1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer
Reg. no. MP 1149
Chassis no. 7UF
Engine no. YD85
Rolls-Royce finally launched its new 40/50hp model in 1925, after the Silver Ghost had been in production for some 19 years. While the Silver Ghost was never actually so named during its production life, just being referred to as the 40/50hp, the new car was given a suitably evocative name from the start – the New Phantom. Despite the ‘New’ part of the name, there was actually a considerable similarity to the Silver Ghost – the Phantom rode on a very similar chassis. The engine, however, was new - enlarged, and with the notable improvement of pushrod-operated overhead valves in place of the Ghost’s side-valve arrangement. Displacing just under 7.7 litres, the new engine offered a welcome improvement in performance while maintaining the same standard of smoothness and flexibility that had been the Ghost’s hallmark. The engine’s prodigious torque was transmitted through a four-speed gearbox, with rarely any need to drop down from top gear once on the move. Available in two wheelbases – 143 ½ inch and 150 ½ inch – the Phantom was a large, imposing car, no matter what coachwork the purchaser chose to be built upon the chassis. A heavy car due to its sheer size and high quality, excellent brakes were a necessity, and the car came as standard with the servo-assisted four-wheel brakes that had been optional on late Ghosts – a system that was, ironically, used under license from Rolls-Royce’s great rival in the realm of luxury cars, Hispano-Suiza. Like the Silver Ghost had been, the Phantom was also built in Springfield, Massachusetts, with the US-built cars differing in several ways from the UK cars, not least in their left-hand-drive configuration. By the end of production in 1931, 3512 had been made, 2269 in Derby and 1240 in Springfield.
This 1927 Phantom was supplied new to Prices Patent Candle Co. of Battersea, fitted with a landaulette body by Park Ward. The original build sheet is available to confirm this, together with maintenance records from the early 1930s. It is thought the car was probably laid up during the war, and from this point until the trail of bills resume at 1980, its history is unknown. It is thought that the replacement body, in the style of Hooper, was fitted by Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist Tony Robinson in the 1970s. Bills from 1980 to 1994 show an expenditure of over £10,000 in restoration and recommissioning. The previous owner acquired the car in 1997 and spent a further £15,000 over two years, mostly on mechanical restoration by Coldwell Engineering. A new hood, new tonneau cover and new side screens were also fitted. Purchased by the vendor in 1999, it then saw light use for days out and shows. In storage and undriven since 2014, at which point it was in good running order, it now requires a degree of recommissioning; the clutch is currently seized, as is the starter clutch and the Autovac valve. Certain to be a most rewarding car when returned to the road, the Phantom comes with the documents and bills mentioned previously, plus an original handbook, some old MOTs and a current V5C.
Extra details and estimates:
£25,000 - 35,000
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