost

At one time the big Great Classics were all but worthless.

There was an abandoned Springfield Rolls~Royce Brewster Towncar in an abandoned & burned-out mansion estate just behind the area I lived at in the early 1950s !

My Dad & other area "Rolls~Royce Boys" knew about the car.

It was sitting outside in a row with two other cars sitting next to it.

The wood & Aluminum body was caving-in and rotten .

The hood & drum headlamps were missing .

Much of the once great car had been stripped !

I have the brown bakelite R~R fuse box'; along with a Brewster coachworks badge & the ignition switch panel !

The great engine was there & partially stripped along with most of the larger pieces.

The towncar was sitting in the mud with small trees and weeds all around it.

Still the large twin-cylinder block six cylinder engine, transmission, chassis, rear end, and front suspension were still there !

I used to play there as a kid !

The car was an enigma !

A very sad sight indeed !

In the 60s the mansion & barn burned yet again and the car still lingered on sinking and rotting into the earth~

Finally the entire property was cleared and a housing development was built on the lot

The chassis may be still burried there for all I know~

Anyone with a metal detector out there looking for a field trip to eastern US.?

This Rolls~Royce was very well known and documented by local Rolls~Royce Owners Club members at this time !

Sadly this was the fate of similar Great Grand Classics of this bygone era !

There is a famous photo of it on one of my Dad's Rolls~Royce books in this sad condition.

I'd like to post it here~

But there may be a copyright

issue invoved ?? .


Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
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I knew an old time mechanic, born in 1900, who recalled scrapping Rolls Royces, Pierce Arrows etc in the thirties, when he worked in a junk yard. One he recalled was a Rolls that ran perfect but needed a clutch. The boss wanted $50 for it. After a couple of weeks with no takers, it was scrapped.

In the meantime if they got a Model A that could be put back in commission, they had a quick sale. Not surprising if you think about it from the standpoint of someone who needed cheap transportation.

This gentleman also scrapped millions of dollars worth of airplanes after WW2, literally. He told me that among others, he scrapped 4 brand new B24s that had delivery hours only and had never been put into service. On the other hand DC3s were seldom scrapped if they were in decent condition because there was a demand for them.

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There are Cord prototypes buried in a stream bed by Connersville IN. Some time ago ACD members went there and unearthed one of them. It was on display in the ACD Museum for a while. If I recall, there were Auburns buried there as well.

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Guest Hinckley

My father opened a wrecking yard/service station/used car lot in about 1949 in a town to the east of Detroit. For years he had a box of photographs of interesting cars acquired that illustrates just how little value early cars had during this period.

Regardless of condition, he wouldn't even try to sell pre 1920 cars. These all went for scrap. They would hammer the brass off the cars, dump the remnants in a quarry, and burn the wood and upholstery out.

As an example of how nice some of these cars were, for more than twenty years the Ford dealer kept a large red pre T Ford on the showroom floor. He talked my dad into selling it for $25 as part of the down payment on a new 1953 Ford truck.

At the time of purchase this classic was on a trailer. My dad was taking it to the yard for scrap.

My dad obtained the car from the original owner for the trade of a used typewriter and a $5.00 bill. The car was unrestored and still had the white tires. In the unrestored condition the car was cleaned, polished and used as a display until about 1974.

When we moved back to Michigan in 1973 one of my first stops was this Ford dealer. After hearing the stories I had to see that car.

Model A Fords were a hot commodity sold to kids and those on a tight budget. Big cars such as KB Lincolns and Auburns were made into trucks as that was the only way he could sell them. The Ford T was a marginal product. Only the very best were kept and sold.

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Guest Hinckley

One story that has always stuck in my head was the tale of an aluminum T. My dad swore up and down that when he torched an early T it melted as it was aluminum. Now, I have never heard of an aluminum bodied T but...

He scrap business commenced almost immediatly after the war and began with the stuff in his dads barn - a Jackson, a Maxwell, and a small heard of discarded trucks from the pre 1930 period. My grandfather was involved in property development in Jackson as well as a prolific inventor during the period before the Great Depression.

Perhaps his most famous endeavor was the specialty tool company Hinckley/Myers. He also had association with David Buick during the short period when Buick was built in Jackson.

I never knew the man as he died before my birth. However, it was a photo of my grandfather with Henry Ford on the front porch of the house on Hinckley Boulevard that sparked an interest in automotive history.

As to WWII airplane scrapping take a google search for the Kingman Army Airfield. You will be amazed at the vast field of aircraft that were destroyed here.

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