With development of its dependable six-cylinder engine nearing an end and facing competition from faster rivals in the United States market, Rolls-Royce turned to V8 power as the 1960s approached. Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the new 6,230cc all-alloy engine graced the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 as well as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. Alterations to the steering mechanism, now power-assisted as standard, were among the many modifications required to accommodate the wider engine in the existing chassis.
Rolls-Royce's new limousine model, the long-wheelbase Phantom V 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 boot space in a comfortable seven-seater automobile, a shortcoming addressed by the Phantom V. Built on a much modified and strengthened Silver Cloud II chassis enjoying the same 145" wheelbase as the IV, the new Phantom measured over 6 metres (19' 6") 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, while top speed was a little down on that of its stablemates though still in excess of 100mph, the new Phantom could all but match them for acceleration.
Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward Limited produced what was in effect the 'standard' seven-passenger limousine coachwork for the Phantom V. The usual upholstery for the front compartment was leather, which was also included in the list of alternatives for the rear along with West of England cloth. As one would expect in a car of this class, a cocktail cabinet was often incorporated into the rear compartment's cabinetwork, while electric windows and air conditioning were among the preferred options.
Park Ward's design remained substantially unaltered until the introduction of the Silver Cloud III and Bentley S3 in the autumn of 1962 when it was revised to incorporate the new models' four-headlamp lighting arrangement and a completely new above-waistline treatment. Now built by the combined firm of Mulliner, Park Ward, the car lived on into the 1990s as the Phantom VI, its passing in 1992 marking the final demise of the separate-chassis Rolls-Royce.
This Phantom V was first registered in March 1962 to Hanson Haulage Ltd before being reregistered to Hanson Transport Ltd in 1978. It remained with the Hanson family until September 1996 when it was purchased by the current vendor at auction in London. Since then the car has undergone an extensive mechanical and body restoration to the highest standards, being refinished to the vendor's own specification. A comprehensive record of this renovation is available for inspection together with details of the previous service history.
'XFO 820' is finished in Harrods Green with golden basket weave to the side panels, while the interior is in green leather with the Harrods logo screen-printed to the headlining. Interior equipment includes a television, video player, analogue fax machine, telephones (x3), wine cooler and a cocktail cabinet. Described as in generally excellent condition, this unique and imposing limousine had covered only 33,390 miles at time of last (current) MoT and comes complete with the aforementioned restoration invoices and service history, a quantity of expired MoT certificates, Swansea V5 document and a handbook for the Phantom V.