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Lot 131: Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

The Phantom III, introduced in 1936, was a radical departure from its predecessors; the Phantoms I and II were really direct linear descendants of the Silver Ghost, and, though undoubtedly magnificent machines, still harked back to an Edwardian tradition. By contrast the Phantom III was a hugely sophisticated up-to-the-minute design, with a superb 7.3 litre V12 engine of very advanced aluminium alloy construction, synchromesh gearbox, and independent front suspension. Chassis 3BT133 is a truly remarkable example of the very best that the English coachbuilders could offer on the new chassis. Hooper and Co. were coachbuilders to three English kings, dozens of other princes and most of the aristocracy of Europe, and excelled in the range and quality of their creations. This razor-edge sedanca de ville, the most elegant of all closed designs, shows their mastery of innovative engineering, with its metal 'tendelet' (the cover for the front compartment) which winds out from a panel in the roof of the main compartment; the result combines the grace of the sedanca with complete weatherproofing when necessary. The whole chain of ownership from new is known, and the remarkably fine condition attests to the great care which has clearly been lavished on it from new. In the early 1960s, by which time the car was already twenty-five years old but had covered a tiny mileage, it was sent by its second owner to Rolls-Royce at Crewe for a complete overhaul, and shortly thereafter was sold to an American collector. It proceeded to win many significant concours victories, including the prestigious national CCCA Show at Hershey PA and some RROC national events, before returning to the UK in the 1980s. The next, highly enthusiastic, owner had the car maintained principally by the very eminent restorers P&A Wood of Great Dunmow, Essex before it returned some ten years ago for its second sojourn in the USA in a major US collection, returning earlier this year. The superb proportions of the body are complemented by the subtle Carlton Grey colour scheme, with the charming styling touch of a wickerwork panel to the rear doors. Astonishingly the rear compartment retains its typically lavish Hooper interior in original green leather, and even the front, which usually gets heavier wear, is in truly lovely order. This splendid example combines the very best of pre-war Rolls-Royce engineering, with its turbine-like V12 engine and delightful road manners, with the very finest of Hooper coachwork; all in all, a remarkable survival of what serious collectors recognize as 'the way we used to find them'!

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number131
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberCSU 811
Chassis number3BT133
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2