1930 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Limousine Coachwork by Hooper & Co Registration no. TV 3627 Chassis no. 166GN Engine no. BH35 (see text)
Reputedly the last model that Henry Royce designed himself, the Phantom II was introduced in 1929 as a successor to the original New Phantom, 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 later Phantom Is 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. Highly favoured by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day, and long-wheelbase chassis number 166GN wears limousine-with-division coachwork by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. Mrs Alice Roe, of Nottingham is recorded as first owner on the accompanying copy chassis card, followed by another Nottingham resident, A W Lymn, Esq from August 1949. The accompanying old-style buff logbook (issued 1963) lists a Francis Gibbons, of Bulwell, Nottinghamshire as owner from 1956, followed by A W Slater, of Aberdeen in 1964. Martin Grocott is recorded as owner from August 1981 on the accompanying old-type Swansea V5, but it is not known when the car was acquired for the Collection. A supremely elegant motor car epitomising the very best of British coachbuilding of the period, the vehicle is offered with the aforementioned documentation and expired MoT (1983). It should be noted that the engine number is incorrectly recorded on the V5.