1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Dual Cowl Touring
Chassis no. 196 XJ
Engine no. GB 75
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. 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. The engine too had come in for extensive revision. The later Phantom I's cylinder dimensions and basic layout - two blocks of three cylinders, with an aluminum 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.
Factory records note that 196 XJ was supplied new to Mrs. Baring, whose address was listed as Dorchester or Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, W1, it was almost certainly registered in London also as it still wears a British Registration plate 'GJ 4488' being a London issued number. Within a short space of time this was amended to Hotel Palais d'Orsay, Paris. Mrs Baring certainly had taste in her choice of hotels as she did with her automobiles. Unusually, the Phantom is listed as having been bodied originally with Double Pullman Limousine coachwork by master craftsmen Barker & Co. The term Double Pullman owed much to carriage or railway carriage design and was associated with the height of luxury. It is not known how long Mrs. Baring retained the car for.
It was very common for the austere times of the late 1920s that many of the cars built received formal town coachwork, but retrospectively the era is more associated with sporting or open cars, and it is therefore very common to see the renowned and reliable Rolls Phantom chassis re-clothed in open touring coachwork, such as this car wears today. The design owes much to the few late 1920s Barker tourers built and features attractive details such as its dual cowl and second screen, as well as sculpted 'helmet' style fenders.
Kicker plates on the body proclaim Frank Dale & Stepsons, confirming that at some time the car passed through this famed London car dealer, while in the mid 2000s it was listed with the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club as having been owned by Daryl Carter in Lexington, Kentucky. Today, our seller reports that the car has recently been freshened and received a service, while generally the car may be described as being in driver rather than show condition. With four commodious seats, a full top and ample power available from the 7.6 liter motor as well as a whole host of events for these cars this Phantom Rolls offers a very usable proposition.