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Schebera Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boat-Tail Skiff #54PB 1914
Schebera Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boat-Tail Skiff #54PB 1914
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The Skiff body on this Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (chassis #54PB) is likely a second body. The car was shipped in 1914 to Garage Majestic in Brussels, Belgium for delivery to its initial owner, a Mr. F. Herman. By June of 1919, the car was still in Brussels, owned by a Mr. A. Lancer. However, given the historic climate of the time, it is difficult to ascertain if the car was in fact even driven or remained as a bare chassis awaiting its custom coachwork.

The history of Schebera is important in that it establishes the approximate date of construction of this Boat-Tail Skiff body on chassis #54PB. The car's original coachbuilder's sill plates read "Shapiro - Schebera". Since Shapiro did not join the firm until 1919, the body cannot precede this date, and since NSU took over the firm in 1923, the body must have been built prior to that date.

There is no record of any prior body on the chassis, leading historians to speculate that the chassis may have been delivered to Schebera prior to the war, but not finished until 1919. The factory records show no intervening owners until 1925, when Messrs. A. Souraty & Cie of Cairo, Egypt acquired the car. They were presumably automobile agents and subsequently passed the car on to Mr. Achmed Naguib Bev, also of Cairo, in 1926. The next owner of record is Gregory Malacos, another Cairo resident, in 1947, followed by H. Williamson (Cairo, 1949) and then finally to a Mr. Platt, also in Cairo.

In 1956, Dr. Robin O. Barnard of Chiddingfold, Surrey and Mr. H. Vivian of London learned of the car. When they tracked down the owner, Mr. Platt, he offered to loan them the car if they would return it to the UK and look after it, restoring it as necessary. They began a restoration during the course of which it was discovered that the car's condition was remarkably good, requiring only relatively minor mechanical work.

After visiting Dr. Barnard and Mr. Vivian in London, Mr. Platt was pleased with the work the pair had undertaken and decided to sell them the car, and they became joint owners of #54PB. They kept the car for almost thirty years before passing it on to the next keeper, and finally, in 1985, #54PB was acquired by Bob Barrymore of California, where it joined his collection.

Although the actual designer of the car has been lost in the mists of history, German automotive historian Hans Newbauer believes that the car was penned by Ernst Neuman-Neander, who created several boat-tailed designs for German clients around 1920.

The car was sent to RM Restorations in 2004, where it received a new convertible top and sidemount covers, among other cosmetic and mechanical work. The car was then exhibited at Pebble Beach in 2005. In 2009 the car was put up for auction by RM Auctions with an estimate of £450,000.- to £600,000.- and was sold for £473,000.- / 530,000.- Euros / 856,000.- USD.


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