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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Titanic Connection

So what does a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost have to do with the Titanic?
Well, the famous Belfast, Northern Ireland shipyard, Harland & Wolff is where the ill-fated Titanic was built.
And the chairman of the company once owned this wonderful car:
It was built to order for Lord William Pirrie - seen here on the right.
William James Pirrie was born in Canada but moved to Conlig, Co Down at the age of two (Conlig is also where the famous formula one racing driver Eddie Irvine is from, incidentally) . He was educated at Belfast Royal Academy and joined Harland and Wolff aged 15 as a 'gentleman apprentice'. He was made chairman of the shipbuilding firm in 1874. He was Lord Mayor of Belfast between 1896 and 1897.
The car still bears its Titanic Ghost nameplate, although it has led a tough life. After the death of Lord Pirrie it was converted to an ambulance and later to a breakdown truck. After a four year restoration it has been returned to its former glory.
The car will be returning to Northern Ireland for the first time in 85 years this month for the Newcastle Vintage, Classic and Sports Car Show.
Here is the link to the Belfast Telegraph story:
A number of years back I had heard that there were actually two Rolls-Royce cars being shipped to New York in the hold of the Titanic when she sank.
I have not been able to find any more information on this but am still looking.
(Posted by David Irvine)


At 12:58 pm, Blogger Andrew said...

I had an acquaintance who was quite insistent her brother-in-law owned a Rolls-Royce which had been built for Bruce Ismay. I've not seen it but she recited several obscure details about its history which seemed to back her story up.


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