1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E
Lot 462¤
Originally owned by the Honorable Peter Beatty, son-in-law of Marshall Field,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Cabriolet Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E
Sold for US$ 82,800 inc. premium

Lot Details
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet  Chassis no. 3 DL 118 Engine no. Z28E
Originally owned by the Honorable Peter Beatty, son-in-law of Marshall Field
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Cabriolet
Coachwork by Park Ward

Chassis no. 3 DL 118
Engine no. Z28E
By the late 1930s, coachbuilding design had evolved considerably from the 'Roaring Twenties' days, and there were far fewer open sporting bodies built at all on Rolls-Royce automobiles. Gone were the days of lavish spartan 'Torpedos' that were built on the first two series of Phantom chassis. The fashion was slightly more austere and inclined toward two door 'Drophead Coupes' which offered fully open or fully enclosed road conditions, and were more orientated to the owner-driver market. At the top end, luxury cars were still fully coachbuilt operations though, and the buyer of a Rolls-Royce was certainly in a position to decide precisely how their car would look and for what purpose it would be built, and a few of those clientele commissioned full 'all weather' bodies on the V12 Phantom III chassis. The numbers built were certainly modest at the time, and survivors such as this are even fewer.

This particular Cabriolet was purchased new by The Honorable Peter Beatty, resident of Reigate Priory in South London. Peter, was son of Admiral Earl Beatty, a phenomenally successful Royal Navy officer, who became the youngest officer ever to hold the rank of Admiral at the age of 48. Admiral Beatty had married Ethel Tree, daughter of famed Chicago Department Store magnate Marshall Field in 1901. Their marriage had been rather controversial at the time, because Mrs. Field was already married to Arthur Tree, and initially neither the Admiral's father, nor Marshall Field approved. Admiral Beatty and his wife Ethel had purchased Reigate Priory in South London in 1921, and on his death in 1936, the Priory was inherited by Peter, the Phantom was registered new there in the Spring of 1937.

As new, the coachbuilder notes detail it to have been a "green – slightly darker than the owner's present car", its fenders, 'Ace' wheel discs and chassis were black, and it had yellow fine lines to the wheel discs. The interior specification was carefully detailed with corresponding green leather, green cloth pockets and carpet, while the top and top boot were in fawn 'double duck' fabric. Additional details included in the order were a loose cushion for the driver's seat, 'foot hassocks', a leather rug rail behind the division, 8 Day Clock on the division, Motorola Radio Set and a 'Detachable GB plate'.

Rather interestingly, the car's next owner was Captain Michael Tree, the grandson of Ethel Field's former marriage. This ownership lasted no more than eight months at which point the car passed to Barlow Pye of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, the start of an eight year sojourn in that country. It was there that it was acquired by Clifford R. Nelson, the American Consulate General, based in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1962. While in Mr. Nelson's hands it is thought that the Phantom was brought to the US for the first time.

Upon coming stateside, 3 DL 118 was acquired by Robert Wilke of Menlo Park, CA. Mr. Wilke reported the car to be in original condition in his 1974 application to the Phantom III Technical Society—an application that was sent direct to Robert Shaffner. Maintained by Mr. Wilke, at press time, it is unknown how long he maintained his ownership of the car but it did remain in Northern California until it joined Mr. Shaffner's esteemed collection.

On acquisition some initial cleaning, tidying and then dismantling work was undertaken, but the project was never more than tentatively started and today the car remains in a condition that is best described as appearing to be predominantly intact but desiring and worthy of sympathetic restoration. It is reported to run and drive, having last been started at the beginning of this year, it is understood to be in good mechanical condition.

To return this important car to its original livery and specification detail would unquestionably provide its new owner with a very striking and luxurious touring car for all seasons.

Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this vehicle is titled as 1939
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Collection Notices


Lots must be paid for and collected from the sale venue by 12pm Tuesday October 9. Lots are at the buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advised that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of the sale.

Bonhams will be accepting payment directly after the auction on Monday evening and between 8.30am and 12pm on Tuesday October 9. Please note that we will close promptly at 12pm; therefore any payment and collection appointments begin no later than 11.30am on Tuesday October 9.

Representatives of Bonhams' preferred carriers will be present at the sale and can arrange transportation as agents for the buyer or the seller as the case may be.

You may have an authorized agent collect your purchases as long as they are removed from the auction site by 12pm Tuesday October 9.

If Bonhams does not receive motor vehicle collection details from the buyer by 12pm on Tuesday October 9, Passport Auto Transport will automatically collect and store the purchased lot(s). Motor vehicle removal and storage charges will be charged by Passport Auto Transport according to standard rates and the ultimate destination of the vehicle. Bonhams urges buyers to inquire in advance. Please notify us of your collection plans upon payment.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to separately inform their shipper of the location of the property, its collection and forwarding, the costs of which will be paid for by the buyer after the applicable uplift and storage charges have been paid.

Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, title documents and keys relating to their lot(s) at time of collection.

Domestic Motorcar Transport:
Passport Auto Transport, contact Mike Goforth
+1 (800) 325 4267

International Motoring Transport:
All Shore Forwarders, Ltd., contact Brian Weiner
+1 (732) 212 1515

Schumacher Cargo Logistics, contact Warren Barnes
+1 (310) 626 7117

For the Automobilia Uncollected Lots, Moving and Storage:
Uncollected automobilia lots will be removed to Navis Pack & Ship for shipment or for collection by the buyer or third party agent. Instructions for collection from Navis Pack & Ship will be given to buyers at the time of payment. A representative from Navis will be available to assist clients with shipping quotes via phone and email.
Navis contact information:
Peter Michaelson, Owner
+1 (610) 534 0750 or

Please note that uncollected automobilia lots that are removed to Navis for storage or shipping are subject to uplift charges applied according to the size and fragility of a lot or lots. Lots are also subject to storage fees. Buyers are responsible for all such charges and fees.

Bonhams - Philadelphia Details
Simeone Automotive Museum
6825-31 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA, 19153

From Thursday October 4 to 12pm Tuesday October 9, we can be reached at either: +1 (212) 461 6514
+1 (212) 644 9007 fax or

+1 (215) 492 2800
+1 (215) 492 2801 fax

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
¤ Without reserve
  1. Rupert Banner
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6515
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007
  2. Evan Ide
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Work Boston, United States
    Work +1 917 340 4657
Similar Items