Rolls-Royce Phantom II Boat-Tail

When Henry Royce began to experiment with automobiles in 1903, he had the advantage of having seen many other cars. Most were crude, noisy and unreliable, and noisy devices. This encouraged him to match the smoothness of the steam car, the silence of the electric car, and the utility of the petrol-powered car. His strength lay in his ability to refine and develop the work of others and his first car, the 10-horsepower model, was easily the most refined automobile of its time. A good product alone was not enough, however, and it was Royce’s partnership with C.S. Rolls, a consummate automobile marketer, that created the most respected name in automotive history. Beginning with the Silver Ghost, Rolls-Royce soon dominated the carriage trade.

A direct descendent of the Silver Ghost, the Rolls-Royce New Phantom was launched in May 1925 and would not become known as the Phantom I until after the introduction of the Phantom II several years later. Although the New Phantom introduced a new, more modern engine, the chassis was almost identical to that of the Silver Ghost. The Phantom transmission was also the same as before, with the old cone-type clutch replaced by a new single dry plate clutch, and offering much quieter and smoother operation. In September 1929, Rolls-Royce announced that the New Phantom chassis would be discontinued and the following month, the Phantom II debuted at the Olympia Motor Show. Following Sir Henry Royce’s belief in evolution rather than revolution, the Phantom II offered a more refined, updated chassis and an improved engine, mounted in unit with the transmission. Chassis improvements included hydraulic shocks and the use of underslung semi-elliptic springs for both front and rear axles. With a new lower frame and a considerable reduction in ride height this chassis was ideally suited to sleeker, more modern designs.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

120 bhp, 7,668 cc overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine with four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with longitudinal leaf springs, and servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 143.5".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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