The Silver Ghost

The Silver Ghost

News Item
04 Jul 2022

A Ghost has been captured and put on show at Pilkington United Kingdom Ltd Cowley Hill site in St Helens.

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

A Pilkington Glass heirloom has taken pride of place next to the off-line coater at Cowley Hill, St Helens. A Rolls Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost, Reg XR 6727 is showcased in a nice glass enclosure made of our extra clear low-iron Pilkington Optiwhite™ that is perfect for applications where transparency and purity of colour are desired. The glass  for the roof has been additionally screen printed.

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.

Rolls Royce Silver GhostA 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 glass enclosure made for her and she proudly sits by our off-line coater, where we manufacture high-performance products such as Pilkington Suncool™.

 

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