Rolls-Royce Phantom III
Total Production: 727 1936 - 1939
The Phantom III was the first Rolls-Royce to be fitted with a V12 engine, which was probably an inevitable development as the company was already manufacturing aero engines in this configuration.
When the Phantom III was unveiled at the 1935 Olympia Motor Show it was the most technically advanced car in the world and many believe the best car ever made. The 7340 cc. V12 overhead valve engine had a one-piece aluminum alloy crankcase and cylinder blocks and cast-iron wet cylinder liners and aluminum head.
The Phantom II was the first Rolls-Royce to have indendent front suspension; this was of the wishbone type and was controlled by coil springs and hydraulic dampers. The new suspension enabled the radiator and engine to be moved further forward on the shortened chassis, giving coachbuilders scope to build very spacious bodywork.
In chassis form the car cost 1,850 pounds, just 50 pounds more than the far less sophisticated Phantom II this was presumed to have been possibly because the swiftly selling smaller models subsidized the top of the range Phantom III.
During the design process of this car Henry Royce's poor health was failing further and he worried that he would not live to see the outcome of his work. Tragically this proved to be correct.Source - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
The Phantom series culminated with the marque's only 12-cylinder chassis, the Phantom III. These great cars were built from 1935 until 1939, when World War II ended production, with only 710 produced. The extremely complex design was the last Henry Royce had any involvement in before his death in 1933, and borrowed heavily from Rolls Royce's experience building airplane engines.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007