EVAN MORGAN’S ROLLS ROYCE FOUND IN USA

From Will Cross and Monty Dart (and sincere thanks to Glynn and Nick Williams)

Will Cross, biographer of Evan Morgan informs us:

“When an e-mail (last Autumn) began “This is in strictest confidence!” the hair on the back of my neck began to rise a bit. When the plea for secrecy

adds, flatteringly “I’m certain you’re the best person to assist!” then the

narcissism of the writer inside me is all ears.

The item was a piece of breaking news that the source (a journalist)

understandably wanted to keep others mitts off from knowing the full details of the story until he was ready to reveal it to the world.

As the disclosure is now released into the public domain, I’m authorised to let the proverbial cat out of the bag! The subject is Evan Morgan, 4th Lord Tredegar, spendthrift, poet and playboy.

The latest news story is not about Evan’s darker frailties none the less the

story is a wonderfully interesting piece, especially as I (and I know there are many others too in the Friends of Tredegar House ) who remain hopelessly devoted to Evan Morgan, Lord Tredegar, and just about everything connected to him and his contemporaries.

Evan was of course  also known as Viscount Tredegar the last but one  of the coal baron Morgans to make Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales, UK their family seat and main homestead.  The House (currently undergoing extensive repairs to the roof) now survives and thrives in the hands of the National Trust. Evan is one of the treasures of Tredegar House when (and if) some of the guides and volunteers recount accurate and reliably sourced stories about him.

The newest Evan Morgan revelation is highly amusing after the discovery of one of Evan’s Rolls Royce motor cars in the USA.

The e-mail advised:

“A friend has bought a Rolls-Royce first built for Lord Tredegar in 1936. It’s in the United States and undergoing some very traumatic/dramatic changes – which with hindsight are in keeping with the dynasty – and the car will be unveiled soon.

As a journalist, I am producing an editorial for magazine/print use and have lots of technical history for the vehicle but am desperately seeking relevant images and pertinent details.”

The journalist at the centre of the enquiry introduced himself as Glynn Williams, MBE, a name well known in the motoring world and a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

I replied to the e-mail from Glynn saying that I would be delighted to help if I could and (to ensure more certain additional support) I summoned up a Tredegar House insider, my writing partner Monty Dart – who knows the machinations of Tredegar House and its people, and who strives to maintain integrity on Morgan family facts.

Monty and I did just that immediately, we orchestrated a trip for Glynn and his wife “for Evan vibes” and photographs around Tredegar House and grounds, including, the stables/ garages and forecourt where the fleet of Evan’s cars  were once housed –  Monty’s husband Tom Dart joined us too and added his own expertise.

According to the late George Evans (who was chauffeur to Evan from 1941-45) “Lord Tredegar had two Rolls Royces, a Hotchkiss   and a Daimler … also a Ford van for picks ups and shopping.  Evan had motorcars too including an old Vulcan model.

Evan always had luxury cars, when not being driven about he drove himself albeit erratically, Toad of Toad Hall was more accomplished.  In 1920 Aldous Huxley portrayed Evan as the fictional Ivor Lombard in his novel ‘Crome Yellow’ whizzing round the country driving a car.

One servants story is of Evan turning up once at Tredegar House in a green sports car – which was too wide to be garaged – Courtenay (Evan’s father)  wouldn’t have it anywhere and the car was never seen again. Another servant said when Evan’s car came into the vicinity of the House it would be clocked at the front entrance gate, a telephone call would be put through from the Lodge to the Hall Boy, who would go upstairs on the roof and put the flag up, and so it was flying when Evan arrived.

The results of the incredible new work on Evan’s Rolls Royce are in the links at the end of this account, with splendid photographs from Nick Williams (son of Glynn) who was  invited out to Mexico and USA to witness the car’s transformation and report back to his father. Although the text is not without some howlers in places on the description of Evan’s persona the revamping of the car and Nick’s tantalisingly epic photographs of the inside and outside of the new vehicle are all that matters. Absolutely stunning shots.

The team of Sam and Derek Hard from Hard Up Garage, Street Toys in Juarez, Mexico and Michael Lightborne in Elpaso have executed an amazing, fearsome job on the motor, which was unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last year. Albeit purists will bury themselves in oil slicks over the fate of a Rolls Royce from1936, a vehicle that was Evan’s pride and joy ridden his faithful chauffeurs John (Jack) and George Evans. I think Evan would have been chuffed to run gunshot or ride side saddle with these clever guys, they reek of the very same spark, bravado,the same daring, the same bohemian qualities as our beloved Evan at his best and worst.

Stand by for further news if and when the car goes into a major auction in the USA. Who knows there may be a chance of the car being included in a UK sale or on display. I understand the prospects are being investigated.

What a dream just to have been involved in cleaning Evan’s mudguards or shining up the beautiful car mascot.

Either way we shall not see the like of it again.

Will Cross and Monty Dart

6 February 2017

https://nwvt.myportfolio.com/rolls-royce-rat-rod

http://cars.barcroft.tv/lord-tredegar-rolls-royce-rat-rod-sema-las-vegas-custom-car

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