Lot 134: Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine
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 Phantom V, the latest formal flagship model. 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 (arguably not a priority for the model) 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, while an alternative design was offered by James Young. A lack of suitable chassis would force the latter's closure before the 'Sixties decade ended, but in its declining years the Bromley-based firm produced what are widely recognized as its finest creations, the sublimely proportioned Touring Limousine (Design PV 22) being one of the foremost. Undeniably more graceful than the rival H J Mulliner, Park Ward version, James Young's Touring Limousine combined the formality of an internal division with luggage space sufficient for continental touring. One of only 13 Rolls-Royce Phantom Vs bodied by James Young, chassis number '5VA7' was displayed on the coachbuilder's stand at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show and is pictured on pages 256/257 of Lawrence Dalton's book, The Elegance Continues. Accompanying copy chassis cards and other documentation record that the Phantom was first owned by one D M Glover of United Lubricants, London W11 and next by Central and District Properties Ltd of London W1 before being sold via Jack Barclay Ltd to Gavin S Herbert in California, USA in 1972. Later that same year the car passed into the ownership of Frank Lacoke of Dallas, Texas. It returned to the UK in the late 1980s, and was purchased by an R-REC member, in,1996, following a full body restoration. The accompanying service history file, close inspection of which is recommended, indicates that some £43,000 has been spent on mechanical refurbishment and servicing since 1990. This work has included a complete engine overhaul undertaken by Rolls-Royce at the Crewe factory in 1999, the temporary loan engine being supplied and fitted by illustrious marque specialists P & A Wood and the original engine reinstated by the same company. Finished in Silver Shell over Black Pearl, the car currently displays a total of just 91,000 miles on the odometer, while noteworthy features include air conditioning and a Bray electric engine heater. Offered with copies of the James Young build sheets and driver's instruction manual, '5VA7' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a coachbuilt rarity of considerable distinction, produced by one of Britain's finest coachbuilders at the height of its powers. The bodywork is described as being wonderfully restored to an excellent standard by the vendor, with a very 'straight' body, and, very importantly, good clean door shuts. The whole car is beautifully presented throughout. With regards to the interior, the rear compartment of the car has been meticulously restored and is stunning. The front compartment retains its original leather, which is in beautiful condition: the wood cappings and dashboard have been restored to an excellent standard, new carpets are fitted throughout, and the car is a credit to its restorer. Reported to start and run beautifully, and to be extremely quiet, 5VA7 benefits from a retrofitted air conditioning. Overall a superb specimen, in a wonderful condition and the perfect addition to any significant collection.
HISTORIC COLLECTORS MOTORCARS|
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
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