Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 181KF

1924 Rolls Royce Ghost 181KF with Geo W. McNear body

Silver Ghost 181KF in from of Hill & Vaughn
Phil Hill in 181KF
I'm still working through the archive of Rolls Royce photos (from the estate of John Webb De Campi) that Dad purchase earlier this summer. This group of photos, of a 1924 Springfield Silver Ghost (chassis 181KF), stood out for a couple reasons. The first reason is that it wears a very unique George W. McNear body. According to coachbuilt.com, George W. McNear (1911 - 1931) was a Boston based coachbuilder best known for his work on Rolls-Royce chassis, most of which were commissioned by Rolls-Royce Inc.’s factory branch in Boston. Apparently, between 1923 and 1928 McNear constructed coachwork for 12 new and 2 re-bodied Springfield-built Silver Ghosts - including 181KF (which I believe to be an original body). Only 4 or 5 McNear bodied Silver Ghost's are though to have survived - including this car. George W. McNear bodied other brands as well, in fact the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts has a McNear-bodied 1926 Lincoln. Of course, the other reason these photos caught my attention is that the car is photographed in front of Hill & Vaughn with the esteemed Phil Hill at the wheel! Phil Hill is a legendary figure in American motorsports: the only American-born driver to win the Formula-One World Drivers' Championship; the first American-born winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1958); and in 1960, the first American driver in nearly forty years to win a Grand Prix race (since Jimmy Murphy won the 1921 French GP in a Duesenberg). Wow. This 1924 Rolls Royce was sold by a dealer in the UK in 2003 and I believe it still resides overseas.

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