1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca de Ville
Coachwork by Barker & Co. Coachbuilders
Chassis no. 79 JS
Engine no. CL 65
*7,668cc OHV straight six
*4-wheel, servo-assisted brakes
*Unique Sedanca de Ville Coachwork by Barker & Co.
*Extended louvred hood concealing factory tools
*Comprehensive restoration of exceptional original car
By definition a Rolls-Royce of this era is a special car and the Phantom II model continues to grow in popularity among collectors. Even though each car was hand built and equipped with specifically designed coachwork, there were by the 1930s a number of almost formulaic designs that coachbuilders such as the famed houses of Barker & Co. and Hooper & Co. were adhering to.
There were also some cars, which were so distinct and unusual in their detail that they stand head and shoulders above their brethren as was no doubt intended when they were new, 79 JS is one such car. Its build order records that the entire coachwork was to be constructed on a special subframe, effectively 'channeling' the body over the chassis and it featured an extended hood which reaches almost to the windshield, which was highly unusual a footnote on the records states 'Barkers advise they are making long bonnet themselves'. The combination of these two aspects is a low profile, slightly swept back design with entirely unbroken sides from front to back, the original 'stretched' styling effect.
Barker's records do not survive sadly, but inspection today of the car quickly highlights the plethora of other detail features with which the car was equipped from new, such as the additional sun shade to the windshield, the patented folding Sedanca struts and roll out panel that cover the driver. Beneath the hood, is a well organized set of factory tools. The passenger compartment, which is rather compact, still has room for jump seats, a cocktail cabinet and unusual vanity units which can be adjusted so that the mirrors can be angled to the convenience of their user.
The original beneficiary of this luxury was a Mrs. Quigley of Wolverhampton in the U.K. who kept the car for 6 years, before it passed into another local ownership of the Williams family. Only a handful of others followed in their footsteps, most notably Alec Norman and the racing driver Michael Poberejsky/Mike Sparken. In the mid-1980s it came into the hands of a well known connoisseur dealer Peter Harper, from whom the car was acquired by the present owner in the mid-1980s and joined a prominent stable of fine English motor cars.
By that stage of its life it had still not been restored, but was a totally original and had a modest mileage for its age. The present owner commissioned a comprehensive restoration which was begun in Great Britain and completed on this side of the Atlantic. In place of the car's black paintwork, an Ivory hue was chosen which suits the car well and to complement this a warm sky blue color was used for the interior. A particularly appealing original aspect that was retained is the rear leather covering for the roof, which remains in remarkably good order and gives some idea of how well the car is preserved in general.
Work in America was undertaken by the famed houses of Enfield Auto Restoration Inc. and Bob Jefferson's Sports Classics Ltd. Throughout the restoration all invoices were retained provided a comprehensive document of the work carried out. During this process, a parts book was acquired and it became apparent that the purpose built housings under the hood did not allow for the full set of tools that one of these cars might need. Accordingly, the remainder was acquired and then leather tool rolls were made for them.
On completion, the stunning car was shown and toured at a number of Rolls-Royce Owners Club events, achieving a number of awards. Over the course of the last 15 years, the car has been regularly, but not excessively used and has always been properly maintained, the result being that today its restoration has bedded in and is totally de-bugged, but it is only lightly aged.
Elegant and imposing, yet svelte and cleanly lined, this is a highly interesting and sporting Phantom II, with fully documented history and restoration.