Rolls-Royce Phantom III Saloon

The most complex Rolls-Royce ever, the V-12-powered Phantom III was an extraordinary engineering achievement, and it continues to be regarded as one of the finest automobile designs of the 1930s. Code-named “Spectre” during development, the Phantom III debuted at the 1935 Olympia Motor Show and garnered immediate acclaim as the world’s most technically advanced series-produced automobile chassis. Its state-of-the-art, overhead-valve V-12 engine featured a one-piece aluminium alloy crankcase and cylinder block, aluminium cylinder heads and cast-iron wet cylinder liners.

The highly capable chassis was a rigid cruciform-braced, box-girder design with an independent wishbone front suspension and semi-elliptic rear springs, and the four-speed gearbox offered synchromesh on the top three gears. The Phantom III also broke new ground as the first British car produced with hydraulic, self-adjusting valve tappets and driver-controlled hydraulic shock absorbers. No effort was spared to make the Phantom III chassis the ultimate in refinement and technical sophistication.

Today, H.J. Mulliner remains perhaps the most successful coachbuilder of all for the Phantom III chassis, having displayed its first Rolls-Royce design in 1928 at the Olympia Motor Show. From the early 1930s onward, H.J. Mulliner worked almost exclusively on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis, and its work on the Phantom III was particularly successful, with a rakish, low-roof, “razor-edge” body design finding great favor.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

165 hp, 7,338 cc overhead-valve V-12 engine, dual ignition with dual coils and distributors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay

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