|Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Shooting-Brake in the Louwman Museum (from the collection of the author)|
The term Shooting-Brake originates with the English use of a "brake" or heavy chassis harnessed to spirited horses to "break" them. The term was then picked up to describe a wagon in which to haul people, dogs, and their guns on a hunt. As the automobile came into fashion, the English upper-class ordered custom coachbuilders to construct Shooting-Brake bodes on some of the finest chassis of the day.
This 1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (chassis #1246) is a perfect example of this very English trend. Although Rolls-Royce's Sliver Ghost chassis was a frequent platform for this body style, few remain, as most have been re-bodied to suite today's taste for open touring cars. This car is one of the very few pre-WWI Silver Ghost's that retains its original body (and one of the few Shooting-Brakes to survive).
This car was bodied for the 7th Duke of Buccleuch by Croall & Croall. Croall & Croall, an off-shoot of John Croall & Sons, was a logical choice. This Edinburgh, Scotland firm had begun back in the 1850s as funeral undertakers and carriage company. They entered into the coach building business prior to the automobile and extended their reach by purchasing a controlling interest in H.J. Mulliner & Co. At the time Croall & Croall carried out this commission, they had facilities in Edinburgh and Kelso, and were run by Peter, John, and Robert Croall.
|Peter Croall & Sons - Coachbuilders of Edinburgh, Scotland (photo credit: Andrew Carnegie Archives)|
John Charles Montagu Douglas Scott, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch, would have been 46 years old with house full of kids (8 kids in all) at time this car was delivered. He recently finished a decade of service as an MP fro Scotland and didn't actually inherit the title of "Duke" until 1914. This car seems to have been loving cared for during his life - he died in 1935. The car then made it's way to America (most likely after WWII) and ended up in the possession of the renowned Rolls-Royce collector, Millard Newman. Mr. Newman owned the car for many years and today it resides in the marvelous collection and museum of Evert Louwman.
|Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Chassis 1246 when in hands of Millard Newman (from the collection of the author)|