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1926 Rolls-Royce


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I am researching a 1926 Rolls-Royce. The serial number is 12DC but I have been unable to find information on what DC is or what it represents? Any information or direction on where to look would be helpful.

Thank you!

1926RollsRoyceptr.jpg

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That is probably a chassis number. They used an alpha-numeric system for each series of chassis. This was much more important than a model year which never featured very seriously with RR. However, the car you pictured looks to be a 20-25 and I seem to remember that those usually had 3 letters and a number...

 

jp

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

That is probably a chassis number. They used an alpha-numeric system for each series of chassis. This was much more important than a model year which never featured very seriously with RR. However, the car you pictured looks to be a 20-25 and I seem to remember that those usually had 3 letters and a number...

 

jp

Thanks, chassis number makes more sense. 

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Fender design looks too modern for 1926. Could it have been modernized in the early thirties? In 1933 it would have been 7 years old. If the owner was fond of it he might have taken it to a body shop to have the fenders extended, and a new paint job, and possibly new upholstery.

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30 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Fender design looks too modern for 1926. Could it have been modernized in the early thirties? In 1933 it would have been 7 years old. If the owner was fond of it he might have taken it to a body shop to have the fenders extended, and a new paint job, and possibly new upholstery.

 

Interesting thought but I think Rolls-Royce was just ahead of the pack. If you look at the New Phantom years, they all have basic same fender shape starting in 1926. 

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4 hours ago, Dandy Dave said:

Best to join the Rolls Royce Owners Club. They have a fairly complete amount of history on these cars which also includes who purchased the car originally and often subsequent owners and model information. Dandy Dave! 

 

Look Here.. https://www.rroc.org/

I would but it is $95 to join their club. A little too steep for my questions. 

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Those fenders were skirted at a later date.   Also the auction ad makes no sense has Holbrook built a lot more than 8 bodies.   Also,  why would there be an American body on an English chassis?  Unless the car is actually an earlier Sprinfield Ghost RHD that was modernized.

 

You don't say why you are researching the car,  but if it is to either buy it or sell it then 95 bucks is dirt cheap.

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1 minute ago, alsancle said:

Those fenders were skirted at a later date.   Also the auction ad makes no sense has Holbrook built a lot more than 8 bodies.   Also,  why would there be an American body on an English chassis?  Unless the car is actually an earlier Sprinfield Ghost RHD that was modernized.

 

You don't say why you are researching the car,  but if it is to either buy it or sell it then 95 bucks is dirt cheap.

I am also confused about the auction flyer. The left-hand drive Rolls were made in the US: In 1921 Rolls-Royce opened a new factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States (to help meet demand) where a further 1,701 "Springfield Ghosts" were built. This factory operated for 10 years, closing in 1931.  As for the fenders, check these out: https://www.supercars.net/blog/1926→1931-rolls-royce-springfield-phantom/

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48 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

I think Rusty is right... It doesn't look like a 1926 car and was probably updated in the early 30s. This was very common with RR cars.

I guess I just do not see what you guys are seeing.  This is also a 1926.  Could you please explain why you think the fenders are too modern? To me, they look just like the 1925 silver ghost fenders. The 1926 Phantom I Rolls-Royce is expected to fetch £700,000 at auction

Image result for 1925 rolls royce silver ghost

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Look directly behind the wheel on the same elevation as the axle and note that the car has "skirted" fenders,  i.e. the open part has been closed in.   The pictures posted directly above, that area is open to the chassis.

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It looks like the front fenders had skirts added behind the wheels and were extended at the front. Then they added a pan ahead of the radiator, over the frame. That style of fenders was first seen on the 1932 Graham Blue Streak and was seen on most cars in 1933 - 1934.

 

If you compare the fenders on the subject car, to the two posted later, you can see the fenders are basically the same shape but bigger.

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With such a poor angle and lack of detail in the photo, it’s hard to properly identify the car. Body looks too modern for 1926, and it certainly looks like it was also upgraded after it was built. It could be a P1 body on a Ghost chassis.  It’s NOT an American P1, as NO American chassis were built right hand drive. As is typical it was upgraded at a later date, the bumpers and skirted fenders, along with later style Marshal head lights. There are several American cars that are similar in body style. Looking at other details I find nothing exceptional about the car, it’s just what I would expect to see on a car from that era built on a Rolls chassis. While a great car, and well built, Rolls Royce Town Cars from that era in either American or English chassis are not in high demand. I think the English chassis is a significant factor in valuing the car, on the negative when selling the car in the states. Overall I think the most appealing aspect of the car is the very well done belt line........looks very nice for such an early car. You need a Rolls Royce expert to go over it and advise you. It’s not too difficult or expensive to find someone, and if you are buying or selling it, it’s well worth the effort. If the car has significant engine issues, the repair can easily cost as much, or more than the value of the car.  The parking lights are missing, maybe someone’s attempt to clean up the lines of the car? More photos of the car would lock down the ID.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I don't think it was quite half, but yes, the Springfield cars were right hand drive for a few years. The splash apron and running board make it look like a P1 chassis, but the car is so modified and information so limited, its hard to tell exactly what it is. Honestly the possibilities are extensive, and I didn't want to "beat the car down" to someone looking for information. Ghost or P1, American or English, its an interesting car. How it got to be they way it is and the way it looks will be an interesting story if anyone is familiar with the car. Can't even tell if it is two or four wheel brakes. It could have been rebodied at the factory, or an Inskip update after 1933..............

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A Springfield car will have an "S" in the chassis number... S111BG was a ghost that belonged to a friend of mine, S193FR was the PI I had. The Springfield cars went from RH to LH drive in about 1926. I am not sure what series it was but these were late SGs with LH drive and 3-speed transmissions. All of the Springfield PIs were LH drive. In as much as I can tell, the car in question is a Derby PI so, if it is a Holbrook body, it is likely is was one of the British-built cars imported while RR of America was operating. There were always a certain number of buyers who,  quite unjustifiably, placed some snob value on having a "genuine RR".

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Thank you all for your time and information. I have purchased the build history for Rolls-Royce 12DC from The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts. This is a file of work/test reports compiled during construction at the factory by the mechanics and engineers. Hopefully, this will clarify matters. 

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Ginny......it could make things more confusing...........its possible the chassis had several bodies on it over the years, a common event on Rolls Royce chassis. Please post some better car photos........dash, engine, body, ect........ I am sure we can nail it down. 

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1 minute ago, edinmass said:

Ginny......it could make things more confusing...........its possible the chassis had several bodies on it over the years, a common event on Rolls Royce chassis. Please post some better car photos........dash, engine, body, ect........ I am sure we can nail it down. 

Ok, I will try and get some taken soon. Thanks.

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More likely it was imported as a chassis and the body added in America. Rolls Royce never made a body until 1946, all their cars were sold as chassis and the body made by body specialists. It would be routine to have an American made body on a Rolls Royce from the twenties or thirties.

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That is a pile of cars.  Rolls is interesting with the Holbrook body,  but a Derby Rolls with an American body may have a limited market.

 

Btw,  since I was a kid,  I loved the prewar Rolls hood line and radiator, especially on the bigger series cars.  Just iconic.

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15 hours ago, alsancle said:

That is a pile of cars.  Rolls is interesting with the Holbrook body,  but a Derby Rolls with an American body may have a limited market.

 

I agree.......neat car with almost no market. Such a shame, but it does allow intrested newbies a very reasonable chance to get into a fantastic platform. The car looks good enough to use and enjoy, as long as there are no engine issues, it would be lots of fun for a first Rolls.

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Is it possible that 1926 Rolls got smaller diameter wheels and tires as part of a modernization in the early thirties? That would be another reason for welding skirting around the fenders, it would look funny if the fenders were too far away from the new tires.

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Yes. That was a very common "update". In fact, early American Ghosts with the original 23" wheels are fairly rare. Much more commonly the cars were "updated" with 21" wheels and balloon tires. But, the outside diameter of the wheel and tire remained about the same.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received the build history for Rolls-Royce 12DC from The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts. 

 

I have not had a chance to really read through/decipher everything but it was not an American coachbuilder. The car was sent to Paris to The Kellner Coachbuilding Company. 

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On 2/28/2018 at 10:37 AM, edinmass said:

Ginny......it could make things more confusing...........its possible the chassis had several bodies on it over the years, a common event on Rolls Royce chassis. Please post some better car photos........dash, engine, body, ect........ I am sure we can nail it down. 

 

 

48 minutes ago, Ginny said:

I received the build history for Rolls-Royce 12DC from The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts. 

 

I have not had a chance to really read through/decipher everything but it was not an American coachbuilder. The car was sent to Paris to The Kellner Coachbuilding Company. 

 

I wasn't too far off the mark! Looking forward to learning more about the car. Ed

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According to the book on Rolls-Royce Derby Phantoms,  DC 12 was sold in October 1926 and was fitted with a Cabriolet body by Kellner so the Sedanca de Ville body that it now has was obviously fitted at a later date. 

The skirted front fenders didn't start to appear on cars until around 1933 so the change was probably later than that. The deep shirts that this one has would appear to be from around the 1935 - 36 era.

\

Edit to the above.

I may well be wrong in saying that the body has been replaced as although it is described in the book as being a Cabriolet, it may well be a Cabriolet Sedanica because of the soft front roof and I can't find a photo of it in its original form.   I am still sure that the front fenders have been changed or modified from original.  

Edited by DavidAU (see edit history)
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