1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sports Limousine Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd Registration no. UKE 886B Chassis no. 3DL38 Engine no. K588
The most captious critic is obliged to admit that a Phantom III provides all that can be wished for in a large luxury motor-car. The comfort, silence and road-holding with really impressive acceleration and maximum speed made a combination of virtues which few cars of the time could equal. - Anthony Bird, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, 1964. Perhaps the most outstanding luxury car of the 1930s - certainly on this side of the Channel - was the Rolls-Royce Phantom III. Introduced in 1936, the 7,340cc V12-engined Phantom III succeeded the Phantom II, the six-cylinder engine of which was considered to be at the end of its development life. The choice of a V12 configuration was a logical one for Rolls-Royce, the company already having had considerable experience of manufacturing V12 aero engines such as that used in the record-breaking Supermarine S6B seaplane. No doubt another consideration was the need to match the multi-cylinder opposition, notably the V16 Cadillac and V12 Hispano-Suiza. A state-of-the-art design employing advanced materials and techniques such as skeleton cylinder blocks with wet liners and aluminium alloy cylinder heads, the PIII V12 produced 165bhp in its debut form. The maximum output was subsequently raised to 180 brake horsepower, which was sufficient to propel later examples to 100mph, earlier models being capable of around 90. Its engine configuration aside, the Phantom III represents an important milestone in the history of Rolls-Royce cars, being the first with independent front suspension. A total of 710 had been manufactured when WW2 halted production, of which around 300 exist worldwide today. Sold on 10th May 1938 to Jack Barclay Ltd, of Hanover Square, London W1, chassis number 3DL38 wears sports limousine (saloon-with-division) coachwork by Park Ward Ltd in the then fashionable semi razor edge style. The accompanying copy order form records the first owner as one William Murray, while the chassis card lists one G Dawson, Esq of Cheltenham as owner from 26th August 1946. Other more noteworthy owners listed include Fleet Street press baron, Lord Beaverbrook (in 1949) and Manchester-based architect, Joseph Sunlight (from October 1950). Stafford Training Services is listed as owner from 31st March 1982 on the accompanying old-type Swansea V5 document, the previous having been one Albert John Wilkins, of Basted, Kent.