The Rolls-Royce Piccadilly Roadster

1926 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly Roadster (S321PL)
S321PL seen at Amelia Island (photo credit: conceptcarz.com)
By the time Rolls-Royce of America started delivering chassis's out of their newly established factory in Springfield, MA (in 1921), they already understood that the US market would be different. In the past, Rolls-Royce only sold chassis's and the new owner would then select a body-maker and have the car finished at the coachbuilder. American customers were accustom to selecting the body at the time of purchase, thus Rolls-Royce of America established the Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks program. Customers would select among many attractive bodies from the catalog, and Rolls-Royce would sub-contract the construction of the body to a select group of regional firms. According to coachbuilt.com, these included noted firms such as Holbrook, Locke, Merrimac, and others. The bodies were then sent back to Rolls-Royce who married them with the chassis and finished the trim, paint, and hardware.

One the most popular bodies from the Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks catalog was the Piccadilly Roadster. The car pictured here is chassis S321PL - a 1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster. This car is from the last series of ghosts produced in Springfield (series U), which ranged from chassis S109ML through S402RL. The car was originally delivered to a H. Pearce of Philadelphia as a Mayfair Town Car. Most likely re-bodied early in it's life, it was not uncommon for Rolls-Royce to re-body certain cars upon trade-in so that they would be a more attractive re-sale. Often the Piccadilly bodies are attributed to Brewster, as Brewster was purchased by Rolls-Royce of America and accounted for many Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks bodies after 1926. The body on this car is thought to be a RRCCW body by Merrimac. This picture would appear to be from the mid-1960s and the owner at the time was a Dr. Leon Miller. It looks to be a Roll-Royce gathering of some kind - I'd love to know where this was taken (and the nature of the event). In 1977, the car was shown at a RROC meet while under the ownership of P.B. Zeigler. More recently, the car was photographed at Amelia Island, however, I don't know the current owner. Regardless, the Piccadilly Roaster remains one of the most beautiful body's to grace the silver ghost chassis.

No comments:

Post a Comment