Lot 616: Rolls-Royce Phantom II 40/50hp Coupe de Ville
Generally considered to be Rolls-Royce's pre-war masterpiece, the Phantom II followed a distinguished line of six-cylinder cars headed by the 40/50hp 'Silver Ghost' which had enjoyed a hugely successful 18 year production run prior to the introduction of the 'New Phantom' in 1925. The 7.7litre Phantom II of 1929 answered all the critics and was technically up to the minute in design while retaining all the standards of mechanical excellence shared by its predecessors. Ordered new in 1932 by the fabulously wealthy Madame Juliette Violet, 66JS was despatched to Fernandez et Darrin in Paris who were commissioned to build the elegant Coupe de Ville coachwork prior to delivery in April 1932 to her elegant home in the fashionable Avenue Foch in Paris. Socialite Juliette Violet was married to Jacques Violet whose family were responsible for the French aperitif, Byrrh, and it is recorded that on their frequent extravagant outings to the best Parisian restaurants they would take with them two Rolls-Royces in case one of them broke down. Rolls-Royce factory records do in fact confirm that Mme Violet took delivery of another Rolls-Royce, Chassis no. 78JS, also with Fernandez et Darrin Coupe de Ville coachwork, in November 1932. Special features of 66JS include the Magondeaux headlamps and the Stephen Grebel side and rear lamps, the sidelamp art deco lenses featuring St.Christopher to the front with a diving maiden depicted in the rear lenses. No expense was spared by Fernandez et Darrin in the construction of this elegant motor car for their highly valued and demanding client, with detailed features including their own distinctive high waistline coachwork, blade bumpers front and rear, Ace style wheel discs, encased twin side-mounted spare wheels, chromium framed side windows, art deco exterior door handles, a louvred bonnet and the celebrated Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. For the longer tour the car is now equipped with a rear mounted luggage trunk. The interior is generously appointed with leather upholstery to the front and camel hair to the rear compartment, which features a wind-down division and two occasional seats. Known to have been in one family ownership for over forty years and resident in France for the greater part of its life, 66JS has retained its exceptional originality. The engine was restored in the 1980s while the coachwork has been re-liveried this year in its original black and yellow colour scheme. During the present ownership 66JS has recently successfully completed a trouble free 2,000 mile round trip to The Algarve to participate in an R-REC rally. Currently UK registered, this capable and handsome car, with its interesting Parisian history, is offered with copies of the original factory order and build sheets.
Grand Palais Sale|
Bonhams, Paris, France
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