1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II CONTINENTAL
COACHWORK BY PARK WARD
Registration No. TSU 946
Chassis No. 119 RY
Engine No. RV 55
Coffee over cream with a beige leather interior
Engine: six-cylinder, 7,668cc; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: solid axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four-wheel drum. Right hand drive.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom II is considered by many authorities of pre-war Rolls to be the best Rolls-Royce ever built. It had the classic lines that said 'luxury' and 'performance' all in one. The Phantom II was made from 1929 to 1935 during which time some 1,767 were produced. The engine actually grew out of the six-cylinder used in the Phantom I, but was improved before Royce's death with an aluminium cylinder head and revised manifolding. In the Phantom II, the cantilever springs of the Phantom I were replaced by supple half elliptic rear springs. The chassis was lower and so in turn was the centre of gravity, weight was reduced and the steering much improved. The Phantom II also had centralised chassis lubrication, twin ignition systems, one by coil and battery and the other by magneto, firing six plugs each. At the end of 1932, a new improved gearbox was introduced.
In 1931 the sporting version of the Phantom II arrived, the Continental, and was to become one of the motoring legends of the thirties. Based on the short 144 inch chassis and with a 5.25:1 compression and a higher axle ration, a genuine 100mph was possible; it was very much built for the owner/driver who considered himself an enthusiast. The majestic Rolls-Royce radiator and low drivetrain provided a superb platform for elegant coachwork. It inspired some of the best-proportioned and most beautiful designs of the era.
Many coachbuilders bodied the Phantom II including Hooper, Mulliner, Barker, Windovers, Freestone & Webb in England and still others on the Continent. The 119 RY has coachwork by Park Ward, who was known for producing the better sporting formal designs ever to be fitted to these Rolls-Royce chassis.
119 RY was sold new to J. B. Snow of London, taking delivery of the car on 30th April 1934. Subsequent history is noted on the build sheets to have been as follows: a change of address for Mr. Snow in London, then to A. Chester-Beatty Jnr. at Ashford in Kent in 1937. After this from October 1940 the car is known to have resided in the ownership of Lord Churston of Devon and immediately after the War to W. Turner of Bournemouth.
Residing in the collection for many years, the car had previously been the subject of much restoration work in the mid-1980s. At the hands of McKenzie-Guppy & Sons of Wimborne Minster, it received a complete engine overhaul including the fitting of a new cylinder head, new camshaft, white-metalling and line-boring. Further work was completed to the bodywork and the radiator rebuilt all of which is recorded in a detailed history file with the car.
Today the car presents well, some of the cosmetic restoration has aged with time, but it could easily be refreshed and the combination of the desirable specification and practical sporting coachwork has long been coveted.