The ex-Marjorie Merriweather Post
1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner & Co.
Chassis no. 5LAT82
Engine no. P2129
* 6,230cc V8
* GM 4-speed Hydramatic transmission
* 145" wheelbase
* Originally owned by America's wealthiest woman
* Comprehensively restored and impeccably maintained
* One of eight Phantom Vs to this design
* Numerous bespoke features
* Electric division
* Factory air conditioning
Introduced in the autumn of 1959, Rolls-Royce's new 6,230cc all-alloy V8 engine powered the Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 sedans as well as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. The new Phantom V long-wheelbase limousine effectively replaced both the royalty/heads of state-only Phantom IV and the Silver Wraith. The latter's relatively short - for a limousine - wheelbase had made it all but impossible for coachbuilders to provide adequate trunk space in a comfortable seven-seater automobile, a shortcoming addressed by the Phantom V. Built on a much-modified and strengthened 'Cloud II chassis employing the same 145" wheelbase as the IV, the new Phantom measured almost 20 feet in length and enabled coachbuilders to combine the desirable qualities of spacious interior accommodation with generous boot space and graceful lines. A lower final drive ratio ensured that top speed remained in excess of 100mph and the new Phantom could all but match its stablemates for acceleration.
The original coachwork fitted to 5LAT82 is H.J. Mulliner's design no. 7516, cataloged as a Special Semi-Razor Edge Touring Limousine and one of only eight cars completed to this design, this example wearing body number 6447. The upper body was originally finished in Shell Grey over black with beige cloth upholstery piped in leather. The car additionally featured an electrically-operated division, power windows, radio with controls mounted in the rear of the division and special cabinet work in the rear compartment, including a cocktail cabinet with space for two decanters and four glasses.
The Rolls-Royce was delivered through J.S. Inskip, Inc. of New York on May 11, 1961 to Daniel O'Conor of Palm Beach, Florida. O'Conor was the lawyer for Marjorie Merriweather Post and it is thought the car was actually purchased on her behalf, being kept at her Mar-A-Lago estate on Palm Beach Island. The Phantom V was the perfect mode of conveyance for Post, a leading socialite and at one time America's wealthiest woman, and represented the latest in a long line of Rolls-Royce motor cars that began in 1927 with the purchase of a 20hp and Springfield Phantom I.
A Florida car until the mid-1970s, the Phantom V was owned by Jon Frazier of Detroit, Michigan in 1975 before passing to a long-term custodian in the Northwest. The previous owner, well known in Rolls-Royce club circles, embarked on an extensive restoration of the car that was completed in 1999. The color scheme was changed to match the dark grey on maroon and light grey used on the Mayor of Dublin's own Phantom V, while the interior was extensively refurbished with new grey leather upholstery, new headliner, burr walnut woodwork and chrome. The car was mechanically restored, from the motor to the power windows, using only Rolls-Royce approved parts.
The current custodians purchased the car seven years ago and have cherished it since, always maintaining the Rolls-Royce in first class condition regardless of cost. Invoices on file confirm that an amount in excess of $50,000 has been invested in this magnificent motor car over the past several years. Work performed has included a comprehensive overhaul of the motor, the transmission (with new ring gear on the flywheel and front seal), fitting a new starter motor, fuel pump, overhauling the brakes, repairing the air conditioning/heater unit with a new compressor, rear heater assembly and motor, and numerous smaller items requiring attention.
With just over 29,000 miles recorded, the interior presents nicely with the original clock working and a modern CD/radio unit recently installed (the original radio is available). The car is accompanied by extensive documentation, including copies of the original Rolls-Royce and H.J. Mulliner build sheets, service and restoration receipts and an original Phantom V handbook.