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Rolls-Royce Phantom II & Phantom III


Car of the Month - March  2001
Rolls-Royce Phantom III, 1936, #3AZ236
H.J. Mulliner Sedanca de Ville

Rolls-Royce Phantom III

H.J. Mulliner enjoyed a fine reputation for most elegant lines and this Rolls-Royce Phantom III is but another example for magnificent coachwork produced by the bodybuilder located in Brook Street, Mayfair. Hence quite close to Rolls-Royce Ltd’s’ offices and showrooms in London’s Conduit Street. Sedanca de Ville coachwork had been ordered for this car, i.e. a saloon with a division including a completely opening top to the chauffeur’s compartment. The de ville extension combined three major parts, a centre panel that could be pushed back and two side rails fixed on rear hinges, all of which disappeared neatly when stowed “inside” the main roof.

Not just the most carefully executed roof construction but every component of the coachwork showed H.J. Mulliner’s desire of attention to detail. The coachbuilder’s attitude was on a par with that of Rolls-Royce, because quality standards head and shoulders above that of competitors, basis of the car manufacturer’s success, was the result of accepting the very best only strictly with no compromise.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was powered by a light alloy engine of 7.4 litres with 12 cylinders in V-configuration. The engine design had benefited from the experience Rolls-Royce had gained in producing record-braking aero-engines. - Perhaps one or the other heard comments on the expense of overhauling Phantom III V12-engines. This is a good opportunity to state that to overhaul a Phantom II 6-cylinder in-line engine is virtually as costly, running the same several ten thousand US$ (or whatever equivalent in your native country’s currency) at a commercial shop. (It is slightly less expensive if one can do the monkey work one’s self). Engine’s from a Silver Ghost or Phantom I are in the same range, also. A fair view needs to consider that any overhaul of an engine almost 70 years old depends on what had been demanded from the unit during its lifetime and whether or not correct maintenance had been cared for…


Whatever questions might arise as regards other cars’ condition - this Rolls-Royce Phantom III is simply perfect in any respect. The powerful engine doesn’t indicate the slightest signs of stress even when employed for long distance touring on hot summer days. Gear changing is a delight reminding of the idiom “a hot knife cutting soft butter” because neither clutch nor gearbox show any weak points. In combination with fine roadholding due to excellent steering and springs this is an example for “Rolls-Royce, the best car in the world”
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The one and only lamentable fact is that none of the many books dedicated to the marque, ever did show an illustration of this magnificent Rolls-Royce Phantom III. No more complains though since February 2001 when the (highly recommended!) new book “The Rolls-Royce Phantom II & Phantom III” from the series Complete Classics has been published enhanced by a fine colour photo of this particular car on the rear cover.


Rolls-Royce Phantom III



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