of formal elegance obviously have not been the most important criteria when
this design was developed. What was the reason then for Hooper who were
renowned for their attractive creations to erect this body on the chassis of
the Rolls-Royce Phantom II #89MW that was delivered to H.H. The Maharajah
Sir Sawai of Jaipur? This remarkable design can be traced back to the year
1926 and early Rolls-Royce Phantom I experimental cars. The manufacturer had
not been amused when tests had shown that the new Rolls-Royce Phantom's top
speed and acceleration was inferior to what had been achieved with certain
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the predecessor. Frederick Henry Royce did
investigate and found as a major reason that over the years coachwork had
become much heavier. To a certain extent that was due to higher weight of
components (to increase stability), though the fact that more opulent
features (fitted to meet clients' demands) added weight couldn't be
neglected either. The company ordered three special bodies from various
coachbuilders. These were open touring cars that combined lightweight and
stability with a coachwork to a design by Ivan Evernden, a member from the
team of F.H. Royce. For that period the design was far ahead of its time and
the result were true sports cars. These were as fast expected – as regards
acceleration and top speed they did beat the ‘old’ Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
puristic lines that F. Henry Royce had insisted upon – and this is one of the
very few documented cases that "the Grand Old Man himself" guided the design
of a complete body! – met applause by quite a number of customers whose main
interest was outstanding performance. They were willing to accept a body
"reduced to the max", built exactly to the motto "Form follows Function".
After the end of production of Rolls-Royce Phantom I in 1928 such bodies
were made well into the 30ies, though not in exceptional high numbers, on
chassis of Rolls-Royce Phantom II. A newspaper report from the 30ies exists
and stated therein that "For Use in India" coachwork to that special
design even had been built on the chassis of the 'small'
Rolls-Royce 20/25 H.P.; that one was to the order of H.H. The Maharajah of Maudi.