1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
Make : Rolls-Royce
Model : Phantom II Continental
Coachbuilder : Binder of Paris
Body Type : Drophead Coupe
Colour : Black
Trim : Black 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. Although all Phantom II Continentals should be considered special motor cars, some are a cut above the rest. One of the finest examples left in existence today, perhaps the finest, comes in the form of Chassis No 41GX. It was originally delivered in chassis form to the Swiss Rolls-Royce agent Herr H. Schmidt who entrusted Kellner Carrosserie to produce him a close coupled saloon style body. The completed car was exhibited at the 1931 Geneva Motor Show where it was photographed and subsequently featured by Motor Magazine. On September the 14th 1932 the car was supplied to its first private owner, Mr Joseph Rubin of Geneva who kept the car for just over a year before selling it to Mr J. Poberejsky of Paris who was involved with Mercedes-Benz in the French capital. Mr Poberejsky kept Chassis No 41GX in its original form until 1935 when he discussed a new body with the famous Parisian coachbuilders Binder. Following some adjustments and consultation with the powers that be at Rolls-Royce, a stylish drophead coupe body was completed, a body it has retained to this day. The rear portion of the coachwork is sealed, with access to the spare wheel and storage space found behind the folding rear seat. The rear compartment also has two occasional seats that fold out as and when required. Mr Poberejsky’s connection with Mercedes-Benz is highlighted somewhat in the finished design, with its rakish appearance, low hood line, angled wind shield, elegant wing line and long sculpted tail. Chassis No 41GX can certainly be compared in a number of ways with the Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster design that is still held in such high regard by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The car remained in Paris until 1937 when sold to Mr D.Djordjadze who subsequently moved to the United States, taking the car with him. He retained ownership until 1954 when selling the car to a New York hotelier, Mr Vincente who in turn sold the car just a year later, to Mr Djordjadze’s stepson Mr Paul Ilyinski who was the great grandson of Czar Alexander III of Russia. Two years later the car was purchased by American collector Mr Randall Stewart who returned the car to Rolls-Royce in 1970 where Chassis No 41GX enjoyed a complete restoration. The current and most recent owner purchased the car in 1998 in America and had the engine totally overhauled the following year to ensure complete reliability and correct performance. It subsequently became a regular attendee at many RROC events all over America before returning to Europe again in more recent years. Its only major concours outing took place in 2003 at the famed and prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where it was awarded the coveted “Best of Show” award. Since its major success at concours level Chassis No 41GX has been driven regularly and correctly maintained. We consider the Phantom II Continental as a model to be one of the very best pre-war Rolls-Royces and in our opinion Chassis No 41GX is perhaps the most stylish example left in existence today. The opportunity to acquire this breathtakingly beautiful motor car may not be repeated for a generation. We welcome serious telephone enquiries (Please note that this vehicle is currently Swiss registered. Importation back into the European Union would require a 5% tax to be paid on the sale price)
Major concours winner nine years ago. Correctly maintained ever since.
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.7 litres displacement, 7,668cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.