This 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Imperial Cabriolet has coachwork by D'Ieteren for Hibbard and Darrin. It is powered by a 7668 cc six-cylinder engine capable of producing 120 horsepower. Stopping power is provided by power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes and the suspension is comprised of semi-elliptic leaf springs. Though it is constructed of aluminum, it was heavy enough to require extra supports on the frame.
The Phantom II's were produced for six years, spanning 1929 through 1935 with 1767 examples being constructed. They were built as a replacement for the Phantom I and first shown to the public at the Olympia Motor Show. One of the biggest improvements over its predecessor was the under-slung rear springs and lower frame which allowed the ride height to be lowered, making the ride smoother and improving its handling.
The Phantom II's received coachwork from the most notable coachbuilders of the time. This one, chassis XJ-127 was shipped to Paris where it received coachwork by Hibbard and Darrin. The interior is the most astonishing, outfitted with lavish appointments that spared no expense. The floor is made of faux Mink while the trim in the rear compartment is made up of German plated gold hardware and walnut wood. Also found in the rear compartment are perfume bottles, lighter, crystal decanter and glasses, Waltham eight day clock, window blinds and jump seats. A hidden gun case could be found built into one of the armrests.
A divider window separated the driver from the chauffer. A speaker system allowed communication between the two. The roof above the chauffer was made of leather and constructed so it could be removed for open air driving.
XJ-127 was purchased by Mr. Neely, a New York State resident and founder of Nedick's and Shanty Shops, a chain of 135 luncheonettes. It was estimated that at the time of purchase, Mr. Neely was worth ten million dollars. After being toured around Paris and Europe for 100 days, it was hipped to the United States aboard the 'America Flyer'. It has stayed in the United States since that time.Also photographed at :
The Imperial Cabriolet is an exquisite example of an English automobile with custom French coachwork by Hibbard and Darrin. Among the many improvements of the Phantom II, over the Phantom I is that is has a much lower chassis which reduced the overall height by nine inches. They were produced until 1935, with a total production of 1767. This example has an aluminum bonnet and raked windshield giving it a pronounced and flowing appearance. The original owner of this car was Robert T. Neely, the founder of a successful chain of luncheonettes.