The HISTORY of Silver Ghost 58TM
1924 - Today............
Long wheelbase 58TM was originally laid down as a nickel finish chassis with D rake steering. It commenced pre-delivery tests in June 1924, completing these in July. It was placed temporarily into factory stock pending an order.
On 8 August 1924 a telex arrived at Derby advising that Dalgety & Company Limited, Melbourne had accepted £50 deposit on behalf of respected local client, former bookmaker and now thoroughbred stud owner,Solomon Green. This was the third new Silver Ghost ordered by Green following 1912 Chassis 1853E and the September 1921 delivery of 142LG.
It was Green's second brass finish Silver Ghost.
Despite 58TM having been prepared with steel artillery wheels and patented Barker dipping headlamp facility, this chassis was chosen on 11 August to fulfill the Melbourne order. Many chassis specifications were changed to Green's requirements. These included conversion from nickel to brass finish for wheel caps, reserve oil tank, radiator and Spirit of Ecstasy Mascot and lighting changed to Lucas equipment, with additions of Cobra horn and bracket, spinney vents, and modified fuel tank. Curiously Green's commission stated the popular newly available 'Front-Wheel Brakes not required.' The chassis was fitted with stronger springs compatible with a 9.5 cwt seven-passenger open body and steering changed from D to C rake. The amended chassis was received from further tests on 4 September 1924 and shipped four days later to Dalgety's Melbourne agency aboard SS Demosthenes.
In January 1925, the vehicle's artillery wheels were replaced by Dalgety & Company Limited in Melbourne with Dunlop well-based wire wheels. The seven-passenger tourer body was manufactured and fitted in Melbourne by an unknown coach-builder, but possibly either Waring Bros or the Melbourne Motor Body Building Co. When 58TM was delivered to Green he parted with 142LG, his 1921 model brass finish Silver Ghost. Legend has it that inside and outside door handles of 58TM were gold-plated, along with some other body fittings but, as with 142LG, this is almost certainly a myth. 58TM was registered (Vic) 87.653 in November 1925 at Green's city address, 360 Collins St, Melbourne. Registration was transferred to his home at 45 Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda in September 1927.
By 1930, 58TM was with a new owner and Green was enjoying his Phantom I, Chassis 78MC, also a brass finish car, and the legend of gold plating continued. It is believed that Smith & Waddington Ltd was engaged by Jim Hackett, of Milford St, Randwick, Sydney, the car's second owner, to fit a California hard top c1930. Hackett, a former bookmaker-turned horse trainer, was a friend of Sol Green and maintained racing stables in Bowral St, Kensington. While with Hackett, this car was registered (NSW) 55.055. Smith & Waddington Ltd were engaged again c1938 to replace the outdated body with a saloon to give the car a more modern appearance. This body was clearly done on a limited budget, because there was no harmony between cabin and mudguards. It is possible that these were the original mudguards with adaptations. The bizarre bonnet is surely one of the longest ever fitted to a Silver Ghost.
The original receipt from 790 Car Sales, Brookvale, Sydney reveals that 58TM was sold to Malcolm Johns on 23 February 1958. The sale involved a traded-in Renault 750 plus £135 cash. With registration (NSW) BME.018, the car had moved to Trevor Powell of Retreat Rd, Sandringham, Victoria by May 1958. Around 1966 the car was transported in a neglected state to Faris Palfreyman's property at Ingleside, Queensland with the less than attractive c1938 bodywork intact. Not surprisingly, soon after arrival it was listed by Palfreyman as `chassis only.' When offered in Palfreyman's 1969 sale with brass fittings it had reverted to D rake steering and was equipped with 600 x 20" tyres. It was still equipped with Lucas lighting and reserve oil tank. The anticipated price of $1500 was exceeded by $50. Gavin Sandford-Morgan of Adelaide purchased the car for Laurie O'Neil of Double Bay, Sydney and Ross Marshall's company transporter delivered it.
In response to a 1985 enquiry from New Zealand about the car, Peter [McGrath] inspected it and reported that 'it is very complete and appears in excellent order. Although it has been standing for some time, the engine has been regularly turned and valves lubricated. Starter, generator, magneto controls and fittings all OK and clean, exhaust is rather new or reconditioned, radiator core is incorrect.'
But 58TM remained with O'Neil until purchased in 1987 by David Berthon, still as an unrestored chassis.
When Berthon acquired his complete car Chassis 69TE, Chassis 58TM was sold to Russell Kumar of Melbourne.
Restoration work commenced with Kumar and continued when the car was purchased on 1 March 1990 by the present owner Mr John Smith of Ferny Creek, Victoria.
The restoration continued over the next nine years with the majority of the work being done at Roger Fry's Specialist Restoration Workshops in Perth Western Australia.
The car was transported to Melbourne and then driven by Roger Fry and John Smith to Canberra for the Rolls Royce Owners Club 1999 Federal Concours where it was judged the winner of the Silver Ghost Category.
Since then it has won awards wherever it has been entered.
In 2001 the car was awarded the 20/Ghost Clubs "Best Restoration" prize.
During the restoration the car gained many unique features and/ or Accessories.
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