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Lot 422: Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Tourer

Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (19 June 2010)

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 handsome all weather tourer coachwork by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. Chassis number '21JS' was completed in November 1931 and first owned by a Captain R Glen. Front shock absorbers controlled remotely from the dashboard are an interesting feature, although we are advised that they may not be functioning. '21JS' has spent some of its life in the USA, undergoing much renovation both there and in this country (see large file of related bills). The vendor advises us that the engine is strong and quiet, and that the steering is remarkably good for a Phantom II, though second gear is reported as noisy and the brakes are said to require attention. The body, paintwork and interior are all described as 'excellent' and the car benefits from recent rewiring. Finished in blue/grey with blue interior, '21JS' is offered with the aforementioned file of bills, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document. A rear screen that folds down into the back of the front seat (relatively recent modification) is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
Lot Number422
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number229 XUV
Chassis number21JS
Engine numberJB25
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors