BENTLEY SPOTTING

It's the Rolls-Royce of Bentley websites.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Experimental Car for sale.

Experiments tend to have a lure of excitement about them. The outcome is yet to be known. Totally futuristic, but what is the hypothesis?

Rolls Royce and Bentley also conduct experiments. They make experimental cars to conduct experiments on or even in. Experimental cars are known as they have the unique chassis markings of 'EX', as in EXperimental.

Here is the first Rolls Royce Experimental car. It is the 1919 chassis number 1EX based car based on a Silver Ghost chassis. I'm not sure if it still has test tubes in its boot.



Chassis number 10EX was used to try and break the 100mhp barrier at Brooklands to knock off the Bentley boys. They made it to 86mph before it was back for more experiments.

Below is the 1927 16EX car also based on the Silver Ghost, with either Hooper or Baker coachwork. It is a high resolution photograph out the front of Rolls Royce and Bentley. Click to enlarge.



The next is the Rolls-Royce 17EX with Jarvis coachwork called the Torpedo. It spent most of its like in India, before being discovered and restored.



More on 17EX can be read about here.

In 1958 45EX was made, then there was a break in numbering experimental cars. However experiments still went on.

Lets take a look at some more modern EX cars.

This could well have been 99EX, the experimental car based on the new Rolls Royce Phantom chassis from 2002.



The scientists are well, out conducting experiments. Seriously.



Then celebrating 100 years of Rolls Royce the numbering of experimental cars started up again with 100EX.

There could well have been 55 experimental vehicles based on the Silver Clouds, the Phantoms, the Silver Shadows, the Silver Spirits and the Silver Seraphs. They just forgot to number them.

Now the very well known 100EX.





These photographs are a bit too posed though and do not remind me much of a high school test lab.







What I like is to see the scientists out on the street conducting experiments on the experimental cars. Here are some shots of just that.



The headlights are different on this car, testing testing.



In the car biz they are known as spy shots.





Now the next experimental car, the 101EX.



The fixed head coupe version that will be on sale soon.





I am not going to comment on the fibre optics roof. No comment.



Here is one testing, it has a fake cloth roof over the hard top to disguise it.



Want to see the start of 102EX? Sure you do.

This is the test mule for the new baby Rolls Royce that could be called the Silver Shadow, and also may be known as the Next Generation Saloon.



The photos are pretty hard to come by.



They were taken this week at the BMW cold weather testing centre.



They are very much still experimenting.



Do you want one for your collection?

How about 41EX from 1955. Well buy it for £15,000.

The Real Car Co in the UK has 41EX for sale and the advertisement is here.

41EX

I quote from the ad.



"A Park Ward Touring Saloon, being one of a small number of cars used by the factory for testing purposes, and allocated a special chassis number as a result.



After about 11,000 test miles in the first 18 months of its life, the car was retained by Rolls-Royce and used for various purposes, including a period with the School of Instruction, and not disposed of until 1979.



It then went to Ian Rimmer, author of the book on the experimental cars, from whom we have acquired it, thereby making it a two-owner car!

A desirable 4.9 litre engined car, with power steering and air conditioning. Unused for 25 years and in need of restoration, but very sound, complete condition, and a very worthwhile project."



Now a snippet on the owner.

"Born in 1940, Ian Rimmer started his professional life in the aircraft industry and in 1967 took a career change & joined the Rolls-Royce Car Division. During his spare time whilst at Rolls-Royce he spent some 16 years researching the complete range of experimental cars resulting in the publication of his book in 1986. Ian remained with Rolls-Royce until his retirement in 1999 & in 2005 became Chairman of the RREC."

The car would certainly make an interesting talking point.

How cool is this! Lab book included!



An amazing piece of history to accompany the car.



Test tubes not included however.

Pictures © rightful owners.

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