Image credits: © Rolls-Royce.

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II news, pictures, specifications, and information
Henley Roadster
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 291 AJS
Engine Num: A95J
Sold for $1,430,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company.
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 of seven remaining and is perhaps the most beautiful of all Brewster bodies.

The Phantom II's six-cylinder engine was the same size as that of the Phantom I but different in design, with two banks of three cylinders topped by a common head. The chassis was set lower than that of Phantom I. It retained its predecessor's long hood, but the radiator was higher and the suspension was by half-elliptic rather than cantilevered springs. The chassis was often driven straight from the shop to the chosen custom coachbuilder.

The Phantom II, a very rugged and reliable auto that was the much faster than previous Rolls-Royces, was the last model designed by Henry Royce. Whether it was a sedan, limousine, coupe, convertible or tourer, almost all had superbly proportioned coachwork. Rolls-Royce provided full service and spare parts for the Phantom II even after World War II.

By 1931, the Derby factory produced their first series of left-hand-drive chassis, though the Rolls-Royce Company was nearing the brink of extinction. The Great Depression had caused many fortunes to shrink; those who were still able to afford an elegant Rolls-Royce were not willing to part with the small fortune that a new Brewster-bodied Phantom commanded.

200 examples of the new AMS and AJS series Phantom IIs were initially planned, but only 125 were dispatched over a three-year period. Even though the Great Depression had compelled other business to go other new markets, Brewster maintained its unwavering standards of excellence and fashion.

The Rolls-Royce Springfield Ghost had the Piccadilly, the Phantom I had the York, and the Phantom II had the Henley. The Henley was an open two-seater that was a perfect balance between traditional Rolls-Royce demeanor and American flair, offering both style and grace. It had a raked and V'd windshield, a streamlined look, belt molding that narrowed under the cockpit, and a gracefully tapered tail.

The Henley made its first public appearance at the New York Auto Show of 1931. If it's elegant design and mechanical prowess did not take the onlookers breath away, the staggering $21,500 asking price surly did. It was the second most expensive car on display, eclipsed only by another Brewster-bodied Phantom.

In total, just eight Henley roadsters and a single, one-off Henley coupe were built on the Phantom II chassis.

This Rolls-Royce, chassis number 291 AJS, was shipped to New York aboard the SS Antonia. Upon its arrival in the United States, the chassis was sent to Brewster & Co., where it was fitted with Henley Roadster coachwork and prepared for its first owner.

The car sold new in August of 1933 to banker Ernest Leroy King of Winona, Minnesota and subsequently spent more than 25 years as a centerpiece of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, before passing to noted collector Rick Carroll. It was restored by Stone Barn Inc. of Vienna, NJ.

Early in the cars life, presumably while in the care of its first owner, the Henley Roadster was fitted with skirts on the front fenders and more modern headlamps. When Mr. King passed away in 1949, the car joined the Henry Ford Museum collection in Dearborn, Michigan. The car remained there for 25 years before being sold to Rick Carroll of Palm Beach, Florida. Under Mr. Carroll's care, the car was treated to a restoration and then selectively displayed at several concours events, earning a First Prize at a 1983 CCCA Grand Classic.

After Mr. Carroll's death, his collection was dispersed through a stand-alone auction in May of 1990. The Imperial Palace of Las Vegas acquired the Henley Roadster, and it remained on display in the collection for nearly a decade. From there, ownership passed to collector Mark Smith. In August 2002, after a brief period in his ownership, Mr. Smith sold the car to the current caretaker. The new owner commissioned a comprehensive cosmetic restoration.

In August of 2003, the freshly restored car was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concurs d'Elegance. It later won First in Class at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and the 2007 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance.

The car has mirror-like black paintwork, wheel discs, and contrasting beltline. The interior is finished in cognac leather and wood veneers.
Freestone & Webb Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Freestone & Webb
Chassis Num: 115TA
Sold for $76,050 at 2006 Bonhams.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2007
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
Coachwork: Barker
The coach work on this automobile was produced by Barker. This automobile was one of two Rolls-Royce cars especially built for the 1933 Paris Automobile Show. The original British owner was a D. A. Sursock. The most noted use of this automobile wa  [Read More...]
Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 253AJS
Engine Num: Y45F
Sold for $209,000 at 2007 RM Auctions.
Sold for $220,000 at 2017 RM Auctions.
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.  [Read More...]
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  [Read More...]
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.  [Read More...]
Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 218 AMS
Engine Num: u45J
Sold for $2,310,000 at 2008 RM Auctions.
Sold for $1,936,189 (€1,456,000) at 2010 RM Auctions.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Boat Tail Skiff
Coachwork: W.B. Carter Coach and Boat Builders
Chassis Num: 184PY
High bid of $170,000 at 2009 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
Sold for $198,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
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   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
Newport Town Car
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: S75T
Sold for $129,250 at 2010 RM Auctions.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
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.   [Read More...]
Newport Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 203 AMS
Sold for $199,500 at 2011 Bonhams.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2011
Coachwork: Castagna
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  [Read More...]
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  [Read More...]
Sport Saloon
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 295AJS
Engine Num: R45A
Sold for $192,500 at 2012 RM Auctions.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
Newmarket Tourer
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 217 AMS
Engine Num: U35J
Sold for $154,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
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  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013
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  [Read More...]
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  [Read More...]
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  [Read More...]
Newmarket Tourer
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis Num: 289AJS
Engine Num: A75J
Sold for $1,237,500 at 2017 RM Auctions.
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   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2017
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, wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth a few modifications. These consist of a low §teering 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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