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John White - cars

Evening Telegraph, Thursday, November 23, 2000

Car lot fetches £23,500 - A car originally owned by a Rushden shoe magnate has fetched £23,500 at a London auction.

John White's 1938 black and gold-coloured Rolls-Royce Phantom III was sold to a mystery buyer.

A spokesman for auctioneers Christie's said: "The sale room was very busy at the time of the auction of the car and there was a lot of interest. "We estimated the vehicle would get between £20,000 and £30,000, so we are very pleased it sold within this bracket."

Mr White, who died in 1974, started his shoe empire in a shed in 1919, and went on to open several factories in the area. He bought the sports saloon for £1,900 in 1938 just months before he acquired the Lime Street factory in Rushden. The car, which has a burgundy leather interior, was one of only 727 made. Its production was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.

The car was later bought by the mustard-growing Colman family of Norfolk. It had had several owners since.

On Sunday Afternoon - July 29th 2007 Rushden Museum was rewarded Leann Howell with her prize for the nearest answer in a “guess the mileage” competition held the previous week at the “Party in the Park” weekend. The main exhibition theme was John White and the shoe company he founded. This Phantom 3 built in 1948 was one of three Rolls Royce motor cars that John White had owned, and current owner, Mr Halgrove, took Leann for a ride around the town. The car, still in almost original condition, had the original leather luggage in the boot.

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