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Rolls-Royce (up to 1945): books - history and technology

A book on Rolls-Royce (up to 1945)? Here are illustrated books on the history and technology of Rolls-Royce passenger cars.

The Rolls-Royce: The Magic of a Name - The First Forty Years of Britain's Most Prestigious Company 1904-1944

Tells the story of the first forty years of Britain's most prestigious manufacturer - Rolls-Royce.
Beginning with the historic meeting in 1904 of Henry Royce and C.S. Rolls, and the birth in 1906 of the legendary Silver Ghost, Peter Pugh tells a story of genius, skill and dedication that gave the world cars and aeroengines unrivalled in their excellence.

In 1915, 100 years ago, Royce produced the first of many aero engines, the Eagle, which proved itself in battle in the First World War. Twenty-five years later, the totemic Merlin was installed in the Spitfire and built in a race against time to help win the Battle of Britain.
With unrivalled access to the company's archives, this is a unique portrait of both an iconic name and of British industry at its best.

Author:Peter Pugh
Specs:352 pages, 20 x 13 cm / 7.9 x 5.1 in, paperback
Illustrations:108 b&w photographs and drawings
Publisher:Icon Books Ltd (GB, 2015)
Book: The Rolls-Royce: The Magic of a Name - The First Forty Years of Britain's Most Prestigious Company 1904-1944

The Rolls-Royce: The Magic of a Name - The First Forty Years of Britain's Most Prestigious Company 1904-1944

Language: English

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Rolls-Royce: Motor Cars: Strive for Perfection

Rolls-Royce - schon der Name klingt für Autoliebhaber wie Musik. Kein anderer Hersteller steht so sehr für die Verbindung von Ingenieurskunst, Luxus und Design. Seit 110 Jahren zelebriert das britische Unternehmen die Idee von Perfektion im Autobau. In seinen Manufakturen entstehen wahre Legenden.
Einige der schönsten Automobile zeigt der Hirmer Verlag in seinem bildgewaltigen Band »Rolls-Royce. Motor Cars«, dem Katalog zur Ausstellung im BMW Museum »Strive for Perfection«.

Der Hirmer Verlag zeigt auf 180 Seiten brillante Fotografien aus allen Epochen der Firmengeschichte. Die Palette reicht von Detailaufnahmen bis zu ganz- oder doppelseitigen Bildern berühmter Modelle aus früheren und aktuellen Baureihen. Zum Teil enthält der Band unveröffentlichte Originalzeichnungen und Konstruktionspläne. Dazu kommen eine Darstellung der Unternehmensgeschichte und Erklärungen zu Technik und Standorten.

Die fundierten Artikel sind auch in der englischen Übersetzung enthalten. Der Katalog wurde auf Spezialpapier gedruckt, damit die faszinierenden Formen der Nobelautomobile in allen Facetten und in ihrer ganzen Schönheit angemessen zur Geltung kommen. Ein Eintauchen in die Welt des Luxus und die Tradition von Rolls-Royce - als ob man selbst über die Auffahrt zum Herrenhaus gleitet.

Author:Andreas Braun
Specs:180 pages, 24 x 30.5 x 2.5 cm / 9 x 12 x 0.98 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Hirmer Verlag (D, 2014)
Book: Rolls-Royce: Motor Cars: Strive for Perfection

Rolls-Royce: Motor Cars: Strive for Perfection

Language: English + German

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The Rolls-Royce Story

For generations, people the world over have been intrigued by the magic of the hand-built motor cars created by the world's most skilled craftsmen and women. Their workmanship and world-class engineering made Rolls-Royce the benchmark for quality and excellence. The supreme accolade for other products was to be described as 'the Rolls-Royce of.....'

Ironically, the company that became the symbol of privilege and luxury was founded by a self-taught engineer, Frederick Henry Royce, son of a Lincolnshire farmer, who started working at age 10 to help his widowed mother make ends meet. Obsessed with perfection in every task, he proclaimed that 'nothing is ever right or good enough' yet he produced the finest motor cars the world had ever seen.
Owners range from royalty and billionaires to Hollywood stars and the just plain rich. They shared one aim - to own the very best.

Author:Reg Abbiss
Specs:128 pages, 12.5 x 19 x 1.3 cm / 4.9 x 7.5 x 0.51 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:The History Press Ltd (GB, 2012)
Book: The Rolls-Royce Story

The Rolls-Royce Story

Language: English

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Why Not? - The Story of the Honourable Charles Stuart Rolls

Charles Rolls was the first Englishman to be killed in an air crash. He was thirty years old. Rolls's death shocked the country and made headlines across the world. His relative youth at the time is perhaps the reason that he is a forgotten hero; a man who today receives little credit for the legacy that he left behind, even though at the time of his death on July 12th 1910 he was one of the most famous men in the country. His loss was regarded as a national tragedy.

Today he is most famous for the partnership he forged with Henry Royce to form Rolls-Royce, a name that today is as synonymous with excellence as it was then. Yet Rolls was a national hero long before he met Royce in Manchester in 1904. He made his first ascent in a balloon in 1898 and was experimenting with the possibilities of powered flight as early as 1901. One of the first Britons to fly, he made the first return crossing of the Channel in 1909 in a Wright Flyer and was acclaimed across the world.

The son of a peer, Rolls was one of the first, and certainly the youngest of Britain's pioneer motorists. He was a successful racing driver and achieved what many believed impossible - selling the motor car to Britain.
With the reliability of the car achieved, Rolls immersed himself in conquering the next great frontier, the air.
Charles Rolls was an enigma, a man of great paradox, and yet he was a great patriot, racing driver, record breaker, aviator, one of the United Kingdom's great industrialists, a pioneer in the true sense of the word and he had a prophetic ability to see the way of the future.

This biography quotes extensively from the writings of Charles Rolls himself and from contemporary accounts of the events during those pioneer days of motoring and aviation.

Author:David Baines
Specs:307 pages, 28.5 x 23 x 4.1 cm / 11.2 x 9.1 x 1.61 in, hardback, in cassette
Illustrations:300 b&w and 7 colour photographs
Publisher:Dalton Watson Fine Books (USA, 2009)
Book: Why Not? - The Story of the Honourable Charles Stuart Rolls

Why Not? - The Story of the Honourable Charles Stuart Rolls

Language: English

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The Silver Ghost : A Supernatural Car

To say that Jonathan Harley knows his subject inside out is no exaggeration; in the past four decades he has restored over one hundred Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, frequently resurrecting them from little more than a pile of scrap or a long-abandoned chassis. He knows every nut and bolt of these magnificent vehicles, an intimate knowledge that was put to good use in identifying, sometimes only by bolt design or the position of a hole in a crossmember, exactly which chassis he was working on, settling disputes over authenticity which had reverberated for years.

But in this fascinating and entertaining book, he also gives us a wider picture of the car that was dubbed 'the best in the world'; how it came about, why it looked as it did, how it compared to its contemporaries, and how people viewed it, both a hundred years ago and today.

Pages of the book The Silver Ghost : A Supernatural Car (1)

"The Silver Ghost: A Supernatural Car" is a personal recollection of the car restoration business from its infancy, working on the exciting 'barn finds' of forgotten vehicles bought for scrap value, which would later command dizzy sums at auction.
Jonathan also introduces us to the numerous larger-than-life personalities he met along the way, and the adventures they brought in their wake -bizarre, exotic, frequently amusing, and occasionally life-threatening.
Many rarely-seen and unpublished pictures are included, spanning the century of a car whose engineering brilliance made the experience of driving truly'supernatural'.

Author:Jonathan Harley
Specs:224 pages, 25.5 x 25.5 cm / 10 x 10 in, hardback
Illustrations:220 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Dalton Watson Fine Books (USA, 2007)
Book: The Silver Ghost : A Supernatural Car

The Silver Ghost : A Supernatural Car

Language: English

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The Rolls-Royce 1913 Catalog

Formed in 1906, Rolls-Royce Limited was founded by Henry Royce and Charles Rolls in Manchester, England. While its first autos included two, three, four and six cylinder types, Managing Director Claude Johnson successfully argued that the six cylinder should be standard and that all other models should be discontinued.
By 1913, when this catalogue was produced, Johnson's suggestion had been implemented: the company offered only the six cylinder model chassis, but with eight body types. The switch greatly enhanced the company's success, achieving a level of reliability and quality unmatched in its day and allowing the company to dub its autos "The Best Car in the World."

Originally produced by Rolls-Royce Limited, this 1913 catalog contains illustrations of eight body types including the Limousine, Double Limousine, Limousine-Landaulet, Torpedo-Phaeton, London-Edinburgh Car, Two-Seater, and Cabriolet, as well as information about the brand, chassis specifications, and customer testimonials.

Author:Rolls-Royce Limited
Specs:44 pages, 15.5 x 21 x 0.2 cm / 6.1 x 8.25 x 0.08 in, paperback
Illustrations:b&w photographs
Publisher:Periscope Film (USA, 2011)
Book: The Rolls-Royce 1913 Catalog

The Rolls-Royce 1913 Catalog

Language: English

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Coachwork on Rolls-Royce Twenty, 20/25, 25/30 & Wraith (1922-1939)

When Rolls-Royce introduced its new junior model, the Twenty, in 1922, there was no question of the company supplying coachwork for it. That was the job of the myriad specialist coachbuilding firms, large and small, both in Britain and overseas.
Customers went to a coachbuilder of their choice, asked for what they wanted, and got it. It was a system that remained unchanged in principle throughout the period, as the Twenty gave way to the 20/25, that model in turn was succeeded by the 25/30, and the Wraith became the final junior Rolls-Royce before the Second World War brought a great and glamorous era to an end.

From the relatively well-known Abbott of Farnham, to the little-known Wyllie & Lochhead in Glasgow, British coachbuilders across the country stepped up to the plate and delivered their best on these chassis. Among them, great names such as Barker, Gurney Nutting, HJ Mulliner and Park Ward led the field with some outstanding designs, many of them produced in small quantities (but always with individual touches).
Outside the British Isles, but in far smaller numbers, there were bodies from the likes of Kellner and Saoutchik in France, Erdmann & Rossi in Germany, Gangloff in Switzerland, and Brewster in the USA.

Pages of the book Coachwork on Rolls-Royce Twenty, 20/25, 25/30 & Wraith (1)

The work of all these coachbuilders and many more is covered in this book, which for ease of understanding divides each coachbuilder's creations up according to the host chassis and the different styles - saloon, limousine, drophead coupé, and so on. Rolls-Royce owners will particularly appreciate the inclusion of chassis numbers for all the cars bodied by each coachbuilder, a feature which makes this book a valuable reference work as well as a visual treat.

With well over 250 photographs, many in colour by distinguished photographer Simon Clay, this book celebrates the style and flair of a bygone era, and provides a vital fund of information for the many enthusiasts and owners who care about these fine cars today.

Author:James Taylor, Simon Clay
Specs:208 pages, 28 x 22 x 2.1 cm / 11 x 8.7 x 0.83 in, hardback
Illustrations:250+ b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Herridge & Sons Ltd (GB, 2022)
Book: Coachwork on Rolls-Royce Twenty, 20/25, 25/30 & Wraith (1922-1939)

Coachwork on Rolls-Royce Twenty, 20/25, 25/30 & Wraith (1922-1939)

Language: English

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Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental

Responding to many requests to reprint "The Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental" by Raymond Gentile, an out of print Dalton Watson book published in 1980, we are excited to introduce this new, much expanded publication. Written with Raymond Gentile's blessing and assistance, the author, Andre Blaize, has used his extensive database which he has been compiling and updating for over forty years to provide an exhaustive study of these desirable cars.

Pages of the book Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental (1)

Introduced in 1930, the Phantom II Continental is one of the aristocrats of automobiles, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mercedes SSKs, Bugatti T50s and Duesenberg Model Js. The history of every Phantom II Continental is described in these pages, supported by over 2,000 illustrations. The cars are shown at different periods of their lives: when new in the 1930s, in early post-war days, sometimes in derelict state and, fortunately more often, in glorious restored condition.

Author:André Blaize
Specs:1168 pages, 30.5 x 21 cm / 12 x 8.25 in, hardback, in cassette
Illustrations:2114 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Dalton Watson Fine Books (USA, 2017)
Book: Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental

Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental

Language: English

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Making a Marque - Rolls-Royce Motor Car Promotion 1904-1940

This comprehensive book focuses on the promotional history of Rolls-Royce motor cars from their inception in 1904 to the outbreak of World War II. Charles Rolls recognized the engineering brilliance of Henry Royce when he drove the Royce car in 1904, but establishing the company's reputation in a competitive market was crucial. Claude Johnson, the firm's managing director until his death in 1926, meticulously shaped Rolls-Royce's image, setting enduring standards for company publicity.

In the 1920s, when Rolls-Royce expanded to Springfield, Massachusetts, they faced the challenge of convincing customers that American-built Rolls-Royces equaled those from Derby, England.
The book explores the continuous struggle for recognition on both sides of the Atlantic, covering a wide range of promotional tactics. These include celebrating victories in races and trials, advertising in influential publications, producing attractive pamphlets and catalogs, and showcasing independent press reports and unsolicited testimonials.
The book also highlights the exceptional quality and variety of Rolls-Royce's illustrated advertising, its use in attracting discerning customers, and the decision-making processes that underpinned the company's advertising efforts, as revealed through rare minutes from the Advertising Committee during the 1930s.

Author:Peter Moss, Richard Roberts
Specs:464 pages, 21.5 x 30.5 x 3.6 cm / 8.5 x 12 x 1.42 in, hardback
Illustrations:932 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Dalton Watson Fine Books (USA, 2021)
Book: Making a Marque - Rolls-Royce Motor Car Promotion 1904-1940

Making a Marque - Rolls-Royce Motor Car Promotion 1904-1940

Language: English

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Park Ward - The Innovative Coachbuilders 1919-1939

Dalton Watson Fine Books is pleased to announce a major three-volume work on the pre-war history and cars of the great British coachbuilder, Park Ward.
The company was the most prolific coachbuilder on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis, ultimately completing over 4,300 cars.

Volume I and II is the story of Park Ward & Co Ltd. - the men who worked there and the company's growing relationship with Rolls-Royce Ltd. A photographic record of all the Rolls-Royce models from Silver Ghost to the Wraith that carried Park Ward coachwork is included, along with chapters on the W. O. Bentley cars, and the Rolls-Royce and Bentley experimental cars with Park Ward coachwork.
The Derby-built Bentleys follow, supported by chapters on the London Motor Show cars, coachwork on marques other than Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and examples of Park Ward advertising literature and catalogues.
An appendix contains a series of articles written by 'Bill' Ward, the company founder's son, entitled 'The Art and Evolution of Coachbuilding'.

Volume III contains extensive tables detailing each of over 3,000 pre-war Park Ward-bodied Rolls-Royce and Bentley, as well as a listing of over 1,000 Park Ward bodies on other marques. In addition, and rarely seen before, there are over 700 sales order pages extracted from Park Ward's Finishing books.

Author Malcolm Tucker is a past-Chairman of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club, and is an established Rolls-Royce and Bentley historian and writer.

Topics covered include:
- Park Ward and his company
- The Cars of W.O. Bentley
- Rolls-Royce and Derby Bentley Experimental Cars
- Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
- Rolls-Royce 20 HP
- Rolls-Royce Phantom I
- Rolls-Royce 20/25 HP
- Rolls-Royce Phantom II
- Rolls-Royce 25/30 HP
- Rolls-Royce Phantom III
- Rolls-Royce Wraith
- Derby Bentleys
- Motor Show Cars and more!

Author:Malcolm Tucker
Specs:1240 pages, 25.5 x 31.5 x 10.9 cm / 10 x 12.4 x 4.29 in, hardback
Illustrations:1593 b&w and colour photographs, drawings
Publisher:Dalton Watson Fine Books (USA, 2019)
Book: Park Ward - The Innovative Coachbuilders 1919-1939

Park Ward - The Innovative Coachbuilders 1919-1939

Language: English

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Related titles:

Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance

Rolls-Royce : The Classic Elegance

Lawrence Dalton, Bernard L. King

English | hardback | 361 p. | 2005

Rolls Royce Motors - The Crewe Years

Rolls Royce Motors - The Crewe Years

Malcolm Bobbitt

English | paperback | 64 p. | 2013

Making Cars at Crewe

Making Cars at Crewe

Peter Ollerhead

English | paperback | 192 p. | 2006

Crewe's Rolls Royce Factory - From Old Photographs

Crewe's Rolls-Royce Factory - From Old Photographs

Peter Ollerhead, Tony Flood

English | paperback | 128 p. | 2010

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Last update:05-04-2024