A dental Rolls-Royce?

The Telegraph reports:

A Rolls-Royce used as a mobile dental surgery during the First World War is part of an impressive line-up of cars at this year’s Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction, and is estimated to sell for up to £800,000.

The 1913 Rolls-Royce 45/50hp Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer’s second owner, a wealthy French-American living in Paris called Auguste Charles Valadier, would become instrumental in pioneering the development of maxillofacial re-constructive surgery to treat wounded soldiers.

On the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 Valadier volunteered his services to the British Red Cross Society in Paris and eventually established the first unit dedicated to the treatment of facial injuries, which helped facilitate the later progress of plastic surgery for use in facial reconstruction.

By the end of 1916 he was stationed at Boulogne and the Rolls-Royce – then bodied in limousine style – had been modified to incorporate a dentist’s chair in the rear.

After Valadier’s ownership, the Rolls-Royce was returned to limousine coachwork and later served as a breakdown vehicle, complete with jib crane at the rear.

There’s more at the link.  Bonhams have provided more information in a press release, from which the photograph above has been drawn.

I’ve heard of many conversions of Silver Ghosts, from specially-fitted cars for Indian royalty to hunting cars to armored cars – but I’d never heard of one being used as a dentist’s surgery!


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