WWI dentist's Rolls-Royce expected at $1.1m through Bonhams



2015-06-26 13:20:57

WWI dentist's Rolls-Royce expected at $1.1m through Bonhams

A Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost used as a dental surgery in WWI joins the line-up at Goodwood

A 1913 Rolls-Royce 45-50 HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer that was used as a frontline dental surgery in WWI will be sold by Bonhams at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 12.

It is expected to sell for 600,000-800,000 ($892,608-1.1m).

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer The Rolls-Royce was once fitted with a dentist's chair, drills and 'all the necessary heavy metals'

The Rolls-Royce was initially purchased in 1913 by a wealthy Englishman for 1,016 (around 100,000 in today's money), before being sold to its second owner, Auguste Charles Valadier, in October 1915.

Valadier was a French-American living in Paris, who was instrumental in the development of maxillofacial reconstructive surgery to treat service personnel injured during first world war.

When the first world war broke out in 1914, Valadier volunteered his services to the British Red Cross Society in Paris. Here, he soon established the first unit dedicated to the treatment of facial injuries, which helped develop the progress of plastic surgery.

His Rolls-Royce was modified to incorporate a dentist's chair, allowing Valadier to take his pioneering techniques to the frontline.

"In Boulogne there was a great fat man with sandy hair and a florid face, who had equipped his Rolls-Royce with a dental chair, drills and the necessary heavy metals. The name of this man... was Charles Valadier," noted his colleague.

The London-to-Edinburgh model takes its name from Ernest W Hives' legendary journey between the two cities in 1911, in which he completed the 400-mile trip using top gear only, achieving a remarkable 24.32 miles to the gallon.

There was a deluge of requests for replica models shortly after, and genuine London-to-Edinburgh Silver Ghosts remain among the most coveted of all model variants.

Also selling at Goodwood is John Lennon's first car, a Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupe, which is expected to bring up to 220,000 ($341,500).

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