A Rolls-Royce Springfield Silver Ghost, purchased new by famed billionaire Howard Hughes during The Roaring Twenties, captured Best of Show at the fifth anniversary of the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance at Pinehurst Resort on Saturday.
The Pinehurst Concours was just the second time the tan-bodied 1925 Rolls-Royce with black fenders and red-spoke wheels had been shown since owner Guy Lewis purchased the car three years ago, which had been sitting in a Florida barn for more than four decades.
The Rolls-Royce’s restoration was completed three months ago by Lloyds Auto Restoration, which included the gilded HH initials on the customized three pieces of fitted luggage found in the trunk that once belonged to Hughes.
“I found a Rolls-Royce in a barn, it was a Silver Ghost and then I find out it was a Howard Hughes car — so it was like hitting the Trifecta,” said Lewis, 55, of Pinecrest, Fla.
Hughes purchased the car for $13,450 on his honeymoon on Christmas Day in 1924. It took 10 months to build.
The 1925 Rolls-Royce joins previous Pinehurst Concours Best of Shows winners that have included a 1928 Isotta Fraschini 8ASS (2016), a 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer (2015), a 1931 Cadillac 452A (2014) and a 1938 Steyr 220 Glaser Roadster (2013). The 2013 and 2016 Best of Shows winners, both owned by Peter Boyle of Oil, City, Pa., were on hand as display cars for patrons to enjoy.
The 2017 Best of Show came out of the European Classics Pre-War class – one of 14 classes judged Saturday – and has logged just 16,000 miles. It was the third time Lewis had been to the Pinehurst Concours, previously showing two of his vintage Mercedes.
“I wanted to bring something this time that was just going to blow them away,” Lewis said. “We just finished this car up and I’m so proud, it showed so well.”
“I love old cars,” Lewis added. “I’m an eclectic kind of guy. Just growing up everybody loved cars. You were known by your car. I’ve always had that passion.”
Lewis, now an attorney, was a U.S. prosecutor in Miami under Presidents Bush and Clinton, and is noted for prosecuting former Panama General Manuel Noriega.
“I’m like living the dream – 20 years working for the government and now I’m showing Rolls-Royces,” Lewis said.
A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S captured the prestigious HVA/FIVA award out of the Japanese Classics class – a car that is thought to be one of the most original Cosmo Sports in the world.
“There were some beautiful cars on the field today, some that were just drop-dead gorgeous,” Lewis said. “It is the nicest field I’ve seen in the three years I’ve been here. But my car showed really well with some of the documents and that luggage. I was just happy to win Best in Class and never expected to win Best of Show. I am going to show the car a few more times and then I’m going to start driving it.”
The crowd was also entertained after the Best of Show presentation by award-winning country artist Sara Evans.