29 August 1999
1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II SPORTS SALOON
COACHWORK BY BREWSTER
Chassis No. 289 AJS
Engine: six cylinder, iron cylinder head, overhead valves, 7,668cc; Gearbox: 4-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic front and rear springs; Brakes: four wheel internal expanding servo-assisted drum. Left hand drive.
In 1929 the Rolls-Royce Derby works introduced their Phantom II which saw a continuation of their policy of evolution rather than revolution. Although it retained the same engine size as the Phantom I, it had in fact more in common with the 20hp model, being virtually a larger edition of that car. The most notable changes were in the chassis and suspension which for the first time included semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, the latter being underslung. The 'Springfield' American Phantom I centralized chassis lubricating system was adopted, providing oil to every movable chassis part. The engine, clutch housing and gearbox were now assembled in unit and the previous open propeller shaft and spiral bevel final drive were replaced by the Hotchkiss drive and hypoid bevel rear axle. The total package was designed to provide greater performance with better handling and braking that put most sports cars to shame, and yet was so flexible it could accelerate briskly from 5mph in top gear. The Phantom II attracted a younger, more sporting type of owner who appreciated its 90mph performance, and with its lower chassis line, the Phantom II provided the ideal platform for more elegant and imposing coachwork designs.
In 1931 the American Springfield Phantom I production came to a close and Rolls-Royce Derby had already begun to build their AJS and AMS series with left hand drive only fir the American market. These cars, in completed or chassis only form were shipped to Rolls-Royce America for final preparation prior to delivery, and many of them had coachbuilt bodies by the Brewster Company of New York, which in 1926 had become an integral part of Rolls-Royce Motors. Brewster's design and quality craftsmanship is without parrellel in the coachbuilding art. In the tradition of the highly prized Henley Roadsters, Brewster built three spectacular Sports Saloons, and only two remain extant today. The design is truly flawless; with its long bonnet line tapering upward to a low raked V-wind screen, tapered rear windows and sweeping rear tail-at once elegant and sporting.
Chassis No. 289 AJS was delivered new to Mrs. R. Boalt of Daytona Beach Florida, on March 14, 1933. Little is known of the car's early history until it was noticed by Andrew Darling at Inskips in New York in the late 1940s. The Rolls had apparently been traded in for something more "up to date" and Mr. Darling negotiated a purchase immediately. The car began the basis for what would blossom into a wonderful collection of classic cars. The Rolls was carefully restored where necessary and remained a favorite in his ownership for well over 40 years.
Since then 289 AJS has been part of a significant private collection where it has been used sparingly and carefully maintained. The restoration now has an excellent patina of age. This magnificient and rare Rolls-Royce is in our opinion one of the pretiest Phantoms in existence.
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