Rolls Royce

The name Rolls Royce was first linked together during 1904, but without the 'Hyphen' and used on stationary and one 10 H.P. car.

Rolls-Royce Limited was first registered during 1906.

All the early cars were road tested around the streets of Manchester, where the first factory was based, but a purpose built test track was used from 1908 onwards.

Henry Royce designed most of the testing machinary himself.

Once Rolls and Royce were working together, Rolls promised to sell all the cars Royce could make.

Before embarking on the design and manufacture of cars, Royce had been running a very successful electrical company, Rolls on the other hand was a very early motoring pioneer, setting up various schemes and services to help the fledgling motorist. 

                                    Some History

                                     Models Manufacturing "AX 201", The Silver Ghost.

Rolls-Royce models date back to almost the start of the company itself, with the first official model being made by 'Models Manufacturing' on the instruction of the company's directer, Mr Claude Johnson. This model, (shown above) was made to celebrate the real cars success in the lengthy motor trials it was subjected to, simply to prove it's worth as a reliable mode of transport.

The model was made in 1911 at a cost of £350 each, with only three examples being made, one for the RAC Club in London, one for Rolls-Royce themselves and one for their U.S. Offices.

It was built to quarter scale, so four models in a line would be equal to the length of the real car.

Another very early model was said to have been presented to at least fifty owners of a real car, around the same period of 1910-1911, but very little is known about it and the scale and material it was made in, can only be guessed, we think it is around the 1/30th scale and made of sterling silver and is likely to have been mounted on a wooden plynth.

We have to jump to the 1920's for the next Rolls-Royce models and they come in the form of large scale tinplate toys and Peddle cars. Various companies have made tinplate toys with a Rolls-Royce type grille, but not always marketed as a Rolls-Royce, (the company were very select in who was making Rolls-Royce based products) and toys from Distler, Joustra, Jdn and even biscuit tins from Crawfords are among the many examples now excepted as collectible Rolls-Royce model cars.
Above is an advert from 1926 placed by BRENCO, it is of a c1/18th scale tinplate based toy car with a garage. The model does not really represent any known Rolls-Royce car, despite the Rolls-Royce wording in the script, but some Rolls-Royce collectors have accepted this model as something they would collect for their collection.

An interesting aspect of this, is the address for the company...Hulme, Manchester, the home of Henry Royce himself, so maybe it is an official model sanctioned between Rolls-Royce and Brenco, but with a styleised grille, (Rolls-Royce again controlling who uses grille designs, names and badges etc).

Two versions of the model are known by this author with the main difference being the treatment of the car's has a very low line of air-vents along the bonnet sides and a top hinge, the other version loses the air-vents and has a low position hinge on the side of the bonnet near the top.

This models design dates back to the very early 1920's and if it was still being made towards the late 1920's, (as the above advert suggests) there should be more of them around, but they are very rare models now.

                           CRAWFORDS biscuit tin.

Biscuit tins are very collectible and if they represent cars, all the better. the one above has not been identified as a specific make of car, but is looked upon as a Rolls-Royce 2 door fixed head coupe.

While this biscuit tin is definitely a Rolls-Royce, a 4 door Limousine on the 20 H.P. chassis. This is also from CRAWFORDS, from the 1920's.

Along with the biscuit tins based on popular cars, children in the Twenties could dream of owning a real Rolls-Royce car, they could actually drive themselves!

These were of course peddle cars, and the most well known company to market a series of peddle cars based on a Rolls-Royce, was the large TRI-ANG TOYS company in 1927.

TRI-ANG (as part of the SHARNA-WARE company), were still able to offer a Rolls-Royce peddle car in the mid-80's and what a fabulous example it was, being based on a Rolls-Royce Corniche drophead coupe and if your father was really generous, you could have an electric powered version!

                                    December 1927

The advert above from December 1927 shows a selection of peddle cars available at that time, the "Rolls-Royce" No.9 at £10.10s, is obviously fantastic value for money today, but today you will be looking at several hundred pounds to aquire one, in half decent condition.

Note how the name Rolls-Royce is not hyphenated, and placed between quotations, I believe this is for marketing reasons and it's only called a Rolls-Royce in the pamphlets and adverts, it does not appear on the peddle car itself, an early example of Rolls-Royce being careful with their name!

The front index plate is displaying "LB.3057" and various ideas have been offered as to what this signifies, with the general consencus it is the company phone number, however, while the 'LB' undoubtedly stands for 'Lines Bros' the number as far as I can work out is the catalogue number for that particular peddle car, because other peddle cars available at the same time, have the same 'LB' but a different four digit number, which if it was a phone number would be the same, or is it just a different department in the works number!

                              "Rolls Royce" No.8.

The Rolls-Royce number 8 above, is essentially the next model down from the number 9, it is still a two passenger car, one driving and one in the rear 'Dicky' seat! but it has the wire spoked wheels instead of the disc wheels of the number 9.

             1964 Silver Cloud III, Drophead coupe.

Coming into the Sixties, you could have this fabulous open grand tourer, the Silver Cloud III DHC. It was first catalogued by TRI-ANG in 1964 and still available in 1969, both manual peddle power and electric power versions were made and these are much sought-after by peddle car collectors today.

                        1984 Corniche convertible.

Now in the Eighties, this was your pride and joy, an absolutely stunning Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible, once again it was available with electric or peddle power.