Malcolm Nelson Johns
20 July 1940 – 8 June 2021
Malcolm Johns had owned Rolls-Royces and Bentleys since he was 16 and still too young to drive, at least legally. According to Peter Davis, writing in Praeclarum in 1976, when his parents had gone out Malcolm would drive that first car, a Silver Ghost, around the block.
He subsequently owned a number of Rolls-Royces before joining the NSW branch of the RROCA in 1965. He served in several capacities at state and federal level before becoming Federal President in 1976. Later he served as the Club’s Honorary Legal Advisor, providing guidance towards the Club’s deed, among other things.
In 1982 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Club. As if to prove there are no tall poppies in the Club, at that year’s Federal Rally his beloved Isobel — New Phantom 96AL — was too tall to fit into the hotel’s car park and was relegated to a no parking zone adjacent to fire connections outside. Despite this indignity, 96AL won that year’s overall award in the concours d’elegance.
Malcolm was also instrumental in establishing the Australian branch of the 20-Ghost Club in 1992, and played a central role in it ever after. He was also heavily involved in the Sir Henry Royce Foundation.
Over the decades, Malcolm owned many Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, including a number of Silver Ghosts. He participated in national and international tours, from the Australian Outback to the European Alps.
His contributions to the Club were invaluable, and were given generously and willingly.