The Gilded History of the Rolls-Royce Phantom
Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, is quoted as saying, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it doesn’t exist, design it.” Those are some pretty heavy words, but it’s the right credo for an automaker like Rolls-Royce. With a history of producing some of the most elegant, opulent, and downright desirable luxury vehicles on the planet, perfection isn’t just a goal – it’s an expectation. Such is the case with the Phantom, Rolls-Royce’s highly recognizable flagship model. These are cars that are destined for the stables of royalty, acting as a rolling signature of power, wealth, and prestige.
Lead by the trademark Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood, the Phantom comes equipped with top-shelf extravagance and lavishness, offering high levels of personalization to those select buyers with pockets deep enough to really enjoy it. Currently offered in a variety of different flavors, including the standard Phantom, an Extended Wheelbase model, a Coupe, and a Drophead Coupe, Rolls has announced a new eighth generation slated for release later this week. However, the history of the nameplate is rapidly approaching a full century at this point, so how’d we get here? To find out, we delved into the Phantom’s history, taking a look at the seven generations that have come and gone since the model’s introduction in 1925.
Continue reading for The Gilded History of the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
There was no shortage of absolutely amazing luxury cars in 1930, all of the big names in luxury were still operating, and custom coachbuilt bodies were very much the norm. But even within the realm of these hyper-luxury cars that were built for literal royalty, some were a bit more special than others. In the world of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II, which first debuted in 1929, it was the short-wheelbase Continental models that were the rarest and most coveted. These two-seat versions of the car are the rarest, and also the ones where the coachbuilders really got creative.
Most of the Phantom II bodies were built by the usual coachbuilders that worked with Rolls-Royce on its volume-selling models, these being primarily Mulliner and Park Ward. But for really special models, cars that were being sold to royalty or the extremely rich, the chassis were frequently sent to Barker. That is what happened with this Phantom II Torpedo Sports, which sports an unusual body that was the absolute bleeding edge of design for 1930. This went on top of an all-new Continental chassis that was a complete redesign from the Phantom I. It’s a different sort of car, but very much in a good way.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II Torpedo Sports.
James Bond may be a fictional character to all of us, but the dashing debonair / awesome secret agent is still an inspiration to all of us. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? He’s got a killer job, he scores the hottest women, and best of all - at least in our case - he drives the fanciest cars.
That last part is such an integral part of the Bond legend that an exhibition is actually being planned to showcase the largest collection of James Bond vehicle to ever be displayed. The whole event is being prepared through the collaborative efforts of the UK’s National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and EON Productions, which is doing the groundwork for the event in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s Bond franchise.
Around 50 cars are expected to be included in the exhibit highlighted by the 2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace, the 2002 Jaguar XKR with SFX weapons from Die Another Day, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye, and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger.
The exhibit will be held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, United Kingdom and will run the entire length of the 2012 calendar year.
“Following the success of the first Bond cars exhibition staged at Beaulieu in 2001, we are delighted to be working with EON again on this new display, bringing together the world’s largest collection of Bond vehicles, Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said.
The exhibit won’t open for another few months, but it’s safe to say that we’ll be dropping by to check it out if we find ourselves in the area next year.
It’s not often that a car sells for $850,000 and gets considered one of the biggest bargains in automotive history. But if the car in question is the famed “Star of India” – it’s a one-off 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II 40/50 HP Continental All-Weather Convertible – then you kind of understand why that selling price is ridiculously cheap for this car.
You see, this car is one of the rarest vehicles in the world, which gained notoriety when the Maharaja of Rajkot had it built with some pretty fancy coachwork made by Thrupp and Maberley and finished with saffron ochre and polished aluminum wings.
About a year ago, the car was on sale for an eye-popping €10 million – that’s about $14 million based on current exchange rates. After making its way to a number of auctions, the rare Rolls Royce was finally snagged for a ‘paltry’ $850,000 by an Indian man who – get this – turned out to be one Mandhatasinh Jadeja, a former prince of Rajkot and an actual grandson of the Maharajah. Turns out, Jadeja brought the “Star of India” Rolls Royce as a present to his father on his 75th birthday, effectively bringing the multi-million dollar Rolls Royce back to the family for the first time since the Maharajah sold it back in 1968.
We don’t have $850,000, but if we did and we found out that we could scoop up this car for that amount, we’d be running to the bank faster than a wasted teenager making a beeline for the bathroom. That’s how much of a bargain that price tag is. Of course, the fact that it ended up with its rightful owner does sort of bring a small tear to our eye, albeit a manly tear.
High end sports cars and exclusive supercars are always a treat to come across when participating in an auction, but there is a good amount of people that go to these auctions strictly to find themselves standing in front of a classic beauty. For that group of people we bring a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Salamanca. The Ghost will be at the Brooklands auction this Saturday, September 25th and is expected to bring in about £120,000 - £145,000.
This Roll Royce Ghost, Chassis 112 JH, was one of the 1,701 units produced by the Newhaven factory in Springfield, Massachusetts and it features the exquisite Salamanca coachwork style. The history is this vehicle is especially interesting because after stints in California and New York, this vehicle traveled to South Africa where its engine almost got transferred into a boat. After its near death experience, the Ghost proved itself in the South African National Rally where it won first place in 1955 and 1960
Other vehicles scheduled for auction this Saturday are: a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible (expected to sell for £350,000 - £450,000), a 1965 Ferrari 250GTO Evocazione, a 1933 Singer Nine Le Mans, a 1962 Jaguar E-Type S1 Coupe, and a 1936 Lagonda LG45 Pillarless Sporting Saloon.
Press release after the jump.
Yes, you read the title right; there is a 1914 Rolls Royce for sale, but this is not just any 1914 Rolls-Royce! This is a royal purple 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost that just happened to belong to Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. Interested? The car is available for sale in Germany at a price of 5.5 million euro (or around $6.7 million at the current exchange rates).
This vehicle was built as a special order from the War Department in Russia in 1917 and then transferred to the Tsar. After the murder of the imperial family, the Rolls Royce "experienced" an adventurous life, traveling through half the world, including doing a stint in a car museum where it was displayed next to Adolf Hitler’s Mercedes. Finally the car was bought by a car collector in Germany and was hidden from curious eyes!
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was produced from 1906 to 1925, with 6,173 units produced. It was powered by a 7428cc six-cylinder engine that delivered a total of 48 HP at 1200 rpm and was mated to a three-speed gearbox. The car was capable of a top speed of 24 mph.
A few days ago, we told you about the auction of Richard Solove’s unique collection of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts – one of every model – to benefit his favorite charity, the cancer research center at Ohio State (which just happens to be named for him).
The auction total was $14.3 million.
Well, it seems there’s more to the story.
Solove told the Wall Street Journal that he had been approached by a “Texas plaintiff’s attorney” prior to the auction. The tort lawyer offered Solove $10,000,000 for (...)
1904 is the year that represents the founding brick of what today is one of the most luxurious and expensive automobile manufacturers – The Rolls Royce Company.
The name Rolls Royce is derived from Charles S. Rolls and Henry Royce. These two had absolutely nothing in common. The first was of aristocratic descent, with a distinctive education, whilst the second was the son of an impoverished miller, yet they both teamed up and made one hell of a corporation.
The Silver Wraith, launched in 1947, was an evolution of the pre-war Wraith and was offered in the traditional chassis form ready for the fitting of Bespoke coachwork. The 4,257cc overhead-inlet, side-exhaust engine developed before the war was used, as well as a modified coil and wishbone independent front suspension. Hydraulic brakes were used for the first time on a Rolls-Royce with hydraulic brakes.
The Phantom II replaced the New Phantom in Rolls-Royce’s offerings in 1929. Rolls-Royce of America was commissioned by Mrs. Luden to build a Phantom II left-hand drive chassis in England and ship it to the USA in 1932. Upon its arrival in the U.S., Mrs. Luden commissioned Brewster Body Company to meld her Castagna Sedan Laudaulet body on this chassis. Hence, the Brewster style running boards and etc.