1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II 40/50hp Sedanca de VilleCoachwork by Park Ward
Rolls-Royce's pre-war masterpiece, the Phantom II, vied with the equally finely engineered products of the likes of Napier, Lanchester, Daimler and Bentley in the U.K., Hispano-Suiza and Isotta-Fraschini in mainland Europe and of course Cadillac and Packard in America for a share of the lucrative top end of the luxury car market. Many consider that Royce's Phantom II had no equals and indeed contemporary reports waxed eloquent about the model.
The Phantom II found favour with the rich and famous and Royalty, notable owners including Viscount Rothermere, H.H. The Bahedur of Rajkot, N.S. Gulbenkian, The Maharajah of Jodphur, Noel Coward, Tommy Sopwith, Commander Glen Kidston and World Speed Record holder, Sir Malcolm Campbell. Such a client list says all for the quality of the Phantom.
Chassis no. 134 GN was ordered in 1930 for its American customer, Mrs J L Livermore, and delivered in July that year to the U.S.A. The order specified the Long Type chassis with nickel fittings and matt nickel finish to the radiator shutters. A rear wheel carrier was ordered and Dunlop Fort tyres were listed on the specification sheet. The Sedanca de Ville coachwork was to the design and build of Park Ward and the completed car was finally tested at Park Ward on 25th July 1930 and shipped aboard SS Minnewaska on 15th August 1930 from London to New York. Mrs Livermore can only have been delighted with her purchase which would certainly have stolen the limelight in the line up of Cadillacs and Packards at the finest of any grand US social events.
Chassis no. 134 GN was meticulously restored in its previous ownership, that of the late British collector-dealer extraordinaire Terry Cohn, to the standards that Mrs Livermore undoubtedly expected when she ordered her new car. Rolls-Royce restoration specialist, David Hemmings, superbly repainted the coachwork in black over ivory and the interior upholstery was entrusted to Mike Thomas. New carpets were also fitted throughout. A demanding client would have required the finest of fittings in 1930 and this car does not fall short. The rear cocktail cabinet contains decanters and bottles while the car is furnished also with 'his and hers’ vanity sets to the rear and is equipped with posey holders and canes. The rear trunk houses a small picnic hamper, oil cans, comprehensive tool set and a shooting stick together with a spare bulb holder. The spare wheel is mounted on the rear of the car, as originally specified, and the car is presented with stylish wheel discs and of course bears proudly the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot.
The detailed restoration of this car was completed circa 2000, soon after which it was acquired by the present owner, a private Swiss collector. Further maintenance has been carried out by Rolls-Royce & Bentley in Geneva for which invoices totaling CHF.30,000 (£20,000) are on file. Mileage covered in the present ownership amounts to less than 1,000 miles, and we feel that 134 GN would undoubtedly be a serious concours d' elegance contender at the most select events. Previously UK registered ‘SV 6730’, it is now offered with a Swiss ‘carte grise’ registration document and copies of the factory build sheets.