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Lot 259: Rolls-Royce Phantom V Sedanca De Ville by James Young, Ltd.

Cars/Motorcycles, RM Auctions (26 October 2011)

6,230 cc V-8 engine, four-speed automatic gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs and anti-roll torsion bar, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,683 mm " Stunning, rare coachwork " One of only nine Phantom Vs with Sedanca de Ville coachwork " Featured in Lawrence Dalton's Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance " Cosmetic freshening by Hooper's " Features including sedanca sliding roof and lovely cane-work " Complete with bar, hand and road tools and handbook In 1904 British magazine Autocar published a C.S. Rolls and Company advertisement that described the first, simple, silent Rolls-Royce. Their reputation was soon established, and the company's cars became sought-after by the most wealthy and discriminating of buyers. By 1925 the model range had been expanded and included the Phantom I. It became Rolls-Royce's large, modern car, and the range was continually updated until disappearing in Phantom IV form in 1956. In 1959 the latest Phantom V was introduced to replace the Silver Wraith. The Phantom V provided a long-wheelbase chassis for specialised coachwork, which incorporated chassis features and the powerful V-8 engine of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. And what a car it was! The powerful V-8 with all its refinements could carry seven passengers in comfort at 80 mph down the motorway. With the launching of the Phantom V, Rolls-Royce was offering a vehicle of the highest class but not reserved solely for dignitaries, royalty and heads of state. Here was a Rolls-Royce for those successful in business and finance that were looking for an exceptional car providing convenience, incredible comfort and plenty of room. Although the royal court and dignitaries placed the first orders, the bulk of inquiries originated in industry or from private individuals. In total, slightly over 500 examples were built between 1959 and 1967. Rolls-Royce never constructed a limousine body for the Phantom V but only supplied its chassis to independent coachbuilders. As custom coachwork demand declined, there was an attrition, until in the mid-1950s when only four specialists remained. The most prominent to construct bodies for the Phantom V chassis were James Young, an independent firm, and H.J. Mulliner, which was owned by Rolls-Royce Motors. The Rolls-Royces of the '50s and early '60s were the only cars ever that spanned both the classic, hand-made coachbuilt era and the modern car era, with strong motors and power assistances. Coachbuilder James Young Ltd. offered three versions of the Phantom V, a seven-passenger limousine, a touring limousine and a Sedanca de Ville. The James Young catalogue thusly described the Phantom V: This luxuriously equipped limousine is designed to provide the maximum comfort, whether owner or chauffeur driven& The coachwork on this magnificent car is recognised as the finest to be found anywhere in the modern world. It is the culmination of a century of superb craftsmanship which began with the Bromley Brougham. The James Young bodies, with their special features like Razor-edge fender crowns, square push-button door handles and bustle-trunk rear styling, were the most popular and recognisable of all the Phantom V designs. And the interiors were so luxurious, with magnificent seating trimmed in thick English Connolly hides. They were said to be the only cars ever made whose seats were furniture and not simply car seats. Exotic veneers were used on almost 40 individual pieces of fitted wood trim. Beneath the division window was a gorgeous bar with cocktail requisites, picnic tables and jump seats as well as luxurious Wilton wool carpets and lambs wool overlays. A comparison is invited with limousine coachwork prior to and after the war. Neither Duesenberg, Mercedes-Benz, Hispano-Suiza nor even Rolls-Royce were ever fitted with such elaborate and time-consuming interior work as these 20 foot long gentle behemoths. This particular example was built in 1962 and delivered in May of that year. According to Lawrence Dalton's definitive book, Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance, chassis 5BX44 was fitted with design number PV22SD, signifying Sedanca de Ville coachwork by James Young. The first owner was listed as one Jack Taubman, and indeed the finished Phantom V is pictured on pg. 281 of the same book with JT2 registration plates, which were certainly a very expensive personalisation for Mr. Taubman. It is also believed, however, that the car was used by Victor Barclay, the managing director of Jack Barclay Ltd., the famed London Rolls-Royce dealer at Grosvenor Square, for his personal use before the car was sold privately. This cannot be confirmed conclusively, however. In the late 1980s, it was commissioned for a full cosmetic updating, done at Hooper Ltd., the London-based restorer, at a cost of over $100,000. Its most spectacular special feature is its sedanca sliding roof, which at the turn and pull of a handle neatly slides back and stows under the rear part of the roof, an engineering marvel perfected by James Young. Only nine Phantom V limousines were fitted with the sedanca sliding roof feature, all by James Young. Next is the hand-painted faux cane-work on both sides, reminiscent of the most elaborate limousines of the pre-war era, which complements the coachwork beautifully. The car is in near-perfect condition, finished in burgundy over black lacquer, with burgundy hides to the front and beige cloth with burgundy hides and burgundy piping to the rear. It is complete with all glassware in its elaborate bar, hand and road tools and handbook. This handsome Rolls-Royce Phantom V Sedanca de Ville with coachwork by James Young exemplifies luxury in every way. Not only is it exceptionally rare, it is quite simply one of the finest, most expensive and rarest limousines ever built by Rolls-Royce. Opportunities to acquire a Phantom V are rare in themselves, but a James Young Sedanca de Ville warrants very close attention from enthusiasts. A reduced import tax of 5% may be applicable to this car. For further explanation please speak with an RM representative. Addendum Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.

Lot Details
Auction Cars/Motorcycles
RM Auctions, Battersea Evolution, London, United Kingdom
Lot Number259
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£201600
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number5BX44
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4