1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Enclosed Sports Limousine  Chassis no. 3BT85 Engine no. V88G

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Lot 37
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Enclosed Sports Limousine
Chassis no. 3BT85 Engine no. V88G

US$ 325,000 - 350,000
£ 250,000 - 270,000
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Enclosed Sports Limousine
Coachwork by Hooper & Co. Ltd

Chassis no. 3BT85
Engine no. V88G
A star of the 1935 London Motor Show, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III represented a departure from everything that had gone before. Under the hood was a new V-12 with overhead valves, pushrod-operated with hydraulic lifters. The 7,430cc engine developed 165bhp. The four-speed gearbox was synchronized on the top three, and a new independent front suspension drew much from General Motors design. Compared to earlier models, the radiator was further forward, necessary because the engine had been similarly moved, and this gave the car a more imposing look.

Most Phantom IIIs were clothed in traditional British coachwork, but this car is one of a few built by Hooper & Co. to a design by the French coachbuilder Saoutchik. The Gallic influence can be easily seen in the car’s lines, which are much more flowing than was typical, and in the additional ornamentation, which the British idiom would consider gaudy.

Having spent most of its life in the United Kingdom, this Phantom III was imported to the United States in 2000. Prior to importation, it was stripped to bare metal and repainted in its original dark blue. The interior was completely re-trimmed in soft grey leather. A mechanical refurbishment was carried out by noted PIII specialist John Merryfield. The car was completely rewired at this time, and fitted with a new radiator core.

It has a full sunroof over the driver’s seat, and an electric division window. Two trays in the passenger compartment fold away into the division partition. The car recently took part in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance along 17-Mile Drive and the Pacific Coast Highway. It has just undergone an extensive service and detailing at a cost of $20,000.

The most complex motor car ever made by Rolls-Royce, the Phantom III is also one of the rarest and most elegant. Just 727 were built through the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939. This car’s flowing Saoutchik lines offer an uncommon alternative to the more traditional stance of British coachwork.
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Enclosed Sports Limousine  Chassis no. 3BT85 Engine no. V88G
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Enclosed Sports Limousine  Chassis no. 3BT85 Engine no. V88G
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