1926 Rolls-Royce 10EX Experimental Vehicle Up for Auction

Considered to be the world’s first concept car, the 10EX Experimental Vehicle built by Rolls-Royce in 1925 is to go under the hammer at an upcoming auction on June 23rd, RM Auctions announced.The vehicle was built to demonstrate the performance potential of the “New Phantom” introduced earlier that year.

Development work on 10EX ended in late 1927, but three more experimentals were built with lighter bodies: 15EX, 16EX and 17EX. Meanwhile, 10EX was used by the company in liaison with the Air Ministry.

After its test career, it was frequently used as a works demonstrator car, and in fact, it was even used by the factory to visit the 1927 Schneider Trophy seaplane competition in Venice, which Rolls-Royce won in 1929 and 1931. This one-off vehicle is, in fact, the only experimental Phantom I to be kept by Rolls-Royce for several years after testing.

What is really interesting is that it is generally believed that Lawrence of Arabia was loaned the 10EX for continental touring. Although a photo of him with the car reportedly exists, RM was unable to document this conclusively at the time of printing.

“The car is accompanied by a considerable dossier of records, photographs and correspondence relating to its history and restoration. This is certainly a magnificent, one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce with unique provenance, to say the least. Without question, its offering marks an opportunity that may never again be repeated in one’s lifetime. Phantom I Rolls-Royces are sought-after in themselves. An experimental example with a remarkable history of cutting-edge testing by the factory is all the more special,” a statement from RM Auctions reads.

The first Rolls-Royce experimental car, chassis number 1EX, was a Silver Ghost test bed built in 1919. The latest, 102EX, is a battery-electric version of the current Phantom that wowed the crowds at the Geneva Auto Show this past March.
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