1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
Make : Rolls-Royce
Model : Phantom II Continental
Body Type : Park Ward Style Three Position Drophead Coupe
Colour : Dark Green
Trim : Green Leather
History : In 1929 the arrival of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II set new standards for others to follow. It was a vehicle specifically designed with the chauffeur driven passenger in mind. At the time the only home produced rival to compare with the Phantom II was the Bentley 8 Litre, which was a faster vehicle but was thought to be far less chauffeur friendly, with considerably heavier steering and a gearbox which was more difficult to operate. During the development of the Phantom II, the majority of the long distance testing was carried out on the long straight roads surrounding Chateauroux in France. This fact and Mr Henry Royce’s many journeys between the South of England and the South of France no doubt opened his eyes to the type of motoring not available upon England’s narrow and windy roads. With long distance high speed motoring in mind, the Phantom II Continental chassis was created, the project being personally overseen by Henry Royce with assistance from Ivan Evernden. The whole car, including originally its style of coachwork was conceived by Royce, to be a more sporting and compact four seater owner/driver motor car when compared to the long wheelbase standard Phantom II. Just 281 such chassis were produced and they differentiated themselves from their standard cousins with thicker springs and a 6 inch shorter chassis, measuring 144 inches. The steering column was optionally lowered to what was known as the “F” rake position, and the floor was also lowered to allow more rakish coachwork to be fitted. Mechanically speaking the Continental was fitted with a higher ratio back axle (12/41) which provided brisk acceleration and higher top speeds at lower revolutions. Royce decided that the use of 5 thicker leaf springs as opposed to the standard 9 or 10 would save weight and allow for a smoother ride if the road surface was less than perfect. To assist control of the ride additional shock absorbers were also added to the standard hydraulic units, which were controllable from the driver’s seat in the later examples. With lightweight coachwork being fitted the final result was a motor car capable of carrying four people in comfort, at high speeds, for many hours at a time over great distances. It is rightly considered by many, including ourselves, to be one of the finest pre-war Rolls-Royces ever built. Chassis No 28GX was completed in May of 1931 to the order of Mr George Spencer of Lutterworth in England, fitted with a sports saloon body by Hooper. Little is known of its history until the 1970’s when it was bought by Dr Jean Charles Ryff, a Swiss collector living in Basel. The car was purchased by Dr Ryff in 1975 who then instructed the noted coachbuilder Tony Robinson to construct a new body for the car. Dr Ryff was particularly fond of the coachwork design fitted to Chassis No 195GY which was a drophead coupe design by Park Ward, fitted with a tail mounted trunk and two mounted spare wheels. Tony Robinson was instructed to replicate this design which he faithfully carried out over several years. Chassis No 28GX last changed ownership in 2001, becoming part of a very high quality collection of cars again in Switzerland. The fastidious new owner instructed Coldwell Engineering of Sheffield to inspect the mechanical aspects of the car and to overhaul the engine regardless of cost to ensure completely reliable and correct performance. The cosmetic aspects of the engine bay were also restored to concours standard, the work being completed in 2002. More recently Chassis No 28GX had correct small tools sourced and supplied, set into a fabricated drop down tool tray in the tail mounted trunk. An overdrive unit was also fitted, allowing greater speeds at lower revolutions in both third and fourth gears. This very stylish three position drophead coupe is in top condition and comes complete with extensive history folders documenting the enormous expense this car has benefited from over the past thirty five years. It is in our opinion an ideal pre-war Rolls-Royce for touring and is prepared and ready for the next fortunate owner’s immediate enjoyment.
In very good condition in every respect with detailed history over the past thirty five years.
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.7 litres displacement, 7,668cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.