The first Ghost chassis, the 1913 “Sluggard” was nicknamed in sarcasm. Far from sluggish, it was equipped with a 7.4-liter 6-cylinder engine that allowed it to reach a top speed of 101 mph—rather remarkable for the period.
An experimental example, it gave rise to the Ghost’s reputation for power and performance. “Rolls-Royce Ghosts of that ilk were set up with what the marque referred to as ‘London-to-Edinburgh’ specification,’” says Austin. “About 35 of them were eventually built as competition roadsters. And no two of those cars had the same body.”
Although the example that Taylor touts had worn numerous bodies in its time, its underlying pioneering design places it at the top of his list. “The “Sluggard” Ghost says much about the disciplined, technical mind-set of Sir Henry Royce,” says Taylor. “It was one of his early masterpieces that went on to define the brand.”