Cool weather and rain greeted Silver Ghosts headed from Osage Beach, MO to Pittsburg, KS. The scenery was also changing from the mountains to the plains and from corn fields to cows in the fields. Our newest road hazard encountered was a horse grazing right by the road. He had obviously escaped and found the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.
The Rolls-Royce mascot is the Flying Lady. Gerhard Weissenbach’s 1913 Hume Carriage tourer (2532) has a brass radiator and Flying Lady.
The “Naughty Lady” is the mascot chosen by David Robson for his 1912 L&E (2079) Silver Ghost
We saw a mileage sign noting “Nevada” only 106 miles. Unfortunately, it was Nevada, MO and not the state where we were headed about a week later. We drove only about 160 miles to Pittsburg but the constant rain made it seem much longer. Pebble Beach show cars are in the last stages of preparation and our cars are being pelted by rain and road hazards on our journey west. Several drivers braved the elements with tops down since they were able to keep up their speed and ‘most’ of the rain flew past them.
Mr. Toad is the hood ornament on
Jeremy Green’s Silver Ghost, 1924
tourer (41EM). Jeremy had this mascot
custom designed and Mr. Toad is
holding up a Silver Ghost steering wheel.
Every where we stop (and we stop often for gas since the typical Ghost gets about 10 mpg), we always get inquisitive people interested in the cars. The questions range from "What is it?” “What year is your car?” “What’s it worth?” to more technical questions about the number of cylinders, mileage, etc. “Why are you driving such a beautiful car in the rain?” Answer, “Because it’s raining.”
One gentleman looked at me while stopped at a light, rolled his window down and exclaimed, “Your steering wheel is on the wrong side.” My reply was, “No, it’s not, it’s on the RIGHT side.” He rolled up his window and drove off with a perplexed look on his face. These questions are not limited to those from Missouri and Kansas, we get them everywhere and it’s part of the fun of driving a Silver Ghost.
Flying Lady mascot turned sideways to provide access to engine compartment.
One question we normally hear is, “What do you do when if it breaks down?” Answer, “Fix it.” And fix them we did. The Ghosts have experienced some minor problems, all fixable on the road; ranging from a flat tire, low pressure from the fuel pressure pump to a stuck exhaust valve. All the problems were fixed and all the Ghosts are on the road. The core group that started in Annapolis have covered over 1,500 miles. We have no wrecker following us, and no parts or luggage van in tow. It’s a self-sufficient group of Ghost enthusiasts.
Kangaroo mascot on Australian Ghost owned by Con Keogh – 1921 L-E (106HG).
The typical mascot for a Rolls-Royce is the famous “Flying Lady” sculpted by Charles Sykes. Our Ghosts have a few variations, ranging from a kangaroo on an Australian car to another variation of the “lady” mascot theme. The Flying Lady mascot has to be turned in order to open the bonnet since her wings extend past the radiator shell. With the lady turned sideways, it often elicits a question about why she is not on straight. The answers range from the straight forward answer to a few that are a little more interesting. Two explanations include, “She’s Muslim and always faces Mecca,” and “Her nose is magnetized and she always faces North.” Since the mascots were an
option, it’s hard to know if these variations were not ‘special orders’ by the original owner.
Continue to July 31-August 1, 2004
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