History rolls on

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recently marked the 110th anniversary of its successes in the Alpine Trial in 1913.

The original trial event spanned eight days and 2600 kilometres, and the marque’s dominance of event cast the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost’s reputation as ‘the best car in the world’.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says the company still upholds the design and engineering excellence that made those early Rolls-Royces so successful.

“The Ghost’s marriage of performance, strength, reliability, technological innovation, driver engagement, and comfort, provides a template for everything we do more than a century later,” he says.

A faultless performance by the new 40/50hp, or Silver Ghost as it came to be known, in the 1907 Scottish Reliability Trials, followed by a peerless demonstration at the famous 1911 London to Edinburgh Top Gear Trial and Brooklands 100mph Run, earned it accolade of ‘the best British car’.

For energetic, ambitious managing director Claude Johnson, who described himself as the hyphen in Rolls-Royce, this was merely the beginning. He wanted to conquer the European market and knew that success in a high-profile continental event was the key. The 1913 Alpine Trial provided the opportunity he was looking for, and the rest is history.

As the most powerful vehicles taking part, the Silver Ghosts were sent off first, leading the field from start to the finish on many of the daily stages.

Of the 46 starters, only 31 reached Vienna, with the Silver Ghosts the event’s unrivalled stars.


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