The ex-Count P. Bon de Sousa, Esq.
1930 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II ALL-WEATHER TOURER
Coachwork by Hooper & Company
Chassis no. 143GN
Engine no. KX35
7,668cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
120bhp at 3,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*The only PII All-Weather Tourer bodied by Hooper
*Originally ordered by Count P. Bon de Sousa, Esq.
*One owner for nearly four decades
*Completed the 2009 Pebble Beach Motoring Classic
*A two-time veteran of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
THE ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II
The Phantom II was introduced in 1929 as a successor to the New Phantom (retrospectively known as the Phantom I). 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 combustion chambers had been redesigned and the 'head was now of the cross-flow type, with inlet and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides. The result of these engine changes was greatly enhanced performance, particularly for the Continental model, and the ability to accommodate weightier coachwork. Highly favored by prominent coachbuilders, the Phantom II chassis provided the platform for some of the truly outstanding designs of its day.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
1,767 Phantom IIs were constructed during the model's five year run but only one was ever fitted with All-Weather Tourer coachwork by famed builders Hooper & Co. Ordered new by Count P. Bon de Sousa Esq., a regal gentleman who split time between fashionable addresses in Paris and London, 143GN was originally intended to be a saloon but was never commissioned as such and has maintained this All-Weather-Tourer body its entire life. A long-wheelbase example, it is outfitted with a Continental specification motor, extra second plates to its Firths rear springs, and a handful of other European features. Chromium plating was initially specified for all that shined, including the radiator and shutters, the Lucas P100 headlights, the mascot, and the windscreen wipers, but prior to delivery, some items ended up with matte nickel.
Count de Sousa kept the car briefly before selling it to E. Frith in Paris in September of 1930. Two years later, A.F.R. Wiggins, Esq. of Kent returned the car to the UK (in April of '32). 143GN then enjoyed a stint in the garage of L.L.B. Anges of London starting in 1934, followed by a Dr. W.L. Milligarr of Portsmouth who is believed to have acquired the car in the fall of 1946. Its last two known English owners were K. Hutchison of Surrey in June of 1951 and finally Eric Michlethwait of London the next year. It was around this time that 143GN moved to California in the care of a homeward bound G.I. Its history from the early 1950s until 1970 is unknown at the time of publication, but the car was found in 1970 in Loleta, California, about 150 miles north of San Francisco, by its longest term owner, Dr. Leon Garoyan. Parked next to a 1930 Pierce-Arrow Model B Dual Cowl Phaeton, which had also come from the U.K., Dr. Garoyan ended up buying both cars.
A very original car at the time of purchase, Dr. Garoyan enjoyed 143GN for more than a quarter century of use as a driver for club activities. In 1995, the decision was made to carry out a meticulous restoration. Mechanical components were entrusted to Stephen Galdrige of Carmichael, California, while Richard Biner, also of Carmichael, was chosen to restore the Phantom's top and upholstery, which features Burgundy colored English leather throughout. Body and paintwork, done in the unusual and attractive color of eggplant, were performed by Kenneth McMurphy of Martinez, California. With restoration complete, 143GN was shown extensively (including a display-only appearance at Pebble Beach), and was the recipient of the prestigious Hooper Award from the Rolls-Royce Owners Club, along with many Most Elegant and Best in Class Concours awards.
Acquired by the vendor after nearly four decades in the care of Dr. Garoyan, 143GN has continued to see enthusiastic and regular use on the road and on the Concours lawn. In 2009, the vendor completed the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, where, without much fuss or bother, he drove 143GN the entire distance from Kirkland, Washington to Monterey, California. Naturally, having completed that and the shorter Tour d'Elegance preceding the Concours, 143GN was rolled onto the lawn on Sunday morning and presented for its second time at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Featured on page 112 of Lawrence Dalton's Those Elegant Rolls-Royces, this wonderful Phantom II still shows beautifully and is presented with its original tools and copies of its Rolls-Royce factory build sheets.