Discover Copper Online

Spring 1996

Copper and Brass Make a Silver Ghost!

Restored 1921 Silver Ghost Roll-Royce with unique copper body.

Perhaps the only Rolls-Royce with a copper body, this 1921 Silver Ghost is owned by Frank and Janice Hamilton of Reno, Nevada. It won the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1991. Restored by Restoration Supply Company, Reno, it will be offered soon in model form by the Franklin Mint.

Manufactured six years after the Brass Car Era ended, this unique Rolls contains more copper and brass than any previous vehicle. According to Tom Batchelor, owner of Restoration Supply, up until 1915, brass and other exposed metal components of cars remained in their shiny pristine state. After 1915, such parts were painted, usually, black.

Engine compartment of the Silver Ghost showing the many parts made of copper or brass.

To restore the Hamilton's Rolls, Batch had to replace the dashboard, rear cockpit and both windshields. The metal frame of th windshields was fabricated from C75200 copper-nickel-zinc alloy popularly know German silver or nickel-silver. This alloy widely used in cars up until about 1930, according to Batchelor.

Copper quality is found under the hood too. As you can see by the photo of the engine compartment, there's a lot of copper and hardware inside. Restoration Supply sells hardware and other components to restore old cars all over the world, including some in Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Turkey. Most of these components are adapted from commercially available parts, while others must be made anew. The copper and brass parts are spun or stamped.

Restoration Supply: 701/825-5663

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