Models of a 1922 Rolls-Royce 20hp and a 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Visitors to the SHRF’s home, Bill Allsep House, will admire the unique models of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and a 20hp car on display amongst the Foundation‘s collection. These two 2-metre-long
models are the work of one man – the late Claude Mason.
An outstanding feature of the Ninth Federal Rally at Mildura in June 1967 was the unveiling of a 2m-long driveable model of a 1922 Rolls-Royce 20hp which had been built by Claude Mason over a
period of a couple of years. Apart from the 198cc horizontally-opposed, water-cooled engine, Claude manufactured most of the other components including the chassis, wheels, axles, differential,
steering and the body work. Even the tool kit is made to scale. The attention to detail must be seen to be believed.
In retirement Claude continued working on another model: a 1907 Silver Ghost which was the centre of attention when unveiled at the Formal Dinner at the 1971 Federal Rally at Shepparton. The
Silver Ghost model, which has a Master Pup single-cylinder two-stroke engine No P746, is heavier and more complex than the 20hp.
To enable these model cars to be driven by adults, Claude hinged the front seats in such a manner that they fold back to allow enough leg room to operate the control pedals. The steering is said
to be light and direct. Whilst each car has a gear lever it appears that the levers are more for show than functionality.
Both models are outstanding examples of a skilled artisan’s craftsmanship. Claude was a capable pattern maker, and his skill as a toolmaker, moulder, machinist, metal worker, electrician,
carpenter, upholsterer and painter are self-evident. He executed most of the work in his own well-equipped workshop at Coburg. When finished he proudly displayed the fruits of his extraordinary
talents in the lounge room of his home in Bell Street, Coburg. After his death Claude’s family kindly offered the two cars to the Sir Henry Royce Foundation on permanent loan for display at the Fox
Museum and subsequently at Bill Allsep House.