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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.

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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.

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The hammer price
The cost of something at an auction

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

increased by 100%

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

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

(informal) driving slowly and gently

unit for measuring the power of an engine

previous six owners
the six people who owned the car before

famous for some special quality

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