Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupe
The Phantom II was the last Rolls-Royce model designed by Sir Frederick Henry Royce, 1st Baronet, OBE before his death in 1933. Company records indicate that Royce had no defined specifications to delineate the Phantom II “Continental” from the standard Phantom II, only that it should be as small as possible yet still comfortably seat four adults and their luggage while touring the continent of Europe.
The resulting design, Royce ordered, was to be so close-coupled that the entire rear seat was completely in front of the rear upsweep of the frame side-members. In order to allow adequate leg room for rear seat passengers, the Continental’s floor was designed with roomy foot wells.
The Continental was developed from the standard Phantom II short chassis model with an especially low steering column, special springs to permit safe and continuous high speed touring over bad roads and a low center of gravity. The result was a sporting car with a low and sleek appearance, ample luggage space and a roomy interior. The radiator shell was slightly higher than the standard Phantom II, which combined with the lower chassis resulted in a stance that fools the eye – it appears to be traveling at high speed, even when parked.
Most PII Continentals were fitted with lightweight, low-slung bodies. Many collectors in fact believe there may be no more reliable prewar car than the Phantom II Continental, the final evolution of the prewar straight six engine Rolls-Royce first introduced in the 1907 40/50-hp Silver Ghost.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
120 hp, 7,668 cc, OHV six-cylinder engine, single updraft carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle and mechanical drum brakes, with power assist. Wheelbase: 150"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Dan Savinelli