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Lot 375: Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine

Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles,, Bonhams (23 October 2011)

Introduced in the autumn of 1959, Rolls-Royce's new 6,230cc all-alloy V8 engine powered the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 sedans as well as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. The new Phantom V long-wheelbase limousine effectively replaced both the royalty/heads of state-only Phantom IV and the Silver Wraith. The latter's relatively short - for a limousine - wheelbase had made it all but impossible for coachbuilders to provide adequate boot space in a comfortable seven-seater automobile, a shortcoming addressed by the Phantom V. Built on a much-modified and strengthened 'Cloud II chassis enjoying the same 145" wheelbase as the IV, the new Phantom measured almost 20ft in length and enabled coachbuilders to combine the desirable qualities of spacious interior accommodation with generous boot space and graceful lines. A lower final drive ratio ensured that, while top speed was a little down on that of its stablemates, though still in excess of 100mph, the new Phantom could all but match them for acceleration. Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd produced what was in effect the 'standard' seven-passenger limousine coachwork for the Phantom V. The Australian Government followed the Royal Family's switch in allegiance to Rolls-Royce in the late 1950s, initially ordering a fleet of Silver Wraiths, Silver Clouds and a pair of Phantom V limousines. The latter were ordered in 1966 and entered service late the following year, featuring a blue identification light on the roof, hidden air conditioning in the boot, additional illumination to the rear compartment, wool rugs and footrest in the rear, cocktail cabinet with decanters and glasses, electrically operated blinds to the rear quarters, and the centre armrest featured controls for the radio, air conditioning, heater and division. Other special features include the automatic aerial, speedo in MPH, high frequency horns, full Colonial kit, Dunlop tubeless tyres and UD8524/25 headlamps. Part of the Commonwealth Government fleet of cars for the next 27 years, the Phantom Vs were used for official duties in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, conveying Heads of State, Royalty and other dignitaries. At the time the cars were placed up for public tender in April 1994, the mileage of 5VF155 read 54,757 miles. The car was subsequently acquired by the present, and first private owner who has cherished this unique piece of Australian motoring history ever since. In 2000 the car was loaned back to the Government for the Royal Visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. Featured in numerous Rolls-Royce publications and with a well documented history, the Phantom V offered here must be one of the most significant examples of the Crewe marque to be offered on the open market in recent years and is the only example of the three Phantom Vs ultimately ordered by the Government still in private hands. With comprehensive documentation, including copies of the original order form, test and engine build cards, both the Continental kit and tool kit are substantially complete. Registered on club plates in Victoria, the car has been routinely maintained and regularly exercised by the current owner.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles,
Bonhams, Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building
Lot Number375
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number5VF155
Engine number8S4724
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors