Image credits: © Rolls-Royce.

1933 Rolls-Royce 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 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, with 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Royce himself knew they were lagging behind: 'I have long considered our present chassis out of date.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 Now we all know it is easier to go the old way, but I so fear disaster by being out of date, and I have a lot of stock left, and by the sales falling off by secrets leaking out, that I must refuse all responsibility for a fatal position unless these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 with 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 with a few modifications. These consist of a low steering 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

1933 Vehicle Profiles

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: 124MY
Engine Num: JC95

Introduced in 1929, the Rolls-Rocye Pantom II was intended to carry customers accustomed to being driven by a chauffeur. However, in 1930 the chassis was produced for those who wanted to take control of the wheel themselves in more sporting fashion. ....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: 94MY

The Phantom II is one of the greatest British pre-war sporting cars ever produced. Powered by the well balanced in-line six engine, the continental chassis were ideal for fast touring around the continent. Many of the PII were mated with extraordinar....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Sedance Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: 32PY

The Rolls-Royce Twenty became the new 25/30, while the New Phantom later became known as the Phantom I after the launch of the Phantom II. It was still rated at 40/50 horsepower, the same as the Silver Ghost and the Phantom I. A major difference wa....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Sport Coupe
Coachwork: Hooper

The Phantom II Continental was aimed at the sporting buyer of Rolls-Royce motor cars; it was created for those individuals who wanted to motor across the continent in the grand manner - in a car with increased performance and stiffer handling. The Ho....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: 170 MY
Engine Num: CJ35

This Gurney Nutting-bodied Phantom II (chassis 170 MY) has been owned by some of the most discerning motorists in the world. Its first owner was Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, a director of British American Tobacco. In 1936 the car was purchased by Bentley ....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Sedance Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: 71MW
Engine Num: NY-55

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was first shown at the London Motor Show in 1929. With its 6-cylinder, 7.7-litre engine it was much faster than previous Rolls-Royce cars. The Continental, introduced in 1930 was designed for the owner-driver to enjoy and w....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Sport Touring Saloon
Coachwork: Barker

Chassis Num: 2MY
Engine Num: QU-45-C

Chassis number 2MY is an original factory trials car fitted with many prototype features. The car was used as a trials car by the factory for a decade and it was the first Phantom II to be fitted and tested with many innovation features that would la....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Barker

Chassis Num: 186 MY
Engine Num: CJ-85

This Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental wears a Three-Position Drophead Coupe body built by the coachbuilder Barker. It was ordered by Captain John Wanamaker Jr. of New York and Philadelphia in 1933. The car was in Mr. Wanamaker's care for only a sho....[continue reading]

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Thrupp and Maberly

Chassis Num: 3MW
Engine Num: FG 55

Engineer Ivan Evernden was instrumental in aiding Sir Henry Royce in bringing about a more sporting model to the Phantom II. The result was the Phantom II Continental, a more sporting and compact four-seater owner/driver motor car when compared to th....[continue reading]

Drophead Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: 124MY 
Fixed Head Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: 94MY 
Sedance Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: 32PY 
Sport Coupe by Hooper
 
Fixed Head Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: 170 MY 
Sedance Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: 71MW 
Sport Touring Saloon by Barker
Chassis #: 2MY 
Three-Position Drophead Coupe by Barker
Chassis #: 186 MY 
Drophead Coupe by Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis #: 3MW 


Concepts by Rolls-Royce

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Recent Vehicle Additions

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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