Sunday, August 8, 2010

World's Longest Car/Owner Relationship ... From New!

M. Allen Swift as he poses next to his longest interactive possession relationship, a 1928 Springfield-made Phantom I Rolls-Royce. Image Credit: The Springfield Museums

World's Longest Car/Owner Relationship ... From New!

It may be pretty much impossible to verify a relationship between an owner of a car from new to the end of this relationship between man and car, but here is one for the books and a human interest story that just may get the ball rolling on an interesting debate.

A posting from a blog that has become an extension of a Sirius satellite radio program on channel 161, the "Christian Car Guy Radio Show!", noted that Allen Swift owned a car from the time he received it as a gift in 1928 until he passed away in 2005. The posting did not give exact day, month, and time along with the years of these point of time occurrences but this "dart-throw" places the duration of this car/owner relationship at 77 years long.

This excerpted and edited from Christian Car Guy Radio Show -

He Was The Oldest Living Owner of a Car From ‘New’
By christiancarguy - 27 July, 2010

Mr. Allen Swift 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 last year [actually, 2005]… the age of 102 !!!
He donated it to a Springfield, Massachusetts museum after his death [arrangements made while he was alive].

It has 170,000 miles on it, still runs like a Swiss watch, dead silent at any speed and is in perfect cosmetic condition.
Reference Here>>

M. Allen Swift and his 1928 Springfield-made Phantom I, S273 FP Rolls-Royce. One of the 2,944 vehicles that were produced in Springfield by Rolls-Royce of America over its lifetime. Image Credit: The Springfield Museums

Additional information excerpted and edited from a press release issued by Springfield Museums -

New Springfield History Museum Made Possible by Connecticut Entrepreneur
General Museum News/Press Release - January 30, 2006

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.
In the summer of 2005, the Springfield Museums became aware that the Verizon building, adjacent to the Museums, was available for purchase.
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 [2006] and will launch a fund-raising campaign to renovate it.
Reference Here>>

The Wood Museum of Springfield History opened to the public in the fall of 2009. The exhibits help to describe Springfield's development as a manufacturing center, the city's role in transportation history, the many inventions and “firsts” that were generated here, and the stories of Springfield's diverse populations. The Rolls-Royce automobile donated by M. Allen Swift is now on view along with a 1925 Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster formerly owned by S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly’s.

There is no mention of a recognizing organization like Guinness Book or a known records keeping accounting firm to verify if this, in fact, is the longest, from new, car/owner relationship ... but one could probably win a loosely constructed bar bet or have an interesting Chamber of Commerce mixer party discussion based upon this information.

The saddest reflection of this posting is that Mr. Swift had to pass away for this relationship to finally come to an end.

Editor's Note: JS Inskip was my Grandfather, and managed the Rolls-Royce Factory in Springfield, MA when Rolls-Royce Automobiles were built in the USA. He also owned the Brewster Coachworks which made custom bodies for Rolls-Royce, and many other makes. (We keep Brewster alive to this day). He also was the reason for the original publication of this newsletter. Dicken Wear, Member RROC for over 40 years.

... notes from The EDJE

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