Historical Rolls Royce set for Newcastle car show

Historical Rolls Royce set for Newcastle car show

11 January 2012

A STRIKING Rolls Royce built for one of the men behind the Titanic is coming to Newcastle.

The 101 year-old Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, built for Harland & Wolff Chairman Lord Pirrie, and named after the iconic RMS Titanic, will be the star attraction at the annual Vintage, Classic and Sports Car Show in the Slieve Donard Hotel at the end of January.

The car, known as the Titanic Ghost, was made to order for Lord Pirrie, also a former Lord Mayor of Belfast, shortly before the Titanic was launched. The car is returning to Northern Ireland for the first time in 85 years.

Lord Pirrie was instrumental in having the Titanic and its sister ships built in Belfast for the White Star Line. The car was sold shortly after Pirrie’s death in 1924 and converted into an ambulance and then a breakdown truck before being renovated in the 1950s and then sold to an American owner in the 1980s.

The car was brought back to the UK in 2000 and painstakingly restored over four years and now resides in Lincolnshire. The car still bears its Titanic Ghost name plate and Lord Pirrie’s family crest. The car’s opulence and presence are indicative of the era and the success of the Harland and Wolff shipyard.

Martin Cromwell, one of the show’s organisers, said the car has a unique link to a special time and place in history.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring it back to Northern Ireland in this year when so much attention will be focussed on the Titanic,” said Martin.

“It‘s a remarkable car that is really evocative of the era, a time when Britain’s car and shipbuilders were the very best there were. I’m sure visitors to the show will find themselves transported back in time by the experience.

“You can just imagine Lord Pirrie driving to the shipyard in this Rolls Royce to check on the progress of the great ship.”

Other cars likely to attract the crowds include a 1930s Derby Bentley, a Morris Minor in full GPO livery and a selection of original Minis.

Now in its eighteenth year the Vintage, Classic and Sports Car Show is run by local car enthusiasts and attracts some 3,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. It has raised more than £100,000 for local charities and proceeds from this year’s event will go to Cancer Research UK.

Alongside more than 40 cars, motorbikes and tractors packed into the hotel’s Grand Ballroom will be antiques, jewellery and bric-a-brac stands.

Admission is £5 for adults and £2 for children. Opening times are 2.00pm to 10.00pm on Friday, January 27, 10.00am to 10.00pm on Saturday and 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday.