Rolls-Royce began work on its new Phantom I in 1922, it was introduced in 1925. It succeeded the Silver Ghost (40/50 Series), which was no easy task. The new Phantom offered a larger 7.7 liter six-cylinder engine, constructed with a one-piece cylinder head and offering overhead valve operation. It also sported dual ignition system and an aluminum crankcase. In 1929, Rolls-Royce offered a Phantom II series using the same engine, but employing a new more refined transmission and revised suspension allowing for much improved handling characteristics.
This Short Coupled Saloon shown was displayed at the 1929 Paris Salon. It featured coachwork by Weymann. Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton purchased the car. Ernest Hemingway toured the United States in this car. The car has a fully documented history and appears in 'The Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP' by W.J. Oldham and 'Those Elegant Rolls-Royces' by L. Dalton. It has recently been featured at the Pin-Mar and the Festival of Speed.
Sold for $231,000 at 2006 RM Auctions. High bid of $180,000 at 2008 RM Auctions. (did not sell) Sold for $227,000 at 2009 Bonhams. Sold for $110,000 at 2011 RM Auctions. Sold for $180,000 at 2012 Mecum. 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. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Imperial Cabriolet by Hibbard and Darrin
The Imperial Cabriolet is an exquisite example of an English vehicle with custom French coachwork by Hibbard and Darrin in Paris. Among the many changes from the original Phantom it has a much lower chassis which reduced the height by nine inches. Phantom IIs were produced until 1935; total production was 1,767 vehicles. This example with blue and black coachwork, an aluminum bonnet, or hood, and yellow wire wheels was much admired at the recent Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
Sold for $231,000 at 2006 RM Auctions. High bid of $180,000 at 2008 RM Auctions. (did not sell) Sold for $227,000 at 2009 Bonhams. Sold for $110,000 at 2011 RM Auctions. Sold for $180,000 at 2012 Mecum. 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.
Sold for $357,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. In 1929, Rolls-Royce introduced the Phantom II to help combat sales competition from the Bentley 6.5 and 8 liter models. The engine in the Phantom II was a inline six-cylinder unit that had two blocks of three and a one piece aluminum head and crankcase with 7668cc displacement. In 1931, the company acquired rival car maker Bentley.
In total, there were 1,767 examples of the Phantom II produced between 1929 and 1935.
This vehicle is an all-weather convertible built by Trupp & Maberly for H.H., the Maharajadhiraja of Darbhanga. The car has since resided in Switzerland and Germany where the owner installed a beautiful marquetry wine and glass cabinet. From 1997 through 2000, this car was restored in England and the United States.
Officially known as the 'New Phantom,' the Phantom I succeeded the 19-year-old Silver Ghost in 1925. The car is powered by a water-cooled, overhead valve, 7.67 liter, six-cylinder engine developing 100 horsepower, coupled to a four-speed manual transmission. It has a top speed of 80 mph. Although the Phantom I had better acceleration than the Silver Ghost, its chassis lacked rigidity, particularly with the adoption of front-wheel brakes. The production run of the Phantom I was accordingly short - in 1929, it was replaced by a new chassis, the Phantom II.
This example is fitted with coachwork from Brewster, a leading New York coachbuilder.
Sold for $770,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company. High bid of $625,000 at 2014 RM Auctions. (did not sell) Sold for $434,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. Some of Rolls-Royce's best customers during the 1920s and 1930s were the maharajas, the tribal leaders of India during the British Raj. Maharaja Rolls-Royces were regularly ordered to the rather unique specifications of their original owners, and frequently fitted with special-ordered features and ornately detailed bespoke coachwork.
This particular example was commissioned by the Ruling Chief of Nandgaon State, Mahant Sarveshwar Das, who served as the 10th chief, from 1913 to 1940. It rides on a long-wheelbase that measures 150 inches and was outfitted with a louvered hood, a polished nickel radiator shell, a rear-mounted luggage rack, and wire wheels shod in wide whitewall tires. There is a Tapley gradient meter, and nickeled cobra horn and tool trays mounted in the running boards.
The car wears coachwork by Barker & Company, one of England's longest-lived coachbuilders, with a heritage reaching back to horseless carriage days. The chassis was finished in Nile Blue and features a beltline that followed the lines of the hood. There are polished disc wheel covers, a vee'd windshield with built-in sun visors, Lucas P100 headlamps, a single driving lamp, dual fender lights, and two cowl-mounted spotlights. The interior was finished with the inlaid cabinetry which provides space for a silver tea service, a silver cigarette case, a lady's vanity, and cocktail accoutrements.
Final testing occurred at Barker & Co on 7/3/30 and shipped per SS Bangalore on 28/3/30 (London-Calcutta). It was featured in the August 1930 issue of The Autocar.
In 1966 Ray Howard, an American enthusiast working in India, discovered the car in the ownership of the Maharaja of Orissa. He was able to purchase and export four of the automobiles, which was shipped to Italy, serviced, and then driven across the continent to England by its new owner. In November 1967 it finally arrived, at the end of a long ocean voyage, at the Howard family home in Oregon.
When Mr. Howard retired to Hawaii, the Rolls-Royce accompanied him to the islands. A restoration began, but Mr. Howard lost enthusiasm after dismantling it. The project remained unfinished for a quarter century, until its acquisition by Mr. Richard Hooper. Mr. Hooper completed the work. Further work continued under the care of its next owner, who refinished the body, reupholstered the interior, and improved its interior cabinetry, which still contains many of the original accessories. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Sold for $357,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. When the Maharaja of Darbhanga passed away on July 3, 1929, he was succeeded by his brother, Rameshwar Singh Bahadur. Six days later, he placed an order for this Rolls-Royce Phantom II, which was delivered on January 25, 1930, aboard the S.S. Mulberra to the port of Calcutta. It was originally fitted with a tourer body by Hopper and was registered in the UK as DS 8794. The Maharaja elected to update the appearance of his Rolls-Royce in 1935 with a Thrupp & Maberly body. They were commissioned to build a new body for the five-year-old Phantom II. The new body was modern but with features that the Maharaja liked in the previous body, such as the 280 millimeter Grebel headlights and cowl-mounted searchlights. The new body featured rounded skirted fenders, a lower-than-standard windshield and roofline, and a swept polished cowl molding. This is the only known Phantom II to have been built to this one-off design.
Upon completion, the car was featured in the January 17, 1936 issue of The Autocar and also appeared in the February 1936 issue of Modern Motoring.
The car remained with the Maharaja for 38 years, until 1967. It then passed through a succession of British owners before it was acquired in 1976 by James Leake. Mr. Leake retained the car for over a decade. The car returned to England in 1987 at the sale of Mr. Leake's collection, later making its way into the ownership of Gert Kaiser, of Germany, from whom the present owner acquired it in 1997.
The current caretaker has treated the car to a complete mechanical rebuild by specialists on both the East Coast and in the United Kingdom. It had its engine rebuilt to as-new, including the installation of a new cylinder head, pistons, bearings, and seals, and it was completely rewired.
The car has earned no fewer than four Rolls-Royce Owners' Club National awards, followed by Best in Class at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance in 2009. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2015
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