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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Silver Ghost as a Wedding Car

For the 450th post on Bentley Spotting, here is simply a great Rolls Royce story of Chris and Sue Ellis.

They had the ultimate, amazing and seemingly unachievable best car in the world as their wedding car. They had a Rolls Royce, that is the best car in the world. Correct. But not just any Rolls Royce, they had the car that made Rolls Royce the best car maker in the world. They had a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. Yes the old one. Correct, but not just any Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, they had the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, as in AX201, the Silver Ghost.

The first word that comes to mind in hearing that is bollocks. Just another Rolls Royce story after you have nearly finished a bottle. That would never happen. It couldn't. AX201 is owned by Rolls Royce/Bentley and is only taken out for company promotion at exclusive events. It is not a wedding car - but a car that is so valuable that it can not be given a price (though it has been quoted as been insured for $US40 million). It is the most famous car in the world.

Unbelievable, but here is one of their wedding photos, on the way to the church in the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, AX201.

AX201 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost wedding car

So how did they do it? There must be a story in it.

Chris Ellis's wife is Sue, nee Brockbank. As in the famous cartoonist Russell Brockbank's daughter. That's him in AX201 next to his daughter.

More about Russell Brockbank at the website
Here is what Chris had to say.

The picture was taken on my wedding day, September 4th 1965. Brockbank had previously produced a booklet for Rolls Royce, which contained about 12 images of Rolls Royce and Bentley cars.

When asked what was his fee, he replied he would like the Silver Ghost for his daughter's wedding.

The story goes on.

My wife Sue was worried that she would not be able to get into the car in her wedding dress. So the two of us went to Rolls Royce in Berkley Square - both very young, me just qualified as a doctor, Sue as a nurse. We saw the Silver Ghost in the window, and bravely ventured in, mentioned that we were having the car for our wedding.

"Oh I don't think so" said the very snooty Rolls Royce man, "but I will just check but this car only goes out once a year". He returned shortly after, grovelling and agreed we were right.

On the day Rolls Royce provided a box covered in silver paper to mount into the car.

It is a great story! And happy 45th wedding anniversary for next year.

Here is a photo from 1983 of the Silver Ghost AX201 at Rolls Royce Conduit St. London showroom taken by David who has sent in great photos before as shown here and here. David also received the photo and information from Chris relating to the ultimate wedding car, and thank you David for this.

Prints of Russell Brockbank's cartoons are available here.

I'm not too sure many other people can say they had AX201 as their wedding car!

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At 6:11 pm, Anonymous Wedding Car Hire said...

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At 8:06 am, Anonymous G Devriendt said...

Fantastic story and lucky Chris and Sue. We, Daphne and Gabriƫl, also can say we got as wedding car a Rolls Royce AX201 during 2004.

This time NOT "The Silver Ghost" but in a
1977 "Silver Shadow" (color : SILVER and of course RHD) with Belgian licence AX201

The car is regularily used for RREC meetings on the continent and goes once every year to the UK
where it takes part in a local RREC
When registering the Rolls Royce in Belgium a numberplate with RR was not available. So I asked if the number AX201 was still free.
The officer pointed out that I had asked a licenceplate for a Rolls Royce motor car and not for a Citroen (cfr: Citroen ax).

Little did he know...

(Photo available where you can see both AX.201 (Ghost and Shadow) next to each other at the RREC annual rally in 2008)

At 6:44 pm, Anonymous hireweddingcar said...

There are no trains from the airport but you can take a bus to the main railway stations of Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Long Eaton. The buses leave from outside the arrivals area and include National Express Coaches which travel to Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. We provide full details of routes and timetables in our airport guide.

At 7:25 pm, Anonymous Somerset Wedding Girl said...

Bentleys are always popular choices for weddings, and I can see why - they're distinctive looking things!


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