1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville by Gurney Nutting
|Odometer reading||60,196 miles|
|Estimate||£110,000 - £140,000|
- Original Gurney Nutting bodywork
- Interesting history
- Delightful condition
Replacing the elegant Silver Ghost chassis was no easy task for Rolls-Royce. After the end of the Great War and in the depths of a recession a smaller, cheaper, 20HP six cylinder model was designed. Innovative features were incorporated with the engine such as overhead valve gear and a centre change gearbox. The new model which debuted in 1925 was a more than worthy successor. Later named the Phantom I, the new model took Rolls-Royce into the modern mid-twenties era of motoring. The design philosophy of the marque remained careful evolution rather than revolutionary.
Introduced at the Olympia Motor Exhibition in 1935, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III was an immediate favourite of the ruling classes. With innovative engineering and an imposing presence, the Phantom III was the most sophisticated and powerful pre-war Rolls-Royce. Mounted behind the unmistakable radiator was something entirely new and unique to the Phantom III, an all-aluminium V12 engine. In fact, the Phantom III was the first and only Rolls-Royce powered by 12 cylinders until the introduction of the Silver Seraph in 1998. This engine, displacing 7.3 litres, featured a twin ignition system along with twin spark plugs per cylinder, twin fuel pumps, aluminium heads and wet liners. 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.
Despite its size, the Phantom III was quite brisk in its performance, operating in near silence. Like its iconic forbearer the Silver Ghost, the Phantom III was capable of reaching speeds nearing 100 miles per hour, an impressive feat for any motorcar of the era. Most chassis were fitted with large four door bodies, well suited to the dimensions and proportions of the car. Just 727 examples were manufactured when production came to an abrupt end in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II, with Rolls-Royce shifting all production to aiding the war effort.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was an exclusively coachbuilt automobile. Most of the great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the Phantom III chassis. Some of the most widely admired were the work of J Gurney Nutting, who were responsible for bodying this car, chassis number '3AX109'. Gurney Nutting gained its Royal Warrant in the early 1930s and added Daimler and Rolls-Royce to their portfolio in the mid 1920s.
This outstanding Phantom III Sedanca de Ville was originally supplied to the Marquess of Queensberry and has spent much of its life in the U.S. The coachwork is in good order, as is the interior and chromework. Without doubt this Rolls-Royce, with such an impressive stature, has been lovingly cared for and whether you are the driver of this vehicle or a passenger, the level of comfort and smoothness is unrivalled. In recent times, this car has been part of a private collection and used very little of late. We are advised she drives well with no known faults; the car comes with a V5C registration document and an almost complete set of tools in the boot.
Thought to have been restored in the U.S., this car features in Lawrence Dalton's book, 'Rolls-Royce The Derby Phantoms' (page 371) and is recorded in several editions of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club's Directory.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.