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Lot 36: Rolls-Royce Phantom I Sedanca De Ville

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

After seven years of experiment and test, the 40/50hp six cylinder Phantom chassis emerged, and is offered to the public as the most suitable type possible for a mechanically-propelled chassis under present-day conditions" (New Phantom launch brochure, May 1925). By 1925, the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost had been upstaged by a younger generation of more technically advanced luxury cars. The glory days of the 1913 Alpine Trials had long passed and both F. Henry Royce and RR sales manager Claude Johnson felt the need to produce a new claimant to the title 'best car in the world'. Just as the competition between car manufacturers was becoming increasingly fierce so that between rival coachbuilders had intensified correspondingly. With the arrival of each faster, more powerful chassis came the opportunity to construct ever more lavish, sophisticated coachwork. To ensure that their cars could be fitted with the finest bodies in the world, Rolls Royce introduced the 'New Phantom'. While, its tapered channel-section chassis, four-speed manual transmission, supple springing (semi-elliptic front, cantilever rear) and ingenious gearbox driven servo assisted four wheel brakes owed much to its predecessor, the Phantom's 7668cc engine was all new. Quoted as being an impressive thirty three per cent more powerful than the Ghost's unit, it featured overhead valves set in a detachable cylinder head, two cylinder blocks with three cylinders each, aluminium alloy crankcase and a massive seven bearing crankshaft. Bore and stroke dimensions of 108 x 139.7mm resulted in abundant torque enabling the flagship Rolls-Royce to accelerate from walking speed to approximately 80mph in top gear. Unveiled at the company's 14/15 Conduit St, London showrooms during May 1925, the `New Phantom' remained in production until 1929 by which time some 2,269 chassis had been delivered. Issued with the London registration number `YH 2900' during June 1927, this particular example is understood to be remarkably original; a corollary of the fact that it has had just five keepers from new. First owned by K.S. Smith Esq., the Rolls-Royce then passed through the hands of James Raynor Hand Esq., Raymond Leslie Ball Esq. and Michael McCormack Esq. before entering the current stewardship. Fitted with extravagant Sedanca de Ville coachwork by the London firm of Thrupp & Maberly Ltd, whose early patrons included the Queen of Spain, chassis '16 LF' has reportedly never been allowed to deteriorate to the point of needing restoration. Finished in Maroon over Black, the Phantom is described by the vendor as (a) being "ready to drive away" and (b) possessing a "very nice patina". Trimmed in beige cloth, the rear passenger quarters are well appointed with the division playing host to a discreet drinks cabinet as well as occasional seats. Although somewhat less pampering, the driver's compartment boasts black leather upholstery and decent weather protection courtesy of wind-up windows (not always a given on a Sedanca de Ville) and a retractable roof. With its proud Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, silver-plated fittings both inside and out and black-painted wheel discs, `YH 2900' remains a highly imposing motorcar. Pictured on page 61 of `Rolls-Royce The Derby Phantoms' by Lawrence Dalton, this exquisitely proportioned and wonderfully original Sedanca de Ville is offered for sale with a current MOT certificate valid until May 2013.

Lot Details
Auction Cars
H&H Sales Limited, Rockingham Castle
TypeCar
Lot Number36
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1927
Condition rating
Registration numberYH 2900
Mileage-
Chassis number16LF
Engine number55AA
Engine capacity (cc)7668
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors