A Pilkington Glass heirloom has taken pride of place next to our offline coater at Cowley Hill, St Helens.
A Rolls Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost, Reg XR 6727. The antique motor has an incredible story which dates back to 1924!
First bought in 1924 by Mrs Lucy Trench of South London, the car was one of 6,173 Silver Ghosts manufactured between 1907 and 1925. The story jumps to 1963 when Mr Barrie Heath, Chairman and Managing Director of Triplex Safety Glass Co. Ltd., now part of Pilkington Automotive, attended a Motor Show and decided the Triplex apprentices should rebuild a vehicle to give them an insight into car construction. This project would also give the company a useful end product and maybe some publicity… So, the hunt for a donor began.
A year later Mr Roy Broderick, Midland Area Sales Manager for Triplex, ended the search when he found XR 6727 in a cement works in Aughton, Lancashire. She was in a sorry state when found in 1965 and had been rebodied as a hearse. He reported “there’s nothing wrong mechanically, but the body is, in the main, fit only for burning.” He watched beetles fall out of the bodywork when he tapped it to test its strength and remarked that a “few hens were disturbed from their adopted coop and squawked away”.
For the gritty details of the refurbishment, have a read of Bill Boddy’s article in Motor Sport Magazine, published in 1970. To read the article, click here.
For a time, Pilkington employees could use the car for weddings. A notable couple being Ian Heath (Barrie Heath’s son) and English actress and model Vicki Heath, who got married in 1969 at Chelsea Register Office before driving off in the car to their reception. Over its lifetime XR 6727 has completed more than 900,000 miles!
The, now refurbished, beauty has had a custom-made Pilkington Planar™ enclosure made for her and she proudly sits by our offline coater, where we manufacture high-performance products such as Pilkington Suncool™ and Pilkington AviSafe™. The enclosure itself consists of Pilkington Optiwhite™ and Screen-Printed Glass. After the recent decision to discontinue Pilkington Planar™, this could be one of the last projects the team at Pilkington Architectural worked on, and what a monument it is!