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Friday, 18 September 2015
1931 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II - FRANK DALE & STEPSONS
1931 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II
1929 saw the arrival of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II which set new standards for others to follow. It was a vehicle specifically designed with the chauffer driven passenger in mind. At the time the only home produced rival to compare with the Phantom II was the Bentley 8 Litre, which was a faster vehicle but was thought to be far less chauffer friendly, with considerably heavier steering and a gearbox which was more difficult to operate. The vast majority of the 1,400 or so Phantom II chassis that were produced between 1929 and 1935 were fitted with four door saloon style coachwork, ideal for a chauffeur and his passengers. Chassis No 14GX was originally completed in September of 1931, finished with saloon coachwork by Freestone & Webb, as specified by the first owner Sir John Leigh. At some point in its early life, for reasons unknown, the coachwork was changed to a Sedanca de Ville body. Chassis No 14GX was acquired by the most recent owner in the 1960's, in a dilapidated state. And it remained that way until the mid 1990s when the restoration works began to bring the car back to its former glory. No stone was unturned during the body off restoration, which culminated in 2006 with the completion of the works. A large number of photographs are present in the history file, documenting the transformation over several years. The end product is in very good order throughout and drives just as one would want and expect. The interior is finished in grey leather with a winding glass division for added privacy. The mystery about the coachwork has become a little clearer in recent times, with the publication of an advert for another Phantom II, Chassis No 198GY, a Sedanca de Ville by Windovers. An advert appeared in 2013 marketing this car for sale in Europe and it would appear to be identical in almost every facet when compared to Chassis No 14GX. So although the coachwork on Chassis No 14GX cannot be identified beyond doubt, the fact that it is almost identical to 198GY would suggest that its coachwork is almost certainly by Windovers. This stylish Phantom II is beautifully finished following such extensive works in recent years and ready for the next chapter in its life.
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