1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25

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Lot 50
A magnificent, unrestored example
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF

US$ 300,000 - 400,000
€ 250,000 - 330,000
Amended
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

Chassis no. 114WR
Engine no. BD25

468ci OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Twin-jet Rolls-Royce Carburetor
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes


*A magnificent, un-restored Phantom 1 Skiff
*Rare H.J. Mulliner custom coachwork
*Interesting ownership history
*Well-documented by Rolls-Royce
*Fewer than 100,000 miles from new



The ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I

The British-built "New Phantom", later to be known as the Phantom 1, was introduced in 1925 as the successor to the much-admired Silver Ghost upon which Rolls-Royce made its name. The New Phantom was offered on both long and short wheelbases, powered by a 7.6-liter overhead-valve engine, whose block was cast in two sections of three cylinders each. A single two-throat carburetor fed the engine, which was sparked by a magneto ignition. The transmission was a four-speed manual delivering power via torque tube to the rear axle, and the car was fitted with quite effective mechanical brakes with a Hispano-Suiza-licensed servo assist taken off the driveshaft. A total of 2212 Phantom 1 chassis were produced from 1925 through 1929, encompassing 17 series, and as was the practice of the day, customers purchased a bare rolling chassis and then selected from a myriad of different coachbuilders.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

We'll probably never know if British Army Lt. Colonel (later Sir) James Nockells Horlick, O.B.E., M.C., M.P., of Little Paddocks, Sunninghill, Berkshire, England, formerly of the Coldstream Guards and Chevalier of the French Legion d'Honneur for his services during World War I, was a sportsman in that sense of the term, but it appears that he wasn't about to be one-upped by his friends and colleagues. We do know that on the 27th of June, 1928, the American-born Baronet placed an order for a new Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Series G2B short-wheelbase (143 ½") chassis with a 40/50 hp engine. Horlick specified that his new car, number 114WR, be at least as fast over the road than 19TC, a Y-series Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 owned by Sir E. Hasich.

Mr. Horlick, scion of the family-owned malted milk business founded by his father, ordered a lightweight, "All-weather" custom four-passenger Skiff body to be constructed by H.J. Mulliner, Ltd. Thanks to the detailed record-keeping of Rolls-Royce Ltd. at Derby, we know that Horlick specified a number of features, including all nickel-plated fittings; adjustable black-painted radiator shutters, a louvered and lockable bonnet, a high-speed rear axle, a 100 mph speedometer, leather spring gaiters, and the battery leads to be installed inside the frame. He also asked for a second spare wheel and two extra tires, and of course, a Spirit of Ecstasy radiator mascot. After making a deposit of £185, the Colonel went about his business. Seven months after placing his order, the Colonel paid the balance of the chassis-only invoice - £709, 14s, and 6p – and the following day, the completed chassis was sent to Mulliner's in Chiswick, West London, which set about building a very attractive and sporting open 2+2 body of wood-framed aluminum with a sharply-slanted windshield. The coachbuilder's notes mention that the twin spare Dunlop 21" wire wheels - matching the four on the ground - were to be carried in the rear of the body, and that the "steps", or running boards, should accommodate 100 lbs of luggage. The rear seats featured inflatable cushions. The elegant instrument panel was quite different from that of any other P1. A set of Barker dipping headlamps and their complex linkage was installed. After completion and a final test by Mulliner's, the Skiff was delivered to the new owner. Rolls-Royce warranty card No. 6060 was issued April 20, 1929.

Assigned registration RX3892, this dashing new 40/50 hp Phantom no doubt set many hearts aflutter when Horlick climbed behind the wheel and cracked the whip. In the early 1960s, when the car was offered for sale through Gardner's of Old Oast House in Canterbury, Kent, the advertisement described it as "One of the rare special cars produced by Rolls-Royce from time to time to order, combining sporting appearance and performance; a very fast car by vintage Rolls-Royce standards."

For some unexplained reason (perhaps the new car wasn't as fast as his friend's), the Colonel held this car for just a few months; Rolls-Royce files show the Phantom soon coming into the hands of Mr. Alfred Pearson, Esq. of Sheffield. In November of 1933, 114WR was sold to Captain A.V. Harvey of Chelsea, London, who retained ownership through the war years. In October, 1947, this Rolls-Royce was acquired by another lawyer, Mr. J. Emsley, Esq., of Bradford, and by September 29, 1950, Rolls-Royce noted that the car had been transferred to Mr. C.C. Tetlock, Esq. of the Manchester School of Motoring in Manchester.

The car was still in England in 1964, owned by antique clock collector Charles Allix, who drove it to Goodwood for the 60th Anniversary celebration of the start of Messers. Rolls and Royce's partnership. Described as running well but a bit scruffy in poorly-applied dark green paint, the car was purchased by Seattle-area collector and restorer Dick Hooper. Prior to export, it was sent to Adams & Oliver, the noted used Rolls-Royce agent in Great Gidding for some cylinder-head work. The car was then shipped to Seattle and driven to Mr. Hooper's home. Other than one brief outing, that may have been the last time the car was driven.

According to one of Mr. Hooper's close friends and fellow restorers, Al McEwan, the careless installation of a new headgasket by Adams & Oliver had allowed water to leak into several cylinders, and the engine eventually rusted and froze. The car was sent over to Eastern Washington for a rebuild and there it languished until the early 2000s. After Mr. Hooper's passing in 2007, the car, still largely disassembled, was tracked down and returned to Seattle by Mr. Hooper's son, Mr. McEwan, and others. It was acquired by well-known Rolls-Royce collector and broker Glynn Morris and then the current owner. The car has been reassembled for display and transport but is not in running order. This very special Rolls-Royce Skiff has never been restored. Its odometer displays a modest 97,822 miles, which are believed to be original. It is supplied with a fabric folding top, but lacks side curtains, spare wheels, and tools.

Here is an unusual opportunity to acquire an original and very sporting H.J. Mulliner-bodied Phantom 1 that would be welcomed at any important Concours d'Elegance offering a Preservation class, or be the basis of a comprehensive restoration. It is believed to be the only Mulliner Phantom 1 Skiff of its type, unique in many regards, and thus worthy of inclusion in any serious collection of early Rolls-Royce automobiles.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.
Contacts
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
1928 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I 40/50HP SKIFF  Chassis no. 114WR Engine no. BD25
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