Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E

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Lot 336
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine
Coachwork by Hooper & Co Registration no. GS 7692 Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E

Sold for £ 36,800 (US$ 45,735) inc. premium
Single family ownership from new
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine
Coachwork by Hooper & Co

Registration no. GS 7692
Chassis no. 3CM85
Engine no. Y48E

Footnotes

  • Perhaps the most outstanding luxury car of the 1930s - certainly on this side of the Channel - was the Rolls-Royce Phantom III. Introduced in 1936, the 7,340cc V12-engined Phantom III succeeded the Phantom II, the six-cylinder engine of which was considered to be at the end of its development life. The choice of a V12 configuration was a logical one for Rolls-Royce, the company already having had considerable experience of manufacturing V12 aero engines such as that used in the record-breaking Supermarine S6B seaplane. No doubt another consideration was the need to match the multi-cylinder opposition, notably the V16 Cadillac and V12 Hispano-Suiza.

    A state-of-the-art design employing advanced materials and techniques such as 'skeleton' cylinder blocks with wet liners and aluminium alloy cylinder heads, the PIII V12 produced 165bhp in its debut form. The maximum output was subsequently raised to 180 brake horsepower, which was sufficient to propel later examples to 100mph, earlier models being capable of around 90. Its engine configuration aside, the Phantom III represents an important milestone in the history of Rolls-Royce cars, being the first with independent front suspension. A total of 710 had been manufactured when WW2 halted production, of which around 300 exist worldwide today.

    Chassis number '3CM85' wears standard enclosed limousine coachwork (design '6443') by Hooper & Co, London-based carriage makers to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and arguably the finest of all British coachbuilders. Bonnet flap shutters sloping at 11 degrees; an off-side spare wheel with metal cover; and Ace discs to all wheels are among the many special features listed on the accompanying copy order form. The car was finished in blue to the sides with black roof, wings, wheels and upper body parts, while the interior was upholstered in blue leather to the front compartment and fawn cloth to the rear. The internal division was set back 2½" further than usual and had sliding windows. A Clayton heater was fitted in the rear and the interior woodwork was bright polished burr walnut, as used in the company's London Trials car.

    Ordered by the Clyde Automobile Co on behalf of Sir James Denby Roberts, Bt of Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, the Phantom cost £2,719 at a time when the average UK house cost £540. The car was delivered into the care of Sir James's chauffeur, C Scobie, at Rolls-Royce's Lillie Hall depot in London on 15th January 1938, and was registered 'GS 7692'.

    In a letter on file the Phantom's late owner, aviation heritage pioneer Sir William 'Willie' Roberts, states that he inherited it from his father (Sir James Denby Roberts) in 1973. At that time the car had covered only 46,000 miles from new and retained its original exterior and interior finishes. Sir Willie recalled that the paintwork had been damaged a couple of years previously when a peacock saw its reflection and opted for a fight! He also states that Rolls-Royce had carried out an engine overhaul (believed in 1963) at which time the hydraulic tappets were removed.

    Classic Restorations of Perth serviced the Rolls-Royce, which was used for Continental skiing trips on occasions, being driven from Scotland to the Alps and back. Last used circa 1999, the Phantom has been stored at the family's Strathallan Castle estate ever since. In 2010 an attempt was made to re-commission the car for a family wedding but a lack of time prevented the task's completion. To date, 'GS 7692' has covered only 47,363 miles. Maintained all its life, the car remains in outstandingly original condition, even the tool kit is complete and in place, and must be seen to be fully appreciated. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned copy order form and correspondence, an old-style registration document; additional correspondence; and an old-style V5 registration document. Definitely a car for the connoisseur.
Contacts
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Single family ownership from new,1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine  Chassis no. 3CM85 Engine no. Y48E
Auction information

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Unit 2H
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Marchwood, Southampton
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