Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
 
You are in: Learning English > News English > Words in the News
 
Learning English - Words in the News
 
05 December, 2007 - Published 15:03 GMT
 
Oldest Rolls sells for a record price
 
Rolls Royce

The world's oldest surviving Rolls Royce car - a two-seater dating from 1904 -has sold at auction in London for just over seven million dollars. An anonymous British bidder paid more than three times the price expected by the auctioneer. Clive Mardon reports.

Listen to the story

The hammer price on this unique piece of motoring history more than doubled the previous record paid for a veteran car. But for that price, the new owner not only gets a motoring icon, but one that still works.

A motoring expert at the Bonhams auction house, where the car was sold, said it was still very driveable, tootling along almost silently - as you'd expect a Rolls Royce to do, with its ten horsepower motor pushing it to a top speed of around sixty-four kilometres per hour.

It was only the fourth vehicle to be made at the Rolls-Royce factory in Manchester in the north of England, and it was developed originally as a doctor's car, with three of its previous six owners being doctors. It's understood the car, which has in recent years completed the celebrated London to Brighton run, will remain in Britain.

Listen to the words

The hammer price
The cost of something at an auction

unique
the only existing one of its type or, more generally, unusual or special

doubled
increased by 100%

a veteran car
(British term) a car that was manufactured before 1916

icon
very famous thing that is thought to represent a set of beliefs or a way of life (here, representing the best in luxury car manufacturing)

auction house
A place where people make higher and higher offers of money, in competition with each other, until the item is sold to the person who is willing to pay most

tootling
(informal) driving slowly and gently

horsepower
unit for measuring the power of an engine

previous six owners
the six people who owned the car before

celebrated
famous for some special quality


Try a quiz on this story

For teachers
Lesson planDownload a lesson plan based on this story (83 K)
 
 
SEARCH IN LEARNING ENGLISH
 
 
 
LATEST STORIES
27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
 
Other Stories