There are few doubts that we are on the brink of the next big stages for automotive innovation. Driver’s assist programs are turning toward complete automation, hybrid and electric engines are reaching levels of power unthinkable just a few years ago and infotainment systems have become so advanced that cars of 2020 may be more of a computer with wheels.
So what better way to prepare for the next steps than to remember the very first ones?
On June 18, Rolls-Royce told us in a press release that they revisited a site in Scotland where the marque first proved its quality 108 years ago. Yesterday, July 9, they shared a full album of photos from their visit on Facebook, chronicling the rolling hills around the scene of the 1907 Scottish Reliability trials.
At the turn of the 20th century, gas powered vehicles were of rudimentary design, the construction more fragile and prone to problems than anything we experience today. As the release described, “…the greatest concerns for the motorist were a car’s ability to cope with gradients, the ease with which it could be steered, stopped and started again, but above all, its reliability.”
So a test was devised. Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls would build a car that could travel 5,000 miles without visiting a mechanic, and in those 5,000 miles, complete 748 of them consecutively in the Scottish Reliability trials. The trials’ pathway covers “the most demanding and remote roads in Great Britain,” and included steep elevation changes and tight turns.
With about 50 hp, the Silver Ghost was their contender, and it completed its journey effortlessly, finishing with a gold medal.
Four of the Silver Ghost’s modern day successors, a Wraith, Ghost Series II, Phantom and Phantom Coupe, revisited spots from the route, and remembered the place they first affirmed their mission, “to produce the best cars in the world.” See the photos from their journey below, and find a Rolls-Royce for sale.
(Source: Rolls-Royce, Facebook)