top of page


Since 2012, the Foundation's Honorary Archivist, Gilbert Ralph, has been informing Members of the RROCA in their bi-monthly magazine, Præclarvm, of items in the Archive which are part of the story of Rolls-Royce and Bentley in Australia. These articles are the result of intense research by Gilbert and his team of volunteers searching through the Foundation’s many documents and photographs.

Following the photo gallery and video below, there are several short research articles really do make for great reading. They are presented here to give some indication of the amount and depth of information retained in the Foundation’s Archive at Bill Allsep House.

Russell Burge Memorabilia Collection

Russell Burge Memorabilia Collection

Watch Now
  • A Brace of Phantom V's
    Præclarvm 5-17, page 7245
    David Neely, the Foundation's NSW Historical Consultant, tells of the service of the 2 SHRF Phantoms in the Commonwealth Government fleet.

  • A Selection of Cars from Queensland
    Præclarvm 5-17, page 7254
    Gilbert Ralph, the SHRF Honorary Archivist, delves in to the photo archives for Queensland cars.


  • A Brace of Cars from South Australia
    Præclarvm 6-16, page 7074
    In this two-page spread some of the Archive’s photos of South Australian members' cars of the past are featured.

  • Researchers visit the Archive
    Præclarvm 5-16, page 7037
    In this edition the Honorary Archivist gives details of a group of motoring researchers who visited the Archive to tap the information in the historic material it holds. As well there is an article on materials the Archive was given at the 2016 RROCA Federal Rally in Bendigo.

  • A Brace of Cars from Western Australia
    Præclarvm 5-16, pages 7038
    In this two page spread some of the Archive's photos of Western Australia members' cars of the past are featured.

  • The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
    Præclarvm 4-16, pages 7002
    Following the 2-16 edition of Bentley's in the immediate post-war period, displayed here are the Rolls-Royce offerings from 1947 when the Silver Wraith was introduced. These early cars were mostly recognised from their use of Lucas P.100 and R.100 headlamps, and radiator mounted ahead of the front axle centreline, the latter common to only two pre-World War Two Rolls-Royce types: the 25/30hp Wraith and Phantom III.

  • The Bentley MkVI
    Præclarvm 2-16, pages 6930
    Here the Honorary Archivist displays several of the special bodied examples of the Bentley Mk VI model that were available in the immediate post-war period. The photos were provided by the coachbuilders to enable customers to select from the range of special bodies available.

  • Amy Johnson’s Rolls-Royce Identified
    Præclarvm 1-16, pages 6900
    Here the Honorary Archivist recounts how in Issue 4-15 of Præclarvm, p6779, he contributed an article about Amy Johnson in which it was suggested that the Silver Ghost she was riding in was 65LK and asked if any reader was able to confirm that. But immediate response from two members corrected that Chassis Number to 34YG, which leads to an interesting history of that motor car.

  • Charles Sykes Revisited
    Præclarvm 1-16, pages 6892
    The Foundation’s Honorary Archivist describes the recent donation of a figurine of Charles Sykes.

  • The Spirit; Celebrating 75 Years of the Rolls-Royce Motor Car
    Præclarvm 6-15, pages 6858
    This book of 24 pages features water colour scenes of Rolls-Royce motor cars being enjoyed by owners in the years 1904 to 1979. The book includes an Introduction by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu who describes early motoring and his love of Rolls-Royce motor cars, lamenting ‘there are too many of them. Part 2 of a 2 part selection of the water colours.

  • Amy Johnson and Rolls-Royce
    Præclarvm 4-15, page 6779
    The Honorary Archivist of the Foundation describes finding, in a collection of newspaper cuttings, the attached coloured picture featuring a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost carrying Amy Johnson around the Geelong Racecourse. The search is then on to identify the car.

  • The Sir Henry Royce Foundation Archive and You
    Præclarvm 2-15, pages 6710 - 6713
    The Honorary Archivist of the Foundation describes how the Collection Policy of the Foundations is achieved through the ‘collection, documentation and exhibiting of any objects whatsoever illustrating or connected with the science of mechanical engineering and especially related to the work of Sir Henry Royce.’

  • James Young Body Photos from the John Bull Collection
    Præclarvm 1-15, page 6678
    Following on from Præclarvm 6-14, this edition shows photos from James Young Ltd body designs from the late 1940s through to 1965.

  • Hooper Body Photos from the John Bull Collection
    Præclarvm 6-14, page 6642
    Recently donated to the Foundation was material from the collection of the late John Bull, a member of the RROCA, South Australia Branch. Shown here is a selection of photos sent to him in 1967 by the then Managing Director of Hooper & Co (Bodybuilders) Ltd, Osmond F. Rivers.

  • The Angas Family and Their Pre-War Motor Cars
    Præclarvm 4-14, page 6567 / Præclarvm 5-14, page 6605
    The Angas family are a well-known and respected family of pastoralists descended from George Fife Angas, who became Chairman and a major shareholder of The South Australian Company. In 1909 Charles H. Angas was the first person to import a Rolls-Royce into South Australia, and he and his three sons, Ronald, Dudley and Keith, all became enthusiastic motorists. This photograph album highlights their choices in exotic cars.

  • The Barr Smiths and their Proper Motor Cars
    Præclarvm 2-14, page 6486
    Over three generations, the Barr Smith family of South Australia had at least 24 Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars, which may well place them in the category of the most prolific owners/users of those two marques in Australia..

  • Claude Mason and his Cars
    Præclarvm 1-14, page 6462
    Members and visitors to Bill Allsep House will admire the unique models of a Silver Ghost and a 20hp on display amongst the Foundation‘s collection. Both 2-metre-long models are the work of one man: the late Claude Mason.

  • A selection of photographs from David Shmith
    Præclarvm 3-13, page 6310
    Here are photographs of particular interest because of their Australian content. They were donated by David Shmith, former Managing Director of York Motors in Sydney. David’s father, Maurice Shmith, joined Tarrant Motors in 1904 as a car washer, and by 1910 he was Sales Manager. With some partners he established Yellow Cabs in 1924, and in 1932 he was instrumental in the formation of York Motors, Sydney, of which he was Managing Director until succeeded by his son, David.

  • Do you have an Australian Body?
    Præclarvm 2-13, page 6280
    If you are a lucky owner of a body built by one of the 83 known Australian coachbuilders who have designed and constructed coachwork on Rolls-Royce or Bentley motors cars in Australia, and you want to know more about the firm in question, this article may have something of interest to you.

  • One man’s contribution to the SHRF Archive
    Præclarvm 6-12, page 6209
    One of the functions of the Sir Henry Royce Foundation, Australia, is to collect anything related to Sir Henry Royce. The Archive is the repository of the Foundation’s collection, and attendees at meetings of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, Victoria Branch, have the opportunity to see some of the larger items on display in the meeting room. Others who venture into the Archive itself see very little apart from a vast collection of archive boxes stored neatly on the rows of shelving. The most recent of these contains a small selection of the hundreds of items donated by one man: David Neely.

  • James Radley beats a train from London to Monte Carlo
    Præclarvm 5-12, page 6172
    James Radley (1884-1959), the English adventurer, shared a passion for ballooning, flying and motor racing with the Hon. Charles Rolls. But unlike Rolls he survived his numerous exploits and died an old man. Radley competed in the Austrian Alpine Trials of 1912, 1913 and 1914 in three different Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts; 1930E, 2206E and 18PB respectively. He was successful in the latter two events – but that is another story which will no doubt be featured during 2013, the centenary of his first success. There is however a lesser-known motoring event for which he received notoriety in November 1913: he broke the speed record for motoring between London and Monte Carlo in a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 2521, a 1913 model with a light tourer body fashioned by his own Portholme Coach Works business in Huntingdon, UK.

bottom of page