Concept cars are most often just that, concept cars. They are made for auto shows and serve no purpose beyond photo ops. But Rolls Royce has followed a different philosophy in its long history going back almost 100 years. They have always built experimental cars that are fully functional and are made with and aim and purpose in mind. In 1919 they had built the first experimental vehicle called 1EX to investigate how a similar production model will behave on road conditions. 10EX, the tenth such vehicle in the series, as the name suggests was built in 1926.
This Torpedo style car was built as a sports car version of the Phantom 1. It was modified many times till it reached an average speed of 91.2 mph on Brooklands tracks. It stayed in the service of the company for six years as a staff car and during the time was driven by many people of note including the Lawrence of Arabia. 10EX was built at a time when Rolls Royce had earned a reputation for unmatched excellence and reliability. Each of their cars was a creation of extraordinary craftsmanship.
10EX was built on a Phantom 1 Continental chassis and engine and its body was crafted by Barker Coachwork Company. It was the brainchild of Rolls-Royce MD, D. Claude Johnson who wanted to produce a fast sports car by using a lightweight aerodynamic body to counter the sporting image of the race-winning Bentleys of the time. Rolls Royce made only three more such vehicles to refine the sports concept, namely, 15 EX, 16 EX and 17 EX. The 17EX had sold in 2009 for British Pounds 429,000 after winning the Trofeo Rolls-Royce as the Most Elegant Rolls-Royce at the 2006 Villa d’Este. Now the same auctioneers, RM Auctions is handling the sale of 10EX and have estimated its value in the range of 400,000 to 800,000 British Pounds.