The Phantom II replaced the New Phantom in Rolls-Royce's offerings in 1929. The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was the last of the great six-cylinder cars whose development from first draft to completion had entirely been supervised by Mr. F. Henry Royce himself. Incorporating radical design changes from its predecessor, the Phantom I, the new car took the company into the new decade. The engine was unitary with a four-speed manual transmission. Synchromesh was added on gears 3 and 4 in 1932 and on gear 2 in 1935.
When launched in 1929 it impressed by surpassing every facet of design excellence and manufacturing technique, even those embodied in the Silver Ghost. The engine and gearbox were of unit construction. The rear springs were now underslung, replacing the previous cantilever suspension - thus enhancing the mounting of the most elegant bodies to a lower overall appearance. The front axle was designed to provide ultimate stability in braking at speed. As a more sporty version to be fitted with particularly light coachwork, the Phantom II Continental distinguished itself from the basic model.
Semi-elliptical suspended the front and, in a change from its predecessor, the rear. Four-wheel servo-assisted brakes were also specified. Only 281 Continental Phantom II's were produced, including 125 left-hand drive versions. In all, 1,281 Phantom II chassis left the factory.
High bid of $625,000 at 2011 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) Sold for $495,000 at 2012 Gooding & Company. There is competition even amongst the most luxurious automotive manufacturers. In some ways, there is perhaps even more competition than there is in mass produced automobiles. At the time Rolls-Royce introduced its Phantom II, the Phantom I had only been introduced some four years earlier.
Competition in the luxury coachbuilt automotive market was tightening. Rolls-Royce had a lot of competition, and was facing even more from Buick and Sunbeam in the United States. On top of it all, the Rolls-Royce chassis upon which the Phantom I had been introduced hadn't undergone a change since 1912. It was now going into 1929.
The all-new car would be the first in seven years for Rolls-Royce. It would abandon the torque-tube drive and would feature the engine and gearbox constructed together. The model would have a higher horsepower rating. It would have a new water-heated induction system. Innovations in the car's ride and handling would come from the semi-elliptic springs instead of the cantilever springs. To prevent twisting of the chassis, and therefore, to increase rigidity, the chassis would come via the bodywork resting on a separate sub-frame.
As usual, only the chassis and mechanical aspects of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II would be actually made by Rolls-Royce. The building of the body would be left to one of a number of coachbuilders that worked with Rolls-Royce to put the icing on the cake.
Building on the foundation of the Phantom I, the Phantom II would become quite popular. Some of the more popular models of the Phantom IIs would be the Continentals. The 20MS and the 2SK would be the only two Continental Roadster ever built and would be considered the most important Phantom II chassis. However, there would be another model of the Phantom II Continental that would also be quite rare and very valuable. And one of those models would be up for sale at RM Auctions event in Monterey, California.
Allweather Motor Bodies, which was located in Kilburn, London would build only a select number of bodies for Rolls-Royce during its history. Jack Barclay would order chassis number 107TA and would have it sent to Allweather Motor Bodies with the instructions to build a Drophead Coupe body. What would result would be a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupe that would have a body style reproduced one other time, but by H.J. Mulliner. Out of the 1,392 Phantom II chassis, only two would end up being TA series Drophead Coupes. But since this model is the only TA series Drophead Coupe designed and built by Allweather Motor Bodies, it actually deserves the 'one-off' title.
A mixture of exquisite engineering and design, this Drophead Coupe design practically stands alone in the ever-growing interest in Phantom II Continentals. The car would be featured in a seven-page article in Classic Car Club of America in which it would be declared, 'From any angle this is a beautiful masterpiece in metal.'
The low appearance was at the request of Barclay. In addition, Barclay would also request a longer wheelbase (150 inch), which would give the car a long and low appearance that was certainly very attractive and elegant. In its present state, the car actually represents the way in which the car had been delivered. Therefore, its black finish and chrome brightwork are very much authentic to its original configuration. The red leather interior and finely-finished wood appointments give some sense of the quality and comfort of the ride in a Phantom II Continental.
This precious Phantom II had formerly been part of the Robert Pass Collection. However, the car is now part of a private collection and had undergone restoration at great expense. This breathtaking Allweather Motor Bodies Drophead Coupe would head to auction with expectations being that it would earn $800,000 to $1,000,000. Certainly this Phantom II Continental is a very rare jewel for any collection. At auction, bidding reached $625,000 but was not enough to satisfy the reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.
Sources: 'Featured Lots: Lot No. 216: 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupe by Allweather Motor Bodies', (http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r265&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r265&fc=0. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
'1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental news, pictures and information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9153/Rolls-Royce-Phantom-II-Continental.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9153/Rolls-Royce-Phantom-II-Continental.aspx. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Rolls-Royce Phantom II', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 August 2011, 18:45 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rolls-Royce_Phantom_II&oldid=444308501 accessed 18 August 2011By Jeremy McMullen
High bid of $350,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company. (did not sell) This Rolls-Royce Phantom II Fixed Head Coupe wears coachwork by Hooper & Co. Chassis 70 TA was originally dispatched to Hooper on January 10th of 1935 and was expected to be completed in early March. It was finished in black with a brown mid-section. Inside, brown Vaumol leather and Burr Walnut trimmed the interior compartment. There was seating for two with large space behind the seats with room enough to accommodate suitcases, and golf clubs.
Later in the car's life, it was given a restoration and finished in grey and black. There are disc wheels, a tinted sun visor, Marchal lamps, a complete picnic set and a custom-made hood ornament in the style of Lalique.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Az. It was estimated to sell for $400,000 - $500,000. Bidding reached $350,000 but was not enough to satisfy the car's reserve. It would leave the auction unsold. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011
All Weather Drophead Coupe Coachwork: Binder Chassis Num: 187 TA
This is the last Phantom II drophead built and was shipped February 22, 1935. It is fitted with Binder, 3-position convertible coachwork. It is the last chassis in the TA series, therefore, incorporates all of the improvement to the series.
The previous owner had the vehicle for the past four decades and provided copious documentation on this Phantom II, along with the numerous awards it has received in the 1980s.
The car was restored in 2008.
Sedanca de Ville Coachwork: Barker Chassis Num: 58UK Engine Num: RX35
Sold for $181,000 at 2013 Bonhams. Chassis number 58UK is a late example and the 13th away from the final car built on the long chassis. It was built with Sedanca de Ville coachwork by Barker & Co for Rt. Hon. Lady Astor. It has a number of stylistic flourishes typical of this late series car, along with many mechanical improvements made over the life of the model. The car made its way across the Atlantic in the 1950s and was recorded with Warren G. Epstein in Saratoga, California in 1957 followed by a Mr. Sanders of California in the 1978 RROC Ownership Roster. The most recent owner is from Colorado and acquired the Phantom II in 1984 from Roger T. Mitchell Jr.
The car was a regular participant at Concours events in the Denver area until 1995, winning numerous awards. It has an older restoration finished in a color combination of garnet on silver with matching leather and cloth upholstery.
In 2013, the car was offered for sale at Bonhams Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $181,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
All Weather Drophead Coupe Coachwork: Windovers Chassis Num: 37TA Engine Num: VS 85
This Rolls-Royce was ordered on August 14, 1934 by the British coachbuilder Windovers of 62 Conduit Street, London W1. The invoice was made out on January 14, 1935. The balance was paid on January 23, the day Rolls-Royce delivered the chassis to Windovers.
Windovers gave the chassis a seven-passenger enclosed limousine body. A few months later in April 1935, the car was listed as being in the possession of a Mrs. J. Field, carrying a Windovers Sedanca de Ville body. Since the short time between its completion and first ownership, it is believed that the same body may have been given a different designation. Over the two decades that followed, little is known about its history.
It appears that on November 20th, 1954, it was purchased by Vernon D. Jarvis of Silver Springs, Florida. There appears to be no record of when it came to the United States. By this point in history, the 'first' body was removed and replaced with a semi-aerodynamic all-weather Drophead Coupe body which it wears today.
John J. Schaller III of Indianapolis, Indiana purchased it on April 3, 1956. In the early 1960s, it was sold John Fryer of Henderson, Kentucky. By 1963, it was in the care of Henry H.R. Coe in Cody, Wyoming. Coe retained the car until 1971 when it passed to Richard McKinley in Denver, Colorado. It remained in Denver for nearly two decades. On May 8, 1978, Edward M. Iacino of 1537 Market Street in Denver acquired the car. He kept it for at least 13 years. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2016
Chassis #76UK was one of the last Phantom IIs made. It was the last Phantom II imported into the United States. This car represents the end of an era, its lineage goes all the way back to the 1907 Silver Ghost. The Town Car coachwork is by Brewster who supplied the majority of bodies for imported Rolls-Royces. A PTO driven off the gearbox powers the mechanical braking system which was licensed from Hispano-Suiza. It has a six-cylinder 479 cubic-inch engine producing 115 hp. Other examples of exquisite engineering are seen throughout the car.
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