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Car of the Month

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Bennet: Crewe Years

Just for Fun


Car of the Month - November 2016
Rolls-Royce Phantom II, 1932, #224AMS,
Limousine by Binder


Rolls-Royce Phantom II
Rolls-Royce Phantom II left-hand drive Experimental Car, #24EX, F. Henry Royce and nurse Ethel Aubin, Ernest Hives (who later became CEO of Rolls-Royce ) and George Elliott (who took over the position of chief engineer after Royce's demise).

The late 20ies and the early 30ies  were an extremely difficult period for Rolls-Royce of America, Inc., due to the economic decline. Rapidly dwindling funds made it an illusion to invest in re-tooling the US-factory to start production of the new model Rolls-Royce Phantom II. In the end the American enterprise in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, closed down.

Rolls-Royce did invest considerably – in England – to offer a solution tailored for the very important US-market. Starting in 1930/1931 (the „Start“ depending either on start of production at the factory or start of delivery of the first finished car) at the factory at Derby, England, 125 Rolls-Royce Phantom II with left drive steering were produced. These cars from the chassis-series with letter-combinations ending on 'JS' or 'AS' were separated by an 'A' for 'America' added to the letters. The task was tackled painstakingly careful and exemplary for such care is the fact that two of the Experimental Cars, i.e. Phantom II prototypes for test purposes, were built with left-hand drive.

Given the dreadful economic conditions of that time it was a success that 119 of the left-hand drive Phantom II were delivered to customers in North America. There remained a niche only of 6 cars for "Rest of the World". Illustrations of 5 of these are known – but there is a gap as regards the Phantom II with chassis-no. #224AMS. It was a Limousine delivered to Franklin Merritt Morse Singer in Monaco. The coachwork had been built by Henry Binder, Paris. Almost always Binder did order "Coachbuilder Photos" of his creations –one example is included hereunder. 

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

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However this photo does not show the Phantom II, #224AMS. Up to now there has been no chance to obtain any photo of that particular motor car. This Rolls-Royce Phantom II with left-hand drive appears in the annals of the Monte Carlo Concours d’Elegance as it had been awarded 1st Prize in 1933. Hence there might be a chance a photo was published in a French newspaper or magazine from that period? Should one of the readers of these lines be in a position to give any hint as regards a photo of #224AMS that would be appreciated.