Following World War I, Britain’s Rolls-Royce hatched plans to build and sell luxurious vehicles in key markets, and Rolls-Royce of America was incorporated on Oct. 18, 1919.
Rolls-Royce of America bought an American Wire Wheel Co. plant in Springfield, Mass., for the factory site and operations began in 1920.
Ads in the summer of 1920 stressed that the cars would be produced by “British mechanics under British supervision.” However, the company admitted in 1923 that American mechanics were helping build cars.
The first Rolls-Royce was assembled in Springfield on Jan. 17, 1921. It was a Silver Ghost with a six-cylinder engine and a $11,750 price tag.
The Springfield site would be the first, and to this day only, factory to build Rolls-Royce vehicles outside England.
U.S. production in the first year was 135 units. It rose to 230 units in 1922 and 320 in 1924.
Left-hand drive was adopted in 1925. The New Phantom, later called Phantom I, was introduced in 1926.