1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25
Lot 320
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd Registration no. 157 XUM Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25
£130,000 - 160,000
US$ 210,000 - 260,000

Lot Details
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 101MW Engine no. WP25
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd

Registration no. 157 XUM
Chassis no. 101MW
Engine no. WP25

Footnotes

  • The Phantom II Continental was the last Rolls-Royce to be designed under the personal supervision of Henry Royce, before his death in 1933. As its name suggest, this new Rolls-Royce was intended for fast continental touring; indeed, in the 1930s there were few roads in Britain where its outstanding performance could safely be exploited to the full.

    The Phantom II had been introduced in 1929 as a successor to the New Phantom (retrospectively Phantom I) with deliveries commencing in September of that year. Unlike its predecessor, which inherited its underpinnings from the preceding 40/50hp model, the Silver Ghost, 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, creating sleeker designs than the upright ones of the past.

    The engine too had come in for extensive revision. The PI's cylinder dimensions and basic layout - two blocks of three cylinders, with an aluminium 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, particularly of the Continental model, and the ability to accommodate weightier coachwork. Designed around the short (144") Phantom II chassis and introduced in 1930, the Continental version was conceived as 'an enthusiastic owner driver's car', featuring revised rear suspension, a higher axle ratio and lowered steering column. By the end of production the magnificent Phantom II Continental was good for 95mph. 'Powerful, docile, delightfully easy to control and a thoroughbred, it behaves in a manner which is difficult to convey without seeming to over-praise,' declared The Motor after testing a PII Continental in March 1934.

    Highly favoured by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II chassis provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day, getting off to a flying start when a pre-production model ('26EX') designed by Ivan Evernden and made by Barker & Co (Henry Royce's favourite coachbuilder) won the Grand Prix d'Honneur at the Biarritz Concours d'Elegance in September 1930.

    Produced for a relatively short period, during which time only 281 examples were completed, the Phantom II Continental typically sold for around £2,500 (more in some cases), a quite staggering amount to ask for a motor car and equivalent to the cost of no fewer than six or seven average-priced houses in the UK at that time! The Continental's - necessarily wealthy - owners included such famous names as the racing drivers Sir Malcolm Campbell and Woolf Barnato, Prince Ali Khan, Princess Alexis Midvani, the Prince of Nepal, Lord Londesborough, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Roseberry, Lord Doverdale, Lionel de Rothschild, Anthony de Rothschild, the Maharaja of Bahawalpur, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, N S Gulbenkian and Noel Coward.
    Chassis number '101MW' was completed in September 1933 with Park Ward sports saloon coachwork to the 'standardised' design for first owner Captain William P A'Hearn. Built on the short chassis and equipped with the high-compression engine, it has the improved gearbox (with synchromesh on the top two gears), adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers and Rolls-Royce's new single-jet semi-expanding carburettor, all newly introduced for 1933. Other noteworthy features include the 'F' rake steering, single offside-mounted enclosed spare wheel, full-length sliding sunroof, and bonnet louvres extending back onto the scuttle. The car still has the lady's vanity mirror in the rear compartment and the original body's identity plate remains attached.

    '101MW' went to the USA in the late 1950s and was the subject of a 'body off' rebuild carried out during the 1960s. Having had only one owner for 40 years, the Phantom was sold at auction in January 2008 and returned to the UK via The Real Car Company in Wales. Since its return home, the car has benefited from considerable expenditure on mechanical refurbishment, including a total engine rebuild in 2010 (see associated invoices and photographic record on file). Other works undertaken include a complete braking system overhaul, renewing the clutch, and fitting a stainless steel exhaust system. The car now has a full-flow oil filter, twin spotlights and an overdrive unit for more relaxed cruising and better fuel economy. Although now more than 40 years old, the paintwork and trim have held up well and are described as in generally good condition, nicely patinated. Offered with aforementioned invoices and V5C registration document, this beautiful Phantom II is perfect for long-distance touring in supreme style. Without question a car for the connoisseur.
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