Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Saloon

The New Phantom, as Rolls-Royce originally called the Phantom I, differed from its predecessor, the Silver Ghost, mainly in its engine. An overhead valve unit of 7,668 cc, it incorporated a removable cylinder head, latterly of aluminium. It remained then for the Phantom II, introduced in 1929, to make chassis improvements, which it duly did.

The Phantom II chassis sat much lower, and semi-elliptic springs were used all around, with the rear axle underslung. Central lubrication was fitted, and the engine was uprated with new combustion chambers and manifold improvements.

In 1930, designer Ivan Evernden toured the Continent in a smart new sports saloon, making a last-minute entry in a concours d’elegance at Biarritz. The car generated quite a buzz and quite a few orders, sufficient, apparently, for the factory to prepare a brochure for a Continental model. Bodies for the Continentals were supplied by Park Ward, Hooper and others, but by far the most graceful were the sports saloons by Thrupp & Maberly of Cricklewood, London.

Founded in 1760 by Joseph Thrupp, the firm had begun building car bodies in 1896, with an electric victoria for the Queen of Spain. The new enterprise grew rapidly and exhibited regularly at the motor shows. After building staff cars during the Great War, it returned to bespoke body building at the cessation of hostilities. Landaulets, limousines and coupés de ville were the company’s forte, and many were built on imported chassis like Delage, Hotchkiss and Minerva.

Although acquired by Rootes in 1925, Thrupp and Maberly remained an upmarket constructor, building and showing regularly on Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Daimler chassis. The Rolls-Royce Continentals, with rear-mounted spares and sunshine roofs, were particular favourites.

The Phantom II, Henry Royce’s last design, received synchronised gears on third and top in 1933, as well as adjustable shock absorbers. Higher compression that year also gave the short-wheelbase Continental a top speed of 95 mph.

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

40/50 hp, 7,668 cc overhead valve six-cylinder engine, dual ignition with coil and magneto, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and underslung live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 144"

Source: RM Auctions

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