Thursday, July 29, 2010

He was the oldest living owner of a car from new, and drove his Rolls Royce for 77 years

Mr. Allen Swift ( Springfield , MA.) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Picadilly P1 Roadster from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in 1928.

He drove it up until his death last year the age of 102 (in the year 2005)

He donated it to a Springfield museum after his death.

It has 170,000 miles on it.

Swift, who died in October 2005 at the age of 102, was a legend among Rolls-Royce collectors for owning his green Phantom I, S273 FP Rolls longer than anyone in the world had ever owned an individual Rolls-Royce. In recognition of that fact, Rolls-Royce Motors presented him with a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award at the Rolls-Royce Annual Meeting in 1994.

Swift and the Springfield Museums were brought together through a network of antique automobile collectors. In 2002, when he was 99 years old, he approached the Museums to discuss finding a new home for his Rolls-Royce. Confident in the Springfield Museums' ability to care for the automobile and to tell the story of Rolls-Royce manufacturing in Springfield, Swift indicated that he would donate his car if a building could be found to house it.

In the summer of 2005, the Springfield Museums became aware that the Verizon building, adjacent to the Museums, was available for purchase. Joseph Carvalho, president of the Springfield Museums, and Guy McLain, director of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, shared that information with Swift and described how the building could be converted into a museum. In September, Swift's attorney informed the Museums that Swift would donate the money to purchase the building.

The Springfield Museums will take possession of the building in June and will launch a fund-raising campaign to renovate it. When complete, the new Museum of Springfield History will display wide range of remarkable artifacts that tell the rich and multidimensional history of this city.

My thanks and appreciation to James R for sending me this email!

Jim was 86 when I met him and he still had his 23 Ford from high school, but he'll have to live another 20 years or so to equal this story

1 comment:

  1. I love the Springfield Rolls-Royce Phantom I, especially the roadsters, and this story is incredible.
    Mr. Swift must have really loved driving this car! I think the Phantom I's were one of the most
    beautiful cars ever built. I love the Ascot phaeton used in the Robert Redford The Great Gatsby movie.
    I saw a red Ascot Phaeton at at car show in Wawa Pennsylvania, and it was the most beautiful car I've ever seen. I guess driving these beauties without synchromesh was a handful, but with Rolls-Royce I've read that you only had to use the two top gears most of the time.