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Lot 261: Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Limousine

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

The Phantom II was introduced in 1929 as a successor to the New Phantom (retrospectively known as the Phantom I) with deliveries commencing in September of that year. Unlike its predecessor, which inherited its underpinnings from the preceding 40/50hp model, the Silver Ghost, the Phantom II employed an entirely new chassis laid out along the lines of that of the smaller 20hp Rolls-Royce. Built in two wheelbase lengths - 144" and 150" - this new low-slung frame, with its radiator set well back, enabled coachbuilders to body the car in the modern idiom, creating sleeker designs than the upright ones of the past. The engine too had come in for extensive revision. The PI's cylinder dimensions and basic layout - two blocks of three cylinders, with an aluminium cylinder head common to both blocks - were retained, but the combustion chambers had been redesigned and the 'head was now of the cross-flow type, with inlet and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides. The magneto/coil dual ignition system remained the same as on the PI. The result of these engine changes was greatly enhanced performance, particularly of the Continental model, and the ability to accommodate weightier coachwork. Highly favoured by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II chassis provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day and this example wears stately limousine coachwork by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. According to Lawrence Dalton's authoritative work, 'Rolls-Royce The Derby Phantoms', chassis number '117SK' was delivered new to the City of Birmingham Corporation. A recent discovery, the car is described as largely complete and original, with all fittings and instruments seemingly correct, though in need of re-commissioning. We are advised that the engine turns freely on the handle but has not been started. It appears that the Phantom was owned for many years by an eccentric gentleman in Datchett. He was a television engineer and used the Rolls-Royce as his 'works' vehicle, fitting two TV sets to the rear quarter lights! Nicknamed 'The Captain', he garaged 'POV 983' in 1974 and it has stood unused since then. There are no documents with this Lot, which is sold strictly as viewed.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number261
Estimate£28000-£32000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1934
Condition rating
Registration numberPOV 983
Mileage-
Chassis number117SK
Engine numberDK25
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4