1927 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I PERMANENT SALAMANCA TOWN CAR
COACHWORK BY ROLLS-ROYCE CUSTOM COACHWORK
Registration No. DS 8144
Chassis No. S445 FL
Engine No. 20456
Black with fawn cloth interior
Engine: six cylinder in two blocks of three, overhead valves, 7,668cc; Gearbox: four speed manual; Brakes: four wheel drum, servo assisted; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear, cantilever leaf springs. Left hand drive.
Sir Henry Royce was reluctant to change his Silver Ghost 40/50hp model, so when he introduced his New Phantom, better known as the Phantom I, the changes were only evolutionary. The car was launched in 1925 and retained the Silver Ghost chassis and transmission, except for the old cone clutch which was updated to a single dry plate type. The main feature was the engine which still retained two blocks of three cylinders each, but now was an overhead valve six cylinder design with a single detachable alloy head. A third more power was available and with servo assisted four wheel brakes the overall performance and braking was ahead of its competitors.
By 1926 at the East Springfield Works, Massachusetts, production had moved from the Springfield Silver Ghost to the new Springfield Phantom I. By the time the Phantom II was introduced in 1931, a total of 4,662 Phantoms I's had been manufactured, 1,225 of which were built by the Springfield factory.
Unlike the Derby-built cars, the American Rolls-Royce was always offered with custom-built coachwork, and S445 FL was supplied new from the Springfield works as it is today with its 'Custom' Permanent Salamanca Town Car coachwork, to F. Lage of New York City on 20th September 1927.
The Rolls was purchased at an auction in Monaco in 1989 and has resided in the collection ever since. While in this ownership it has had the front and rear compartments reupholstered, but in general has the appearance of an older restoration.
Aesthetically the car appears entirely complete, its American styling being appointed with many of the features one associates with these models from Brewster drum-shaped stirrup-mounted headlights and matching sidelights on the scuttle to single bar protective bumpers, a spare wheel to each running board and windscreen side deflecting wind-wings. A well-proportioned design, the body-moulding stretches perfectly from the radiator shoulder to the rear of the car highlighted by a coachline and balanced by a Brooks trunk.
The interior compartment is equally detailed with hammered nickel fittings, carnival flower vases, leather companions - one with a clock, a small drinks cabinet and occasional seats either side.
A rare and attractive example of the Rolls-Royce Phantom 1, perfectly illustrating how the cars were made on the other side of the Atlantic to the original company works.