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6 December 2017

1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Riviera Town Car by Brewster

  • Chassis no. 390XH
  • Engine no. 21-215
  • Body no. 5706

Without Reserve


  • The only example of this stunning design produced on a Silver Ghost chassis
  • Elegant petit-point embroidery, Venetian inlay mahogany, and gold interior accents
  • Best in Class, 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
  • Formerly of the famed Dr. Erle M. Heath and Gene Littler collections
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic


Stunning lines created by close-coupled bodywork with a low folding windshield, curved carriage-style front doors, a petite-yet-elegant rear passenger compartment, and emphasis on the great length of its bonnet distinguished the Rolls-Royce Riviera from contemporary luxury vehicles. In many ways, stylistically similar to the fabulous Coupe Napoleon Bugatti Type 41 “Royale” of the same period, it ranks among the most significant and desirable body styles for Springfield-built Rolls-Royces.

Of the 10 Riviera bodies produced by Brewster, 390XH is believed to be the only example built on the Silver Ghost chassis; the nine other Riviera bodies are on Phantom I chassis. This Riviera was delivered on 7 December 1929, to industrialist Augustine Leftwich Humes of New York City, who commissioned several striking details not typically seen in town cars of that era, such as fine embroidered upholstery and Venetian mahogany inlays. Chassis 390XH wears magnificent alloy wheel disks over polished wire wheels.

Subsequent owners included early Rolls-Royce enthusiasts E.E. Greiner and C. Burke, the latter of whom sold the car in 1970 to Dr. Erle M. Heath of Pittsburgh, perhaps the most noted American Rolls-Royce collector of his era and a beloved figure in the hobby. Dr. Heath was an amateur videographer and is well-remembered by longtime Classic Car Club of America members for the films he took of the club’s Annual Meetings at Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania. Under the ownership of Dr. Heath, this Riviera gathered numerous awards, including at Hershey and the RROC’s Scher Trophy for Best Silver Ghost in 1973.

After remaining part of the Heath collection for over a decade, the Riviera was sold through a California dealer to an innkeeper in Mendocino, California, then passed to legendary golfer Gene “The Machine” Littler, himself a respected car collector. Littler described the Riviera as one of his four favorite automobiles. In 1990, it was acquired by Bill Patton of Orange County, California, who owned the car for 19 years. After being sold from the Patton collection, it was freshened and shown in 2012 at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, winning Best in Class, and displayed at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance before joining its current owner’s stable.

Almost from new, 390XH has been a well-known fixture in the Rolls-Royce community; it was featured as the cover car in the January 1973 issue of Hemmings Motor News. Throughout this Riviera’s history, it was never fully restored but rather maintained and preserved. In other publications, it has been described as having a 100-point restoration when, in fact, aside from being re-painted several years ago, it remains substantially original. “Preservation” would be the most appropriate word to use for describing this magnificent automobile. For those interested in touring, the current owner—who has been a Rolls-Royce aficionado for over 40 years—states his confidence level in the car’s performance is as high as it gets for any pre-war Rolls-Royce he has ever driven. It has a beautiful patina, which adds soul to this elegant and ageless vehicle.

Inarguably one of the most elegant and significant Silver Ghosts, this important automobile stands ready to take its pride of place in another renowned collection, continuing a tradition of ownership by those who recognize greatness when they see it.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more