logó vector-10



The Skiff Labourdette was a type of coachwork that was designed by French coachbuilder Henri Labourdette in the early 20th century. It was inspired by the shape of racing boats and used mahogany planks and copper rivets to create a sleek and aerodynamic body.

Only five skiff bodies were ever applied to the legendary Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost chassis, making them very rare and valuable. One of them was used in the 1914 Alpine Trial, a famous motoring event that showcased the reliability and performance of the Silver Ghost. The Skiff Labourdette was a radical and innovative design that influenced other coachbuilders and car manufacturers in the following decades.

There are only five Skiff Labourdettes that were ever made, and only one of them is known to be in running condition12. The other four are either lost, damaged, or in private collections. The Skiff Labourdettes are very rare and valuable, as they represent a unique and innovative design in the history of coachwork.

This unique style first created by French coachbuilder Henri Labourdette was the epitome of pre-war opulence and design. Jean-Henri Labourdette was a third-generation coachbuilder when he pioneered the radical Skiff body style. Shaped like nothing else from the period, the first car to carry this coachwork was a 1912 Panhard et Levassor commissioned by René de Knyff, the director of Panhard et Levassor and a pioneer racing driver. René later became president of Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI), now known as the FIA. Known as a great sportsman who practiced bicycling and rowing daily, he suggested to Labourdette: “You know that I do rowing. Why don’t you build this body like my skiff, in mahogany with ribbing and all? It’s light and strong.” Just like the sleek racing boats of the time, traditional boat building techniques were employed. Triple layer mahogany planks were beautifully fastened to an ash frame with flush copper rivets. The sleek aerodynamic body was highly varnished with no door openings, providing the chassis with incredible rigidity for such a lightweight body. By the beginning of 1914 Labourdette had built just two Skiff bodies on Silver Ghost chassis.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Provide your e-mail address and click the button below to receive special deals and premium offers