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Lot 427: Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Continental Saloon

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 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. Designed around the short (144") Phantom II chassis and introduced in 1930, the Continental version was conceived as 'an enthusiastic owner driver's car' and featured revised rear suspension, higher axle ratio and lowered steering column. By the end of production the magnificent Phantom II Continental was good for 95mph. 'Powerful, docile, delightfully easy to control and a thoroughbred, it behaves in a manner which is difficult to convey without seeming to over-praise,' declared The Motor after testing a PII Continental in March 1934. Highly favoured by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II Continental chassis provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day and this example wears well proportioned four-light saloon coachwork by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. First registered 'GW 6155', the Phantom was sold new to a Miss Helen Garnett and owned during the 1950s/1960s by a Mr James Spratt, of Beccles. In the mid-1980s the car was sold by marque specialists, Frank Dale & Stepsons to an Italian collector, who has owned it for the past 25 years. Its intervening history in not known. Finished in black/cream with brown leather interior, '33JS' is described as in generally good condition and offered with old-style logbook and Italian registration papers. The vehicle is sold strictly as viewed.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
Lot Number427
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number33JS
Engine numberIC75
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors