On the 3rd December 2007 a new world record was set. A Rolls Royce sold for £3.5m at a London auction, but it wasn`t any ordinary Roller – it was the world`s oldest and built in 1904. It has a 10hp engine and was the fourth car ever produced by Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce.
The car was initially estimated at around £1 million but frenzied bidding left the value at £3,521,500, the highest ever paid for a car in the veteran class, which means it was produced before 1905. A private British collector tabled the winning offer to ensure that the car will remain in the UK.
Stewart Skilbeck, senior motoring specialist at Bonhams, explained that global enquiries helped push the value so high.
`We`ve had very strong interest from across the world, generally from major collectors who already hold significant Rolls-Royce motorcars and this would be a trophy in any collection,` he said, but this car need not be confined to a museum.
`It`s a very driveable car. It still tootles along beautifully and almost silently, as you`d expect a Rolls-Royce to do. It has a top speed of 40 miles per hour.`
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