Rolls-Royce 1924 Silver Ghost Picadilly "Special" Roadster
This Silver Ghost Picadilly Roadster was sold new in 1924 to Alfonzo Bell. Mr. Bell was an American oil multi-millionaire, real estate developer, philanthropist, and champion tennis player. The westside Los Angeles residential community of Bel Air is named after him as well as the Southern California communities of Bell and Bell Gardens. Around 1930 the car became the property JC Feys and then after that J.M. Morgan of Hollywood, CA.
Around 1932, Joe Reindl was commissioned to have the car modified. Mr. Reindl, of Hollywood Sping and Axle Company on Sunset Boulevard, was a Mercedes expert and was noted for his modifications to chassis, springs and other components on not only Mercedes but other European margues. Mr. Reindl who was part of the Hollywood scene from the 1920's to the 1950's. He was the driver of the Marx Brothers Mercedes S vs. Phil Berg's Dusenberg in a winner take all match race for $25,000. Set during the Great Depression the prize money was a staggering sum and described as "sort of an automotive gunfight at the O.K. corral". Here are two interesting articles about that race: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/with-madness-in-its-rear-view-a-triumphant-duesenberg-heads-to-hershey/ https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.laluneta.com.ar/nota%3Fid%3D53485&prev=search
Joe Reindl hired Judson Willingham to modify the car from a Picadilly roadster to a Picadilly Special Roadster. Willingham was known for his custom coachwork on Murphy and Coachcraft in the Los Angeles area and for the V Windscreen adaptation found on many cars in the early 1930''s. Mr. Willingham was believed to be inspired by the V windscreen on the Phantom II owned by Constance Bennett.
The early photo below found by Larry Lubin shows the car as it looked after modifications in 1932.
RROC records show the car was owned by Club Member Marvin Piper of Altadena from around 1989-99. In 2006, Justin Ding of Arcadia is shown as the owner.
In 2012, we found the car in a barn in Los Angeles. Research shows that it has been in Southern Calfornia all of its life.
The car is currently being restored.
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- Silver Ghost
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