Image credits: © Rolls-Royce.

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II

Vehicle Profiles

Henley Roadster
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 291 AJS
Engine Num: A95J

In October of 1929, Rolls-Royce, along with New York-based coachbuilder Brewster and Co., debuted the new Phantom II at the London Olympia Motor Show. Just nine of these stunning cars were built. This chassis, the Henley Roadster (#291), is just one ....[continue reading]

Freestone & Webb Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Freestone & Webb

Chassis Num: 115TA

This 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II 40/50hp Sedanca de Ville began life as a Sports Saloon with coachwork by Hooper. Later in life, it was given this Sedanca de Ville bodystyle, courtesy of the Freestone & Webb coachbuilding firm. The canopy can be ro....[continue reading]

Henley Roadster
Coachwork: Brewster

This wonderful un-restored Rolls-Royce is part of a series of cars that was Rolls-Royce's last effort to market a set of cars strictly for the American market. An earlier effort of producing parts in England and shipping them to the U.S. for assembl....[continue reading]

Tourer
Coachwork: Barker

Chassis Num: 4PY

The Phantom II was the last model designed by Henry Royce in 1929. It had an entirely new low-slung chassis with its radiator set farther back, allowing coachbuilders to create much sleeker designs. It was available in two lengths, long for more form....[continue reading]

Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 253AJS
Engine Num: Y45F

Founded in England in 1906, Rolls-Royce established its United States presence in Long Island City in 1913, although World War I halted sales at just 100. Sales and United States production resumed in 1921 in Springfield, Massachusetts.....[continue reading]

Henley Roadster
Coachwork: Brewster

This is one of eight Phantom IIs built by Rolls-Royce with Henley Roadster coachwork by Brewster. Originally built for Tommy Manville as a gift to his wife, it was considered one of the most elegant body styles available on the 7-liter, 6-cylinder P....[continue reading]

Convertible Roadster
Coachwork: Letourner et Marchand

This Rolls-Royce was found in a state of total disrepair in a shed in England. It was originally bodied as a Towncar by Hooper. Unfortunately, it ended that phase in a barn with the body rusted beyond repair.....[continue reading]

Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 218 AMS
Engine Num: u45J

This Rolls Royce Phantom II has a long hood, sculpted windows, German silver hardware, a low razor edge roof design, and a dramatic V-windshield. Inside there is gold plated hardware, vanity cases, indirect lighting, and lambs' wool carpets. When n....[continue reading]

Open Tourer
Coachwork: Hooper

Chassis Num: 110 MY
Engine Num: JC 75

The Phantom II had a redesigned chassis that allowed the vehicle to be lowered by nearly nine inches. By using a new suspension layout consisting of semi-elliptic springs that were underslung in the rear, this lowered setup was possible. Other mech....[continue reading]

Boat Tail Skiff
Coachwork: W.B. Carter Coach and Boat Builders

Chassis Num: 184PY

The New Phantom was launched in May of 1925, and would later become known as the Phantom I. It brought with it a new and more modern engine, yet retained a chassis similar to that of the Silver Ghost. The same was true for the transmission, with the ....[continue reading]

Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: S75T

This Phantom II wears a Newport Town Car body with coachwork by Brewster. It has elegant curved hood doors, a raked windshield, and a close coupled body. This car was commissioned for Mrs. M. Armstrong-Taylor of Sacramento Street in San Francisco, Ca....[continue reading]

Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster

In 1933, 30 of these cars were completed with Brewster Town Car bodies, exposing the chauffeur to the elements, and just eight Newports were delivered. ....[continue reading]

Newport Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 203 AMS

This Phantom II Rolls-Royce was built for the United States market. It wears Newport Sedanca de Ville coachwork outfitted by Brewster. The hood stretches from the radiator to the windshield, a styling cue that would become one of Dutch Darrin' tradem....[continue reading]

Tourer
Coachwork: Castagna

Chassis Num: 282 AJS

This left-hand drive model chassis was initially ordered by Mrs. W. H. Luden, of the Luden Cough Drop Company family. It was delivered on New Year's Eve in 1932. Mrs. Luden commissioned the Brewster Body Company to transfer her Castagna body from her....[continue reading]

Transformable Tourer
Coachwork: Hibbard and Darrin

Chassis Num: 216AMS

This Phantom II has been enjoyed by the same family for over 5 decades. It was recently lovingly restored over the course of eight years by the son of the car's fourth owner. (The car was purchased back in 1958.) This car (chassis 215AMS) was built i....[continue reading]

Sport Saloon
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 295AJS
Engine Num: R45A

This Rolls-Royce is believed to be one of only 113 left-hand-drive, British-built, American-bodied Phantom IIs, and appears to be one of only seven Brewster Sport Sedans. The close-coupled, balanced body design is almost coupe-like, yet offers passen....[continue reading]

Newmarket Tourer
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 217 AMS
Engine Num: U35J

In early 1931, Rolls-Royce made a delivery of 200 Derby-built Phantom II chassis to Brewster & Co. in Long Island City, New York, following the close of its assembly plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Numerous modifications were required to make th....[continue reading]

Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster

Rolls-Royce debuted the Phantom II at the 1929 London Olympia Motor Show. The Phantom II was Henry Royce's last design before he died in April of 1933; production spanned just six years from 1929 to 1935, with approximately 1,681 examples produced. W....[continue reading]

Henley Roadster
Coachwork: Brewster

By 1931, when the Derby factory produced their first series of left-hand drive chassis, Rolls-Royce of America and its associate Brewster were nearing the brink of extinction. The previously brisk business of the 1920's abruptly slipped away as custo....[continue reading]

Sedan
Coachwork: Crosbie & Dunn. Ltd.

This 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II was delivered to George Heath Ltd. for Crosbie and Dunn Coachbuilders. It was sold to H. A. Crane, Esq. of Earlswood Lodge, Knowle, England. The current owners purchased the car in 1984 from Morris Stein of West Bloom....[continue reading]

Newmarket Tourer
Coachwork: Brewster

Chassis Num: 289AJS
Engine Num: A75J

This Rolls-Royce was initially specified as a Croydon Convertible Coupe, but that order was subsequently changed to the Special Newmarket Permanent Sedan. None of the sixe examples were exactly the same, with each being truly unique. This particular ....[continue reading]

Henley Roadster by Brewster
Chassis #: 291 AJS 
Freestone & Webb Sedanca de Ville by Freestone & Webb
Chassis #: 115TA 
Henley Roadster by Brewster
 
Tourer by Barker
Chassis #: 4PY 
Newport Town Car by Brewster
Chassis #: 253AJS 
Henley Roadster by Brewster
 
Convertible Roadster by Letourner et Marchand
 
Town Car by Brewster
Chassis #: 218 AMS 
Open Tourer by Hooper
Chassis #: 110 MY 
Boat Tail Skiff by W.B. Carter Coach and Boat Builders
Chassis #: 184PY 
Newport Town Car by Brewster
Chassis #: S75T 
Newport Town Car by Brewster
 
Newport Sedanca de Ville by Brewster
Chassis #: 203 AMS 
Tourer by Castagna
Chassis #: 282 AJS 
Transformable Tourer by Hibbard and Darrin
Chassis #: 216AMS 
Sport Saloon by Brewster
Chassis #: 295AJS 
Newmarket Tourer by Brewster
Chassis #: 217 AMS 
Newport Town Car by Brewster
 
Henley Roadster by Brewster
 
Sedan by Crosbie & Dunn. Ltd.
 
Newmarket Tourer by Brewster
Chassis #: 289AJS 

History

The Phantom II was the first completely new car since the 20HP seven years earlier. The Phantom II was still rated 40/50 HP but was lower and the springing half-elliptic all around.
The car, although to Royce's design and specification, was mainly the work of his West Wittering design team and included many innovations and a redesigned engine that, with the gearbox, was now one unit.

The introduction of the Phantom II, only four years after the Phantom I, was prompted again by increased competition from other manufacturers, particularly Buick and Sunbeam. Ironically, the head of Buick had bought a Phantom I and, which so impressed everyone at Buick that they stripped it and copied much of what they learned.

Royce himself knew they were lagging behind: 'I have long considered our present chassis out of date. The back axle, gearbox, frame, springs have not been seriously altered since 1912. Now we all know it is easier to go the old way, but I so fear disaster by being out of date, and I have a lot of stock left, and by the sales falling off by secrets leaking out, that I must refuse all responsibility for a fatal position unless these improvements in our chassis are arranged to be shown next autumn, and to do this they must be in production soon after midsummer 1929.'

Royce was influenced by the lines of the current Riley Nine, and the manner in which the rear passenger's feet were tucked comfortably under the front seats in 'boxes', enabling 'close-coupled' coachwork to be fitted. Royce decided to build a special version of the car for his personal use.

Superb coachwork with modern styling was now available and Royce decided on a lightweight sporting body, which Ivan Evenden designed and Bakers built. This car became the forerunner of the legendary Phantom II Continentals.

The chassis is the standard Phantom II short model with a few modifications. These consist of a low steering column and specially selected springs. There never was a defined speciation of a Continental Phantom II. The series to series engineering improvements were applied to all chassis.

Source - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was very similar to the Phantom I in many ways, but brought improvements such as a higher horsepower rating and the removal of the traditional torque-tube drive. Instead, the engine and gearbox were constructed in unit with each other rather than being separate. The Autovac was now using an engine-driven pump. A new water-heated induction system was used. The Battery and magneto ignition was the same as in the Phantom I. Built-in centralized lubrication was now a standard feature and the Catilever rear springs were shed in favor of semi-elliptic units. The bodies of the car sat atop of a separate sub-frame which helped eliminate distortion.

After the construction of the first Phantom II, named the 18 EX, it was put through its paces on a 10,000-mile test drive to identify the vehicles short-comings and to ensure the vehicle was constructed to Rolls-Royce standards. The car was driven on many types of terrain and at various speeds. It was reported that the car drove best at 70-mph.

Most of the left-hand drive coachwork, those vehicles intended for the United States market, was handed by Brewster and Co. The European versions were bodied by names such as Hooper, Arthur Mulliner, Park Ward, Barker, and Thrupp & Maberly.

Construction of the Phantom II lasted from 1929 through 1935, at which point it was succeeded by the Phantom III and its large twelve-cylinder engine.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007

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