The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR

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Lot 655
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built, 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer
Chassis no. S178FR

Sold for US$ 172,000 inc. premium
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer
Coachwork by Brewster & Company

Chassis no. S178FR
In 1927 Springfield changed over to the New Phantom, which interrupted production but improved the quality and performance of the product. At the same time Rolls-Royce introduced a series of new and up-to-date designs by Brewster which have become some of the most attractive and eagerly sought examples of classic Rolls-Royce coachwork. Designed with input from sales manager J.S. Inskip, the elegant, flowing, classic lines of the Ascot sport phaeton, the jaunty York roadster and Regent convertible coupe with their side entrance rumble seat doors and the luxurious closed Avon sedan established a precedent for quality, comfort and luxury which persists to this day in Rolls-Royce's reputation.

At some later date, Rolls-Royce went through a period when they acquired a fuddy-duddy image, but this was anything but the marque's style in the late Twenties. A November 1929 ad in Vogue magazine made it clear that performance was an essential characteristic.

"Somewhere between you and the graceful little figure-head that rides that radiator, you know a powerful motor is purring. You know it by the ease with which you glide up hills, and by the swallow-flight of the scenery."

Fashionable, reliable and powerful, a Rolls-Royce had instant cachet wherever it appeared, strengthening the image of its owners and freeing them from worry about mundane matters of performance, comfort and reliability so they could concentrate on their business and social activities. Lightweight, sporting, open coachwork like the Ascot sport phaeton made the most of the Phantom I's 7,668cc engine which some outside reports describe as having 113 brake horsepower.

As production progressed there were a number of improvements/refinements made to the American model, by the time this example was sold they were equipped with 20 inch wheels and an aluminum cylinder head had been introduced.

This Ascot is fresh from a decades long hibernation and represents a remarkable survivor of this coveted model. Copies of the factory records confirm that the car was sold new through J.S. Inskip to R. Griffin of Jersey City, New Jersey in August, 1929, who it was believed owned a successful shoe polish business. The cards appear to note that Griffin traded the Ascot for Phantom II number 255 AJS, at which point it was sold to Bernard Heaton of Boston.
 
Heaton kept the car until 1946 when it was offered on consignment with Elliot Hawley and in February the following year it was sold to Peter Franz of Brooklyn.

Beyond Franz the car's history includes a number of important pioneering collectors, who clearly understood how good a car this was. The first of these was Henry Wing, who the Rolls-Royce Owner Club notes restored the car while in his ownership between 1953 and 1956. The next was William O'Connor a prominent Veteran Motor Car Club of America member who used the car regularly and it is his monogram that can still be found on the car. He wrote a couple of articles in the club gazette charting enjoyable tours made in the Ascot. From O'Connor the car went to Paul Stern, another early connoisseur of collector cars, whose business was the original Manheim Auto Auction, based in his hometown of Manheim, Pennsylvania. In whose ownership the car is illustrated in the well-known book Rolls-Royce in America by John Webb de Campi. Stern sold the car to a fourth serious car collector, Wally Rank of Wisconsin and he in turn sold the car to the current owner in the mid-1980s.

The car was last on the road shortly after this and has remained in storage until recent times. Close inspection today reveals a number of specific details which the car retains and are most probably original order options, being windshield mounted mirrors (not currently fitted), arm rests to the back seats and a particularly desirable feature of the more sporting 'Derby Speedster' style top.
 
A combination of its lengthy period of rest and this simple chain of knowledgeable collectors has ensured that the car is for the most part highly original, albeit sympathetically restored 6 decades ago. It is thought that this includes its top, interior and the owner believes most of the paint also.

Quite possibly a 'preservation class' candidate, or the basis for a comprehensive rebuild, either way this is an interesting find deserving of close inspection.
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
The ex-Henry Wing, ex-Paul Stern, one of 28 Ascots built,1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Tourer  Chassis no. S178FR
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