1935 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Phantom II Fixed Head CoupeSOLD
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Estimate: $220,000-$260,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $247,500

40/50 hp, 7,668 cc, overhead valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and underslung live rear axle, both with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 150"

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was the last model designed by Henry Royce prior to his death in 1933. Introduced in September 1929, it replaced the New Phantom, which we now retrospectively call “ Phantom I. ” The Phantom II differed from its predecessor both in its appearance and in its chassis, although the overhead valve 7,668 cc engine remained much the same. The Phantom I ’ s cantilever rear springs were replaced by semi-elliptics, and the chassis rode much lower. The gearbox was now mounted directly to the engine, but retained right-hand gear change; synchromesh gears were introduced for the top two speeds. Central chassis lubrication, used for some years by the American Rolls-Royce operation in Springfield, Massachusetts, was adopted. In 1933, engine compression was raised and the cars were given adjustable shock absorbers that could be controlled from the steering column.

But while the Phantom I had been also assembled in Springfield for the American market, slackening sales there made the operation uneconomic. The Phantom II was never put into production in America, but a series of left- hand drive chassis was built at Derby between 1931 and 1934, with 116 sent to the United States, three to Canada and a further six to Europe. Thereafter, all cars were supplied from England and, until after World War II, right-hand drive. Total production of the Phantom II model was 1,680 cars.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II presented here was ordered through the sole Canadian dealer, R.P. Collyer, Ltd., of Montréal. The customer, J.E. Smallman, Esq., of London, Ontario, placed his deposit on December 11, 1934 and the 40/50 hp long-wheelbase right-hand drive chassis was dispatched to Hooper & Co. on January 10, 1935 to receive a fixed-head coupe body of Style No. 8321. Only 19 Phantom IIs were bodied as coupes, just two of them by Hooper. On March 29th it was shipped from London, England on the S.S. Beaverdale to Saint John, New Brunswick, from which it was transported over land to the customer.

The interim history prior to its acquisition by the present UK owner is largely unknown, although it had at least two owners in the United States. It received a cosmetic restoration in the late 1980s, which included new paint and replacement of the leather interior, at a cost of £20,000. The present owner has spent another £15,000 on mechanical work to bring it up to proper and safe driving condition. All systems were serviced and repaired as needed, including cooling, exhaust, suspension and electrical equipment. Minor work included replacement of bulbs and exhaust tips, resulting in a car that is a strong runner and a delight to drive. Although an older restoration, it is very presentable and pleasing. Placing a two-passenger coupe on a 150-inch chassis presents challenges in proportioning, but Hooper & Co. was up to the task. The result is testament to their excellent grasp of aesthetics.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II ’ s physical presentation is truly impressive, especially in profile as its stance and aesthetics are beautifully defined by the two-tone paintwork well exhibited by the Fixed Head Coupe ’ s long flowing lines. The black leather interior appropriately complements the exterior with its sumptuous and subtle elegance and remains in highly presentable order.

The car is taxed and inspected in the United Kingdom and completed the 2003 Rallye des Alpes, as well as several other vintage touring events. It comes with many invoices for service during the present ownership, as well as its original order documentation and pre-delivery test results. It is a well-maintained and attractive car, and represents an uncommon opportunity to acquire a rare body style on the desirable and purposeful Phantom II chassis.

Reference Number 11253

as of 7/14/2007

Car 1935 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Phantom II Fixed Head Coupe
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