Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental,
Lot 454
1932 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon 90MS
Sold for £40,000 (US$ 48,864) inc. premium

Lot Details
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1932 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly

Registration no. ABY 118
Chassis no. 90MS
Engine no. BK45


  • The Phantom II was introduced in 1929 as a successor to the New Phantom (retrospectively Phantom I) with deliveries commencing in September of that year. Unlike its predecessor, which inherited its underpinnings from the preceding 40/50hp model, the Silver Ghost, the Phantom II employed an entirely new chassis laid out along the lines of that of the smaller 20hp Rolls-Royce. Built in two wheelbase lengths - 144” and 150” - this new low-slung frame, with its radiator set well back, enabled coachbuilders to body the car in the modern idiom, creating sleeker designs than the upright ones of the past.
    The engine too had come in for extensive revision. The PI’s cylinder dimensions and basic layout - two blocks of three cylinders, with an aluminium cylinder head common to both blocks - were retained, but the combustion chambers had been redesigned and the ’head was now of the cross-flow type, with inlet and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides. The magneto/coil dual ignition system remained the same as on the PI.
    The result of these engine changes was greatly enhanced performance, particularly of the Continental model, and the ability to accommodate weightier coachwork. Designed around the short (144”) Phantom II chassis and introduced in 1930, the Continental was conceived as ‘an enthusiastic owner driver’s car’ and featured revised rear suspension, higher axle ratio and lowered steering column. By the end of production the magnificent Phantom II Continental was good for 95mph. ‘Powerful, docile, delightfully easy to control and a thoroughbred, it behaves in a manner which is difficult to convey without seeming to over-praise,’ opined The Motor after testing a PII Continental in March 1934.
    Highly favoured by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II chassis provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day and this Continental model wears handsome sports saloon coachwork by the respected London-based firm of Thrupp & Maberly, a concern noted for a succession of coachbuilding innovations during the 1920s and 1930s. Chassis number ‘90MS’ was supplied new to Jack Barclay Ltd, for stock, on 11th June 1932 and sold to first owner Major R Rainshaw Rothwell, of Hawkshead, Lancashire early in 1933. The chassis build sheets record the intended use as ‘mainly for fast touring’ while a footnote states ‘this chassis to be of the same type as that exhibited… at Olympia Show.’ Body brackets were specified instead of a subframe, while a sunroof, centre spot-lamp and spare wheel mounted behind the rear trunk were among other features included. The car is offered with ownership history dating back many years including bills exceeding £15,000 for an engine rebuild in the mid-1980s undertaken by Hoffman and Mountfort and others of similar total for extensive coachwork restoration and a thorough mechanical service carried out by David Scott-Moncrieff in 1990. A photographic record of the latter work is available for inspection.
    There has been continual expenditure on this Phantom since its purchase in 1995 by the current owner. In good condition when purchased, the car has been in constant use and kept up to scratch ever since. Indeed, the vendor tells us that he has regularly driven it to Scotland, a journey of some nine hours. In more recent times the car has been regularly maintained by Rolls-Royce & Bentley specialist Harvey Wash, of Kelvedon, Essex, work undertaken having included a partial engine strip-down, chemical clean of the cooling system and replacing pistons where necessary, all of which was done in 2002 at a cost of £6,000. The original brown logbook is offered with this car together with extensive history including bills, mileage records and all MoTs dating back to 1973. Currently MoT’d and taxed, it will have been driven to the sale. Finished in red with black wings, black leather upholstery and fawn interior, this Continental is a good useable example of the ‘Sporting Phantom’, suitable for touring in the grand manner and any number of prestigious events including, of course, Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club meetings.
Auction information

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20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

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