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Rolls-Royce Phantom II & Phantom III


Car of the Month - February  2001
Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental, 1933, #158PY
Touring Saloon by Park Ward

Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental

Announced in 1929 the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental was produced as an attractive Grand Touring car for the demanding owner driver. This was the last of the great six-cylinder cars inspired by F. Henry Royce. The chassis had a 6 inches shorter wheelbase making the car as small as practical with the benefit of keeping the weight to a minimum. The result was better performance. Stiff, thicker springs of five leaves (as opposed to the normal spring section of ten thinner leaves) did enhance ride at high speeds on Continental roads. Many experts consider the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental the absolute height of excellence in pre-war automobile design.

The “PY” series of Phantom II chassis comprised a production of 100 chassis and #158PY is one of only 39 built to Continental specification. Park Ward was entrusted to built the particularly clean-lined, well proportioned Continental Touring Saloon with division. Close spaced bonnet louvres (sloping at an angle of 12 degrees) carried back to the rear of the front cowl deserve special mention. Prior to the “PY” series all of the instruments had been supplied by various independent manufacturers, whereas starting with this series new instruments were purchased strictly from S. Smith & Sons who manufactured them to Rolls-Royce specifications (only the ammeter continued to be of independent manufacture).

Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Fascia


Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental

After final testing at Park Ward the Continental Touring Saloon was handed over to C.H. Downing of Clayton. This car is illustrated with a mono photo in Raymond Gentile's book “The Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental, page 211. A colour photo is to be found pages 50/51 in “Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars, From the Dawn of the 20th Century into the New Millennium” by Nutland and Rossfeldt. Most recent research by Derek Harris, registrar of the “Derby Phantom Register” of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club, stated 1,680 Rolls-Royce Phantom II having been made (1,555 rhd, 125 lhd) of which a mere 278 were Continental.

The last decade this Phantom II Continental has spent in the custody of an Austrian engineer, who kept the car registered in Germany. She was employed for some long distance touring, including a 1995 tour to the North Cape resulting in the headline “Bilturister med klasse” in a Norwegian newspaper. 

This motor car that spent some time in South Africa, is illustrated in the new book "The Rolls-Royce Phantom II & Phantom III" from the series Complete Classics. The book was published in February 2001 and is highly recommended; it is tremendously well researched with a high number of hitherto unpublished photos - and it is inexpensive.

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Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental


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