The partnership of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce was an uncommon one. Royce found himself the man of the house at the age of nine, selling newspapers and delivering telegrams, whereas Rolls was the wealthy son of British nobility.

The partnership began in 1904, when Rolls was convinced to test drive a Royce-built two-cylinder. Rolls, a dealer of Panhard et Levassors, was skeptical to say the least, but the drive earned Royce exclusive sales rights with the notable Rolls. Driven by Rolls’s highly visible persona and Royce’s detail-oriented engineering, the match was perfect.

Originally owned by Alice Longfellow, daughter of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this car was later acquired by Alan Bemis, teller of Maine tales, who used it to haul weather observation equipment up Mt. Washington during the 1930s. Severely damaged in the 1938 hurricane, it was restored to its present condition by Bemis, who then presented it to the Museum.

Specifications: Model 40/50; 40/50 horsepower, 7,428 cubic centimeter, straight six-cylinder engine. Wheelbase: 144 inches, weight: 5,000 pounds.

Price new, $8,500 (chassis only). Production from 1907-1926: 6,173 chassis.

Accession no. 1989G03

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