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Car of the Month

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Car of the Month - February 2018
Rolls-Royce Phantom III, 1937, #3BU6
Touring Limousine by Park Ward


Rolls-Royce Phantom III

Ahis Rolls-Royce Phantom III was registered in January 1937. The manufacturer had delivered the ‘rolling chassis’ to the coachbuilder during the last quarter of 1936. This car is an early one from from the chassis-series B, of which in 1936 at the Derby factory were made number #3BU2 thru #3BU200 (even number only) and then in 1936/37 number #3BT1 thru #3BT301 (odd numbers only, excluding 13 and 113).

Rolls-Royce Phantom III

The body was built by Park Ward. The coachbuilder's factory documents listed for their Touring Limousine the Body-No. 4248. Park Ward enjoyed a very fine reputation and it is fact that Rolls-Royce – not least on advice by the legendary chief engineer Sir Frederic Henry Royce – had invested in purchasing a share in this company (towards the end of the 30ies a complete take-over was final result). Against the background of the motor manufacturer thus having done a first step to what might be considered establishing an "in house" coachbuilder it simply seems opportune that a fair number of Experimental Cars got coachwork by Park Ward. These Experimental Cars were the prototypes of the new model which in demanding tests were stressed to the limit and thus did help to iron out any problems before the model was launched in 1936.

Rolls-Royce Phantom III

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If the Experimental Car with chassis number #37EX is compared to #3BU6 even at a quick glance similarities are obvious; certain details are almost identical. It isn’t too much of a risk to say that #3BU6 is a variant up-graded by a more spacious boot and a remarkably high degree of luxury. That can be concluded from the chrome waist band (beneath the side windows) and from the bonnet sporting manually adjustable air-flaps instead of simple louvres. Delicately executed rear quarter lights are worth a note and, of course, that bumpers were fitted front and rear. 

Rolls-Royce Phantom III - Mascot

Any purist complains that a mascot in Gold was an exaggeration as regards luxury would be entirely incorrect though. When in 1920 in Paris a competition had been held to select the most attractive mascot in the world, the British motor car manufacturer had entered their Spirit of Ecstasy. One made in gold and that one had been awarded the 1st Prize. Henceforth it remained standard at Rolls-Royce to offer "ex factory" the mascot in Gold as an alternative - and to charge a significant extra amount on such luxury.

Rolls-Royce Phantom III