Lot 462: 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Open Tourer
In the 1930s, Rolls-Royce set new standards with its Phantom series. It was achieved not by making great technical breakthroughs, but by using the very best of proven technology. One could argue that various Hispano Suizas had more advanced specifications, but one has to note that many of them are now fitted with Rolls-Royce gearboxes. There were no weaknesses in the cars which Rolls-Royce made which is why, when the company began to use the slogan 'The Best Car In The World', it was regarded as measured opinion backed by solid collateral. The Phantom II, introduced in 1929, was said to have been the last model that Royce designed himself, working from his villa in the South of France. Between 1929 and 1935 around 1,770 of these chassis were built, being available in 14in and 15in wheelbase lengths, the former being used for the Continental models. Improvements were made throughout this time, and for 1930 the tyre size was reduced from 2in to 20in after chassis no. 169 GN, and back-axle bearings modified after chassis no. 120 GH. Power was increased by raising the compression ratio, weight reduced by 200lbs and road-holding and handling greatly improved by adopting semi-elliptic rear suspension. These chassis were very popular with the major coachbuilders of the day, and some truly glorious cars were made.Just such a car was chassis 70 WJ. Fitted with spectacular open tourer coachwork by Barkers, and resplendent in Ivory over Mandeville Blue with Mandeville Blue leather upholstery, it was delivered via the SS Britannia from Liverpool on January 1st 1930 to Prince P. Singh of Baroda in India, having been sold through the Rolls-Royce dealer in Bombay. Once there, its main role was to act as transport for the maharajah while engaged in expeditions to shoot tigers, and this it did for several years. Subsequently, the car went to America before returning to Britain several years ago where it has undergone a comprehensive restoration. Now stunningly presented in garnet paintwork with polished aluminium door cappings, bonnet and wheels, and complimented by striking tan ostrich hide upholstery, together with a black mohair hood, this is a superb boat-tail tourer with a wonderful history from the legendary days of the Raj. A truly exceptional Rolls-Royce.
Fine Motor Cars and the Jaguar Legend|
Coys, Blenheim Palace, UK
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