1904 Rolls-Royce (chassis 20167)

1904 Rolls-Royce 2 cylinder, 10 hp car (chassis 20167)

This car, a 1904 Rolls-Royce 2 cylinder, 10 hp roadster is the last 2 cylinder car produced (its possible this car could have been produced in early 1905). As I've written about before, Fredrick Royce built two prototype cars in 1904, using many parts from the first car to build the second. Both prototype cars were 2 cylinder. Once Fredrick Royce and Charles Rolls came to terms (Royce would design and manufacture the cars while Rolls would act as the sales and distribution agent), they set out to experiment with a number of different designs (5 types in all: including 2, 3, 4 , and 6 cylinder variations as well as a V-8). The 2 cylinder, 10 hp car was the first to be produced and they would end up building 17 of these chassis throughout 1904 - with chassis 20167 being the last. Additionally, it is the 2 cylinder model that would be the first to receive the iconic radiator shape so closely identified with Rolls-Royce today.

Even as the company evolved, and eventually choose to build only 6 cylinder cars, these 2 cylinder cars continued to be inservice. There's an interesting photo published in The Automotor Journal of July, 1905 that shows a gathering of Rolls-Royce cars with 2, 4, and 6, cylinder versions all present. The photo of chassis 20167 shows that, not only was it still in service, but someone had gone to the effort of having the car re-bodied (most likely a decade later - circa 1914).

The new offerings from Rolls-Royce were covered extensively around the time of their debut at the 1904 Olympia Motor Show in London. If you look closely, you'll note that the chassis pictured is not the production car, but the second prototype car.

The Automotor Journal, July 22, 1905

The Automotor Journal, December 3, 1904

The Automotor Journal, December 3, 1904

The second prototype chassis of Fredrick Royce - 1904

No comments:

Post a Comment