Lot 108: 1934 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp PhantomII Sedanca de Ville
Chassis number ‘133RY’ is notable as having the longest body known on the Phantom II chassis, and was sold new to Mr Arthur S Wills, of the W D & H O Wills tobacco company. ‘133RY’ is pictured in Lawrence Dalton’s definitive work, Rolls-Royce, The Derby Phantoms (page 249). Writing in the RREC Newsletter in 2004 (Surrey Section Notes), its owner Dr Barnard recorded the car’s fascinating history, which is summarised below.
“Mr Arthur Wills of Ewhurst had a beautiful wife who, in the summer, liked to be driven to Wimbledon and Ascot. One day in 1934 Mr Wills is reputed to have overheard a remark to the effect that it was a shame that so beautiful a lady should travel in their obsolete Star motor car, and in his annoyance placed an order for a new Rolls-Royce of the largest size from A Grey Motor Agents of Guildford.
“They settled on a Park Ward-bodied, four-light, seven-passenger Sedanca de Ville with winding division and a heater in the rear passenger compartment. Their chauffeur, a Mr Dean, did not applaud the purchase, failing to master the Phantom’s gearbox and declining to drive after dark. The car seldom ventured out of Surrey but in 1939 paid a visit to Scotland.
“During the war the car was stored, re-emerging after Mr Wills’ death when it was sold to an undertaker for £100. It subsequently passed to Jimmy Skinner who offered it for sale in September 1951; the mileage was then 27,000. Dr Roland John and his wife were friends of the Skinners, accompanying them each October on the VSCC Welsh Rally in Jimmy’s 1910 Silver Ghost. Dr John owned a 1930 20/25hp Hooper-bodied Tourer and he wished to change it for a more powerful car. He was delighted with ‘133RY’ and in particular with its completely original condition, using it for long trips for the next three years. After 1955 the car was not driven, remaining in Dr John’s motor house together with the rest of his collection.”
After Dr John’s death in 1977, Dr Barnard purchased ‘133RY’ from the estate in 1978, at which time the recorded mileage stood at 31,490. “I changed the engine oil, filled the radiator, cleaned the auto-vac and petrol filter, replaced the ignition coil and the manifold hot spot. Connecting a battery led to the engine returning to life. Safely home, my first job was to clean the mildew from the interior of the car, and opening the boot found the two fitted suitcases to be completely white.
“The engine ran quite well but I realised that it was something of an unknown quantity and (in 1984) requested Arthur Archer to strip it and examine everything. We replaced the camshaft with a new low-lift shaft and fitted new bottom tappets but otherwise found all in good order. The original dark blue and black paintwork had faded and started to lift, and so in 1986 the car was stripped and re-sprayed using a rather lighter shade of blue with black wings and bonnet top. The leather-covered roof and brown trim remain in good order.
“Over the years maintenance has been carried out by John White and this has included increasing the oil flow to the rocker shaft by modifying the pressure relief valve, and curing the tendency to vapour lock between auto-vac and carburettor by moving the fuel pipe away from the hot cylinder block. He also has rebuilt the ride control pump and shock absorbers.
“In 25 years I have covered some 6,000 miles bringing the total mileage to 37,000. The car is now as quiet as I had always hoped it would be, and indeed, when leaving Blenheim Palace we crept up behind some unsuspecting people and slowly edging past remarked, ‘beware silent car’.”
A highly original, low mileage Phantom II possessing both imposing coachwork and impeccable provenance, ‘133RY’ is offered complete with original over-rugs and foot muffs to the interior, old-style logbook, current MoT/road fund licence and Swansea V5 registration deocument.
Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£49900|
|Registration number||BPH 626|
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