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Lot 22: Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine

Cars, H&H Sales Limited (16 June 2012)

The stately Rolls-Royce Phantom III was announced in late 1935 and, until the Silver Seraph of 1998, was the only 'Spirit of Ecstasy' to be powered by a V12 engine. As one would expect from a company already expert in the manufacture of similarly configured aero engines, this was quite some powerplant. Of all-alloy construction, it had a displacement of 7338cc and overhead valves operated by a single camshaft nestling in the valley of the cylinder banks. Prior to 1938, the units featured a unique hydraulic tappet system. A twin ignition setup comprised two distributors, two coils and 24 spark plugs. Suspension was independent with coil springs at the front and semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The gearbox was a four-speed manual unit with synchromesh on the top three ratios. Braking was via servo-assisted drums all-round. The specification included integral jacking and a one-shot lubrication system operated by a lever in the driver's compartment. Owners purchased a rolling chassis from Rolls-Royce, the bodies being added by a coachbuilder of their choice, the most renowned of whom were: Hooper, HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, Thrupp & Maberly and Barker. Once complete, Phantom IIIs could turn the scales at up to 3.5 tons. According to Autocar's magazine test of a 1938 model, 60mph could be summoned in just under 17 seconds, from which the car could be persuaded on to a terminal speed of some 87mph. The overall fuel consumption was a little frightening in the light of today's prices - 10mpg. Phantom III production ceased in 1939 after 727 examples had been manufactured. Its period of global fame was still 25 years away, however, as in 1964 it was immortalised as the transport of choice by the villainous Goldfinger in the James Bond movie named after him. The black and yellow Phantom III featured was a splendid Sedanca de Ville model with coachwork by Barker. Though exactly 727 Phantom III chassis are understood to have been built between 1936 and 1939, some were not bodied and delivered before 1941. These fine motorcars were built to last, and do just that - meaning many are still being enjoyed around the world today. The Phantom III now offered - chassis number 3AX125 - is a 1937 example equipped with Barker Limousine coachwork. It is finished in Black over Dark Blue teamed with a Blue interior - leather front and cloth rear. The vendor informs us that 'DLD 22' has had just seven keepers to date and was in the care of one family alone from the early 1970s until 2006. His current view of the car's condition is that the bodywork is "very good and solid", the paintwork is "mature, generally good, very appealing", the interior trim is "poor" in the front and "very good" in the rear, and the V12 engine and four-speed manual transmission are "good". He is now selling the Rolls complete with the original 1937 log book and follow-up issues, extensive history file and an MOT valid into December of this year. The odometer currently displays an unwarranted 41,500 miles.

Lot Details
Auction Cars
H&H Sales Limited, Rockingham Castle
TypeCar
Lot Number22
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1937
Condition rating
Registration numberDLD 22
Mileage-
Chassis number3AX125
Engine numberW88E
Engine capacity (cc)7340
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors