Image credits: © Rolls-Royce.

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was introduced in 1929 and introduced numerous improvements over its predecessor, the Phantom I. It rested on a completely new chassis with the front axle mounted on semi-elliptical leaf springs and the rear axle also using semi-elliptical springs, replacing the older styled cantilever springs. These changes allowed the frame to sit lower resulting in dramatic improvements in handling. The radiator was positioned back behind the front axle and the steering was more than half of the way back in the wheelbase. The well-proportioned chassis still managed to carry a long hood and was a favorite of the best coachbuilders of the day including Hooper, Mulliner, Park Ward, and Thrupp & Maberly. All bodybuilders of Rolls-Royce cars, regardless of being in the U.S. or U.K., were required to supply their designs to Rolls-Royce for approval. After the body was fitted to the chassis, the coachbuilder returned the car to Rolls-Royce for testing and final inspection prior to delivery to the customer.

On the U.S. side, Rolls-Royce had ceased production at its Springfield, Massachusetts plant in 1931, after building 2,944 motorcars there. Rolls-Royce had produced the Silver Ghost and the New Phantom at both Rolls-Royces' Derby factory in the United Kingdom and at a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts. New Phantom (Phantom I) production at the U.S. factory lasted from 1926 to 1931. The main differences between the U.K. and U.S. models were the transmission and wheelbase sizes. Both had a standard wheelbase of 143.5-inches, while the long-wheelbase U.S. version measured 146.5-inches and the U.K. at 150.5-inches. Both versions came with a single dry-late clutch, while the UK had a 4-speed and the U.S. a center change 3-speed unit. Other differences include the U.S. models using a centralized Bijur system while the U.K. models employed Enot nipples. The fuel gauge placement was sometimes different, with the U.S. models occasionally being placed on the dash instead of the tank. The radiator shutters of the U.S. cars were thermostatically controlled to open or shut depending upon engine temperature, and manual control of extra cylinder lubrication was fitted for cold starts. U.S.-destined cars had front and rear bumper supports, heavier rear brake drums, wider brake shoes, and higher gear ratios for high-speed touring. After being tested at the Rolls-Royce Works in Derby, England, they were shipped to the United States Customs at the Port of New York. To reduce Atlantic-crossing shipping costs, the Phantom II 'A' chassis were sent without a horn, chassis lubrication fittings, spring gaiters, tool kit, spark plus, and hood locks. American-sourced parts were installed upon the chassis arrival.

Rolls-Royce produced 2,269 examples of the New Phantom (Phantom I) in the United Kingdom and 1,240 examples in the United States. Production of the Phantom II lasted from 1929 through 1936 with 1,680 produced. 278 of those were Phantom II Continentals. All of the chassis were built at Rolls-Royce's factory in Derby, including two US-market series, the AJS and AMS. The 'A' in 'AJS' or 'AMS' represented a car modified for the American market. The most visual change was the conversion from right-hand to left-hand drive, with the American-type central gearshift replacing the British-style side lever. The bodies were made and fitted by coachbuilders, including Rolls-Royce's Brewster Coachworks. 116 cars were sent to the United States to be clothed by Brewster.

The Phantom II 'Continental' was birthed from a special order by Mr. Royce who commissioned designer H.I.F. 'Ivan' Evernden to build a one-off Phantom on a short-wheelbase. It received modifications to the engine and suspension, and wore a lightweight close-coupled saloon body built by Barker. Upgrades to the engine include a higher-lift camshaft and increased compression, and a taller rear-axle ratio. The suspension received flatter springs for a lower stance, twin Hartford auxiliary dampers in the front for ride control, and a raked steering column. It was known as 26EX and shown at the 1930 Biarritz Grand Concours d'Elegance. Although there were no plans to put 26EX into production, its Grand Prix d'Honneur victory at the Biarritz Grand Concours and immediate enthusiasm for the model sparked its creation. Two hundred and eighty-one examples were ultimately produced with 125 equipped with left-hand drive.

Following the initial intention of 26EX, the Phantom II Continental production versions were built for high-speed touring and used a shortened chassis, with revised suspension and specially tuned engine. The 7,668cc overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine breathed through a single Rolls-Royce carburetor and developed 120 horsepower at 3,500 RPM. They were backed by a four-speed manual gearbox with braking handled by four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with servo assist. The suspension was comprised of solid axles, semi-elliptical leaf springs, shock absorbers, and hydraulic dampers.

The Phantom II Continental was capable of nearly 100 mph. They were pricier, sportier, and with fewer examples produced - rarer.

The Phantom II was the final Rolls-Royce designed by the company co-founder Mr. Henry Royce who passed away on April 22nd of 1933. It used many of the lessons learned from the 'New Phantom,' now commonly known as the Phantom I, and employing the same six-cylinder pushrod overhead valve engine but with a new cross-flow cylinder head, new combustion chambers, and improved manifolds. Initially, it produced 120 horsepower but subsequent developments resulted in over 150 horsepower in some cases. The engine, clutch, and the four-speed transmission were now a single unit with an open driveshaft. Later changes included synchromesh on the top two gears.

Brewster & Company
The Brewster & Company was located on Long Island, New York, and founded in 1810. With facilities in England, they won a Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1878 for a horse-drawn carriage. They began building bodies for motor vehicles in 1950 and in 1908, mounted a landaulette on a Silver Ghost chassis. In 1925, the Brewster Company was acquired by Rolls-Royce of America. In 1931, they began designing and fitting bodies to the left-hand drive imported Phantom IIs. Nearly every Rolls-Royce that left the Springfield facility during the last five years of its existence wore a body by Brewster.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2020

Related Reading : Rolls-Royce Phantom II / Phantom II Continental History

The Phantom II was the first completely new car since the 20HP seven years earlier. The Phantom II was still rated 4050 HP but was lower and the springing half-elliptic all around. The car, although to Royces 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....
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Related Reading : Rolls-Royce Phantom II / Phantom II Continental History

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....
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1933 Vehicle Profiles

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

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]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II vehicle information

Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork: Windovers

Chassis Num: 150PY
Engine Num: CK85

This Rolls-Royce Phantom II, titled as a 1934, wears a Sedanca de Ville body by London coachbuilder Windovers. It has flowing fenders, close-coupled doors, a molded beltline, and a two-tone color scheme. The car was delivered in January of 1934 to G.....[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 
Sedanca de Ville by Windovers
Chassis #: 150PY 


Concepts by Rolls-Royce



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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Rolls-Royce
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)

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