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Car of the Month Selection
the Month - July 1999
Rolls-Royce Phantom II, #141TA, 1935,
Hooper Sidelight Cabriolet
Egypt was part of the British Empire when in 1934 the order
for this Rolls-Royce Phantom II came from that country. How carefully the customer in
Alexandria had considered that high-profile demands should be satisfied, was shown not
only by a Rolls-Royce Phantom II having been decided upon but also by selecting Hooper to
produce the coachwork. The London-based coachbuilder ranked as the British Empire's most
prominent and even a quick glance at the "Royal Coachbuilder's" customers' list
showed the ruling monarchs of Japan, Egypt, Spain and Sweden listed there - and H.M The
King George V. of course.
The body on this car (body no. 8326, drawing no. 6028) was built as a Sidelight
Cabriolet. This term named a version, which did allow to be used as a Cabriolet with the
hood completely folded down, whereas with the hood erected and sidelights in place
passengers were by far better protected from dust than on board any tourer. As an
alternative only the hood atop the front compartment could be opened - similarly to
Cabriolet de Ville - and when performing official duties this allowed to view chauffeur
and attendant dressed in livery. This was of some benefit not only to carry out particular
order discreetly when that entourage arrived at the Royal Court, but more should the car
be made available to His Majesty The King of Egypt during visits to Alexandria.
Some of the extras
listed on the chassis card are wheel discs, a louvred bonnet, a second spare wheel - and a
Spirit of Ecstasy mascot to the radiator cap which was no series standard but charged
separately at a price of 3£ 17s.6d.
Instead of the extremely dry Egytian climate
this car for more than 16 years has enjoyed the advantages of a perfectly air-conditioned
garage in Germany. During this period the Phantom II has been subject to quite some work
because the present owner is a discerning collector and no less demanding than the
original purchaser had been. All those weak points almost obligatory on elder Rolls-Royce
Phantom II have been dealt with. The Phantom II's light alloy cylinder head is prone to
electrolytic corrosion (because the cylinder blocks - 2 with 3 cylinders each - are cast
iron) - and consequently repairs to the old head were not even considered but a completely
new cylinder head fitted. Similarly to commission a new radiator core was preferred to any
repair on the old one. Only recently the carburettor has been overhauled by a top-expert
in the United Kingdom, and the induction system was renewed too. For better handling power
assisted steering had been fitted.