Rolls and Royce Founding Agreement


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was formed in 1904, following the historic meeting of the aristocrat Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce in Manchester, England. These extraordinary individuals hailed from different backgrounds, but shared many traits. Most significantly, both were visionaries and passionate engineers. Henry Royce had established his reputation as a successful electrical engineer and businessman, prior to turning his skills to car making at the turn of the century. Charles Rolls, a pioneer in the exciting new fields of automotive and aviation, shared Royce’s hands-on approach to nuts, bolts and moving parts.

By the time the men met, Royce had begun a car manufacturing operation in Manchester. Rolls, meanwhile, was retailing cars from a showroom in central London. Both were on record professing dissatisfaction with the quality of imported models upon which their respective operations were originally based. The meeting in Manchester – of men and of minds – established exclusive rights for Rolls to sell the British-built, and magnificently engineered Royce motor cars through his London showroom. Rolls-Royce was born.

Rolls and Royce Agreement – May 04 1904

The meeting led to an agreement that Rolls would exclusively sell as many cars as Royce could produce. The marque launched in 1904 following a verbal agreement made back in May although a formal agreement was not signed between the two until December. C.S. Rolls & Co were the sole agents for a series of two, three, four and six cylinder cars that broke the mould for engineering and craftsmanship. By 1907 Royce had created the first Silver Ghost, a car of legendary smoothness that completed a 14,371-mile virtually non-stop run that led a journalist to call it ‘the best car in the world’

Rolls And Royce

On March 15 1906, Rolls-Royce Ltd. was officially registered with Charles S. Rolls and F. Henry Royce as directors. In 1904, Henry Royce, the founder of his self-titled electrical and mechanical engineering firm, built his first car. In May of that year, he met Charles Rolls, whose company sold cars in London. The two men agreed that Royce Limited would manufacture a line of cars to be sold exclusively by C.S. Rolls & Co.

The cars bore the name Rolls-Royce. Success with their partnership led to the formation of the Rolls-Royce Company. In 1906, just after the company was organized, it released the six-cylinder 40/50 horsepower Silver Ghost. The car was enthusiastically heralded by the British press as “the best car in the world.”