1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Open Tourer by Barker

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1929 saw the arrival of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II which 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. The vast majority of the 1,400 or so Phantom II chassis that were produced between 1929 and 1935 were fitted with four door saloon style coachwork, ideal for a chauffeur and his passengers. However, a select few were fitted with more stylish coachwork such as Chassis No 115GY which we are currently offering for sale.

This beautiful Phantom II carries lovely open tourer coachwork by Barker who were well known for this style of open body known as a "barrel sided tourer". When the style was first introduced it became an instant success, especially popular among the Maharajahs of India who ordered it to be fitted to various Rolls-Royce chassis. Chassis No 115GY is believed to be the only period-built example of this attractive body style on a Phantom II chassis.

The car was originally ordered by Barker on the 16th of May 1930. On the 21st of August that same year the chassis was purchased Mr. Holm who specified so-called Sedancalette body with a weight of approximately 685 kg to be fitted. It is thought that this designation may have referred to a Sedanca de Ville. The car was completed at the end of 1930, but in the meantime the Great Depression had taken hold and Mr Holm had to inform Barker in July 1931 that he would be unable to complete the purchase of the car with the coachwork he had ordered.

On the 1st of November 1931 Mrs Stanley McCormick entered the Barker showroom in South Audley Street in Mayfair. She was an American lady of great wealth, a famous suffragette and had also single-handedly financed of the development of the birth control bill. Chassis No 115GY had by this time remained on display in the Barker showroom for some time. Mrs McCormick was eager to purchase a Rolls-Royce touring car and had little time to wait for delivery. A quick thinking Barker salesman then provided Mrs McCormick with a quick solution by agreeing to remove the Sedancalette body from 115GY and to fit a new open touring body which was available in the Barker warehouse in nearby Shepherd's Bush, likely the victim of another cancelled order.

On the 3rd of November, Mrs McCormick agreed to this proposal, and invoice was raised and  delivery was scheduled for a few weeks’ time. There is nothing in the records which give a clue to how long Mrs. McCormick retained the car except a note that Barker supplied some parts in May 1935. It can be assumed that the car was still with Mrs McCormick at that date. The rear instruments are of American manufacture and were almost certainly fitted in the United States, possibly carried out by a Rolls-Royce agent in Boston where the owner was resident.

Chassis No 115GY remained in the United States until around 2010. Following its return to the UK it was supplied to a large collection in Europe where it resided until 2015. The following year Frank Dale & Stepsons supplied it to its present owner. Since returning to the UK Chassis No 115GY has benefitted from significant improvements, the coachwork and trim are beautiful whilst the mechanical aspects were prepared by a noted pre-war specialist upon its return fourteen years ago and have recently been reviewed by our workshop team. A beautiful and striking Phantom II which we are delighted to be offering for sale once again.


Phantom II
Body Type
Open Tourer
Red Leather

Very good

Technical Data

Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.7 litres displacement, 7,668cc capacity. Servo-assisted four-wheel brakes.

Currently Registered in
The United Kingdom
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