Lord Mountbatten’s former car - with Sandringham link - sells for £264,700

Lord Mountbatten'’s 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Cabriolet. Pictures submitted.

Lord Mountbatten'’s 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Cabriolet. Pictures submitted. - Credit: Archant

A Rolls Royce which once belonged to Lord Mountbatten, before finding a new home at Sandringham, has sold for more than a quarter of a million pounds at auction.

Before Sunday's auction, at Bonhams in Chichester, Sussex, the car had been expected to fetch between £170,000 and £230,000. But, in the end, it was snapped up by a mystery bidder for £264,700.

A spokesman for Bonhams said: 'The ex-Lord Mountbatten 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost sold to a telephone bidder for above estimate, at £264,700.'

Prince Charles's great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, bought the car for around £2,000 in the 1920s, and was reunited with it more than 50 years later after it was found and restored.

After changing hands four times, the Rolls-Royce 40/50HP cabriolet was discovered in the South of France in the 1960s by Ralph Symmons, who brought it back to England and restored it.

He later recalled: 'When I got it home I took off the French number plates and found a London registration on the back.

'I sent five shillings to the Greater London Council to get a new logbook and found the car once belonged to Lord Mountbatten.'

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When Capt Symmons sold the car, he gave Mountbatten first refusal – which was accepted.

Lord Mountbatten arranged for the car to be bought by a friend, who put it for auction.

The car has at least one unusual feature.

When Lord Mountbatten originally bought it, he asked Rolls-Royce to replace the trademark 'Spirit of Ecstasy' radiator mascot with a figure of a naval signaller, semaphoring the letter 'M.'

Is an antique with a Norfolk link for sale where you live? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk