In 1906 Rolls-Royce produced a 40-50 HP chassis which was to become renowned throughout the world as the highest example of refinement in motor car construction. So perfect was its design at its inception that the Silver Ghost continued to maintain its illustrious position for 20 years. It was then succeeded by the no less famous Phantom I. The Phantom II is the direct descendent of this honourable family. While its performance on the road has been increased beyond that of its predecessors, this new 40-50 HP embodies all the qualities which gained for its ancestor the title of “The Best Car in the World”. The Phantom II 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 fourteen hundred or so Phantom II chassis that were produced between 1929 and 1935 were fitted with four door saloon style coachwork. This particular car, Chassis No 156SK fell into this category, originally bodied by Hooper with formal limousine coachwork. It remained that way until 1990 when purchased by Mr T.A. Lee who instructed a restoration that included a new body to be designed and constructed by master coachbuilder Steve Penny. Whilst the chassis and mechanical aspects were restored by Ristes, the new all aluminium three position drophead coupe coachwork was created. By the spring of 1995 the works to Chassis No 156SK were completed and the finished product met with Mr Lee’s satisfaction. Extensive records were kept, with photos and invoices detailing all of the works carried out.
Over the following five years, Mr Lee drove the car extensively across Europe and took part in a number of tours, rallies and concours events. One highlight took place in 1995 when the car took part in both the VE and VJ Day 50th Anniversary parades in London, with Queen Elizabeth II in attendance on both occasions.
The present owner purchased Chassis No 156SK in recent years and instructed his own body of work to be carried out, mechanically speaking by Fiennes. The car was upgraded with a high ratio back axle making it ideal for long distance tours at speed. The engine was overhauled and the car was mechanically prepared to ensure reliability and superb performance.
Chassis No 156SK is beautiful from every angle and has a simple roof mechanism allowing three alternative hood positions, all as attractive as each other which is extremely difficult to achieve. It drives superbly and comes serviced, prepared and tested by our workshop team.
Four speed manual gearbox, 6cylinder in-line engine, 7.7 litres displacement, 7,668cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.