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Car of the Month Selection

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Car of the Month - October  2001
Rolls-Royce Phantom III
Aero Coupé by CARS, 1937, #3BU184

This Aero Coupé was built by CARS (Classic Auto Rebuilding Service, USA) to a design by Robert Lorkowski based on a rendering by J. Jortovic in “Road and Track, 1935”. The original Phantom III body had been a Rippon Limousine, of which there had been practically nothing salvageable. Of the original external body, only the Rolls-Royce radiator shell was retained.

The new front wings (American friends, please, read “fenders”) were each made up of seven sections; full of compound curves had not been the only challenge. Virtually from scratch each single panel of the coachwork and all the bright parts were made. Because radiator and bonnet hinges are stainless steel, the stainless steel trim theme was continued in the side mouldings, window frames, door handles and other items of exterior trim. Inside the car was filled with a functional 4-place Art Deco-themed interior; finest Scottish leather stretched over 100 % goose down pillows complimented by air-dried black walnut for door cappings and window mouldings, with a piece of walnut burl veneer used for the fascia.


The paintwork in a shade called Night Violet was considered a delicate shade during the Art Deco period - and that can be stated still today. Final touches were accessories that are all period Marchal: headlamps, tails lamps, traffic indicators and even wiper arms and blades. The mascot is of French origin too: Lalique's “Chrysis”.


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Paintwork and a lot of panel beating needed to be done twice because on being unloaded from an ocean freighter after returning from Essen Motor Show, the forty-foot container was dropped. Front and rear wings as well as rear skirts suffered tremendous damage. However that was but negligible compared to the 7,000+ hours of labour that had previously been invested, 5,000 hours on coachwork plus a further 2,000 hours mechanical restoration engine and chassis.

The task was accomplished to breathtaking fine standard - the Aero Coupé is a CCCA 100 point car, was First in Class (New Coach Work) at Pebble Beach 1992 , was Feature Car at Essen Motor Show (D) and awarded prices at a multitude of other major events, too. Just in case it is your desire to improve to such top standard the motor car that happens to be in your custody to contact my friend Bob most presumably might be helpful. His address is: Bob Lorkowski, N3265 Lorkowski Lane, Bruce, WI 54819, USA, Fax: +1 - 715 - 458 2107.


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