A 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with an interesting criminal history changed hands for $83k at auction recently. The previous owner was a bit on the shady side, a criminal dubbed “Mr. Moneybags.
The 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is pictured above. The car along with most of the other ill-gotten gains possessed by Mr. Moneybags will be sold in efforts to reimburse those he wronged. Flashy criminals typically get busted by drawing so much attention to themselves.
Mr. Moneybags is Michael Swann, who purchased the classic Rolls Royce after relieving the Otago District Health Board of $16.8 million dollars. Rather than flying under the radar with his stolen funds, Moneybags opted to show out with flashy cars, properties and a lavish lifestyle. Needless to say, it eventually raised red flags and Swann was arrested, leaving his goods and toys to be auctioned off in efforts for those he wronged to recover some of their losses. Swann was sentenced back in March of 2009, and his hidden assets leaked out in a stream.
The 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost went through Turners auction house where it fetched that handsome sum. Bidding began at $50k and rose in increments of $3k until a phone bidder eventually won the day and the car. The car was found in a container in Port Otago and police linked it to Swann. The magneto ignition system was missing and it was never registered in New Zealand. The car was labeled a project car, and clearly there were some takers.
Fun fact: The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost model first rolled out way back in 1907. It was made between 1907 and 1925, with various upgrades and tweaks. The brand fondly refers to the Silver Ghost as a car of “Legendary smoothness”…unlike the Michael Jackson ditty–Swann was no “Smooth Criminal.”
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