Man owns a car for 82 years! Would it tow a caravan, you betcha!
Jan 21 11 4:49 PM
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Sent in by Noel.
you imagine having the same car for 82 years?!!! I
guess it was no longer under warranty...
Long Have You Owned a Car?"
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.....at the age of 102 !!! He was the oldest
living owner of a car from new. Just thought you'd like to see
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. (82 years) That's approximately
2000 miles per year...
"Mr. Swift's car will be one of the centerpieces of the collection.
It still works and runs very, very quiet," said Guy McLain, director of
the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum in Springfield. "His initial
gift gave us the seed money to make this new museum a reality. Having
that $1 million enabled us to raise the $8 million for this project."
general manager of his family's precious metals business in Hartford,
drove the car carefully around town and sometimes piloted it in the
town's holiday parades. Some of the town's older residents remember
seeing the elegant car on the road, said Ned Skinnon, program director
with the West Hartford Senior Center.
No matter where it went, the
car stood out, like an emerald parrot in a flock of starlings. His
model was a Piccadilly Roadster, chassis number S273FP, built in the
plant that Rolls-Royce had in Springfield from 1921 through 1931 for its
R.D. Shaffner, director of the Rolls-Royce
Foundation in Mechanicsburg, Pa., knew Swift for 30 years, had the
chance to drive his car and was pleased that Swift loaned his car to the
foundation in 2003 for display when the foundation opened a new
"He actually received this car as a graduation gift from
his father in 1928 and, of course, kept it all his life - and as such
earned the respect and admiration of many people - and holds the record
[in Guinness] as the longest standing original owner, and I believe last
surviving original owner of a Springfield car," Shaffner wrote in an
e-mail response to a query about the vehicle.
chairman of the Phantom I Society, said that the Piccadilly is one of
the most sought-after bodies on the early Rolls-Royce automobiles.
Swift's car is one of about 2,500 Phantoms made in Springfield. About 60
percent of those made still exist, most of them in private collections.
said that the new museum, scheduled to open Oct. 10, will highlight
Springfield's industrial past, including factories that made the
Rolls-Royce, the Indian motorcycle and the Duryea, the nation's first
mass-manufactured, gasoline-powered car.
The museum will also
include outboard motors for boats, airplane engines, guns and other
products of industrial innovation in Springfield.
"As we now move
out of the industrial era, it's important to preserve our role in the
industrial revolution," McLain said. "Mr. Swift's gift inspired other
donors to come forward and make this possible."
Brewster Body manufacturing plate from Swift's Rolls Royce
Swift drove the car for over 80 years and museum directors say that
it still runs well and very quietly after 170 thousand miles. In later
years it mainly did parade duty.
The car was originally a gift from
Swift's father in return for giving up college to stay with the family