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Vanderbilt Rolls to be auctioned

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Posted: 9 am ET

An upcoming Kruse auction is the chance for someone to own a rare piece of car history that was owned by one of the most prestigious families in America. A 1913 Rolls-Royce silver Ghost Town Car, used to chauffeur Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family, will be auctioned off at the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History in Smithville, Texas, on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Vanderbilt's car, like all Silver Ghosts, was a custom order that was built by hand in the Rolls-Royce factory in England. Designed to be driven by a chauffeur, the driving compartment of the Silver Ghost was completely open, while the rear of the vehicle was fully enclosed and protected from all the elements in the utmost of luxury. The passenger compartment features wool broadcloth in a deep red color with nickel-finish accents, while the large headlights and smaller driving lights have been electrified. It is in mostly original condition, and has just 89,300 miles on the odometer.

The Vanderbilt family built its fortune in the railroad and shipping industries. Cornelius Vanderbilt II and family spent much of their time in New York City, where he oversaw the New York Central Railroad, and their opulent Newport, R.I., vacation home named The Breakers.

Vanderbilt's Silver Ghost, as well as nearly 100 other cars that are slated for the March 3 auction, are on preview at the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History through March 2, 2012.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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1 Comment
Cliff. Sturmey.
February 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I am writing the history of my village (North Holmwood, near Dorking, Surrey).

We have a memorial to the Vanderbilts very close by regarding the drowning of Mr. & Mrs. Vanderbilt by a Germanu U-Boat sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, when sailing from England to America.

My grand-mother and others can remember the Vanderbilts throwing coins out to the children when the travelled through the village from the horse and carriage they travelled to London from the coast.

There are pictures of the Vanderbilts with Mr. V. actually driving the horses, they are still remembered.