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How Long Would You Own a Rolls-Royce?

By December 8, 2010

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Our thanks to Alfred Roberts for sending us an email that's been circulating regarding Mr. Allen Swift, "the oldest living owner of a car since new".†† It's a pretty cool story and it goes like this:

"Mr. Allen Swift of Springfield, MA received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in 1928. He drove it up until his death at the age of 102!!! He was the oldest living owner of a car from new. He donated it to a Springfield museum after his death. It has 170,000 miles on it, still runs like a Swiss watch, dead silent at any speed and is in perfect cosmetic condition".

1928 Roll-Royce

As with anything we're sent, we researched the information 'cause sometimes† folks don't let the truth stand in the way of a good story.† We can say that Swift, who died in October of 2005 at the age of 102, was presented a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award from Rolls-Royce at their Annual Meeting in 1994 in recognition of owning his green Phantom I longer than anyone in the world had ever owned an individual Rolls-Royce.

We can also say that the Springfield Museums did received a gift of $1,000,000 from Mr. Allen Swift to purchase the Verizon building in Springfield for the purpose of creating a new history museum, and then donated his 1928 Rolls-Royce knowing the museum would house it and be the basis of their transportation collection. The man obviously loved this car.

From 1925 to 1931 a little over 1200 Phantom I's came out of the Rolls-Royce Springfield, MA plant and of those, only about 50 were made with the Piccadilly Roaster body style.† Add on that it was a single owner car for all of its life makes this Roller quite rare.

We can't confirm that the car was a graduation present from Swift's father or that it's in perfect cosmetic condition at 170,000 miles and running like a Swiss watch.† †As to the fact that it's dead silent at any speed...well who would want it to be.

Photo - PhotoBucket

December 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm
(1) Michael Gulett says:

What a great story. I own a Bizzarrini that was owned by it’s original owner for 36 years, probably a record in the Bizzarrini world.

December 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm
(2) Eldon Olson says:

I still own a 1962 Jaguar E-Type that my wife and I purchased new on Nov. 10, 1962, 48 years ago.

December 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm
(3) Brad Dubner says:

I remember seeing the car earlier this year when I was visiting my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephews.

January 17, 2011 at 11:29 am
(4) sal says:

I owned a ford once for 3 yearws. is that a record for a Ford (Found On Road Dead)

February 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm
(5) niebieskieucho says:

My record of sticking to one car is 10 years :) It was polonez 1600

February 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm
(6) Jet Stream says:

I have a Ford FX4 F150 that had its original engine replaced at the amazing mark of 150K miles… !!! and the Ford dealer said it was “normal” and that Ford would not even consider recognizing the very poor quality of its product. So I paid for the repair, since I did not have the time to deal with it. It would be nice if Ford Motor Co bought at least 50 cents of Rolls-Royce dignity and honored its own products. My next car will be an efficient and reliable Japanese one.

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