Rolls-Royce 40/50 Phantom II All Weather Cabriolet

From the early days of motoring, Rolls-Royce cars were favorites of the Maharajahs of India. The rulers of the pre-independence princely states had considerable wealth and were inclined to spend it, on clothes, jewelry, royal palaces and fine motor cars. And so it was in 1934 that His Highness Dharmendrasinhji Lakhajiraj, the Thakore Sahib (Lord) of Rajkot, decided to replace his 20-year-old Rolls-Royce with a new one – not just any Rolls-Royce, but one that has become renowned as the “Star of India,” named for the famous 563-carat star sapphire.

The Phantom II was the last model designed by Henry Royce prior to his death in 1933. Introduced in September 1929, it replaced the New Phantom, which we retrospectively call “Phantom I.” The Phantom II differed from its predecessor both in its appearance and in its chassis, although the overhead valve 7,668 cc engine remained much the same. The Phantom I’s cantilever rear springs were replaced by semi-elliptics, and the chassis rode much lower due to its underslung suspension. The gearbox was now mounted directly to the engine but retained right-hand gear change; synchromesh gears were introduced for the top two speeds. Central chassis lubrication was also adopted. In 1933, engine compression was raised, and the cars were given adjustable shock absorbers that could be controlled from the steering column.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

40/50 hp, 7,668 cc overhead valve six-cylinder engine, dual ignition with coil and magneto, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and underslung live rear axle, both with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 3,810 mm (150")

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

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