1936 ROLLS-ROYCE 40/50HP PHANTOM III TOURING SALOON
Registration No. formerly UK registered DGW 555
Chassis No. 3AZ 222
Engine No. J 34 Q
Mason's black with hunter green leather interior
Engine: V12, overhead valve, 7,388cc (450.7ci); Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent with enclosed coil springs, rear, semi-elliptic leaf spring; Brakes: servo-assisted four wheel drum. Right hand drive.
The Phantom III represented Rolls-Royce's determined effort to reinforce its claim of manufacturing the best car in the world, a position challenged during the later days of Silver Ghost and Phantom II production by very capable V12s - even a V16 - from Europe and America. Rolls-Royce went to great lengths to create an engine of unsurpassable refinement and power. There was a one-shot chassis lubrication system delivering oil to almost every moving part and the rear road springs were drilled and grooved to aid lubrication.
Docile, yet very fast and powerful; big yet easy to manage; supremely comfortable but with exceptional roadholding qualities; these are my outstanding impressions of the 40-50hp Rolls-Royce Phantom III saloon.
This was the verdict of The Motor magazine's Technical Editor at the end of a 500 mile road test in an identical Barker Continental Touring saloon to this car, printed in September 1936. A test which complimented not only the quality of the model, but gave favourable comment to the Barker styling, describing it as having a handsome, well-balanced appearance whilst noting that the outswept tail provides a large enclosed space for luggage. In conclusion the editor summarized, It is inspiring to realize that this leading expression of the art of building automobiles, with its unique international reputation, should be produced by British designers and work people.
Jack Olding, renowned London dealer and Rolls-Royce agent was the original purchaser, ordering it at the end of 1935 and receiving the completed car in October 1936. One of the last of the first series of V12 Phantoms, build sheets note it to be for his personal use, though confidence in his own product would presumably have helped sales. Olding held onto the Rolls-Royce for just one year, selling it to a customer, Mr Beck, who kept her until after the war. Subsequent owners are recorded on the factory build sheets, the car being sold to America in 1960, and spending many years in the collection of Rolls-Royce guru Louis Shultz, who completely went through the car mechanically.
Today the car is presented in Mason's black with a green coachline. This is accentuated by white wall tires and polished aluminum discs. The interior mirrors this livery, both front and rear seats being upholstered in dark green hide, and all wood trims, including dash and division, in ebony. In the simple yet well-designed interior, the sporting close-coupled seating only allows room for pockets in the division and side arm-rests. An older restoration in general, the upholstery has been renewed in parts, but still retains some of the original leather, which shows some wear, and the headlining is a little tired in places.
It is interesting to note that Rolls-Royce chose a car with this very design of coachwork to feature on their stand at the 1936 Motor Show, a car which lead The Autocar to write Somewhere is an ultimate in the highest expression of road travel comfort and performance, and the Phantom III is the nearest approach to it yet.
A comprehensive file recording the full ownership history and including correspondence over the last forty years, together with bills for work carried out, the factory build sheets, some tools and a handbook are sold with this attractive Phantom.