The Rolls-Royce 10 H.P. was the first car produced by Rolls-Royce and introduced in 1904 at the formation on the company. It was exhibited at the Paris Motor Salon in that year along with 15hp, 20hp and 30hp models.
The 10hp was similar to the first car built by Sir Henry Royce originally sold as a "Royce" in 1903. Unlike the Royce car, which had a flat topped radiator, the Rolls-Royce featured one with a triangular top which would appear on all subsequent cars.
The engine was a water-cooled twin cylinder of 1995 cc with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves and was based on the original Royce engine but with an improved crankshaft. The power output was 12 hp at 1000 rpm. The car had a top speed of 39 mph. It was a small car with a wheelbase of 75 in and a track of 48 in.
It was intended to make a run of 20 of the cars but only 16 were made as it was thought that a twin-cylinder engine was not appropriate for the marque. The last 10hp was made in 1906.
Rolls-Royce did not provide the coachwork. Instead, the cars were sold in chassis form for the customer to arrange his own body supplier, with Barker recommended.
Two survive: one registered AX 148, the first car built, is usually on display in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, and the other, SU 13 belongs to Bentley Motors.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars accessed 2 February 2006
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