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Car of the Month Selection

Car of the Month - September 99
Rolls-Royce Phantom V, 1960, #5AS49,
James Young Touring Limousine

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

No less an authority than Lawrence Dalton in his book "Rolls-Royce, The Classic Elegance" stated: "The James Young design elegance peaked with the Phantom V chassis" and the highly respected connoisseur's compliment "what a look - pure uncluttered elegance" doesn't leave any doubt - the PV22 design by James Young was perfect. It had been no mean feat to arrange for well balanced lines on a car measuring an overall length of 19'10" (6.045 m), a width of 6'7" (2.007 m) and a height of 5'8" (1.727 m). James Young succeded in an extemely well balanced body neither bulky nor massive and that was considered to be quite different from the creation by H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward - the wholly owned Rolls-Royce subsidiary. H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward didn't offer an inelegant body, but there was a certain charme like that of a Silver Cloud on steroids.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V, interiorA.F. MacNeil, who designed some of the most impressive coachwork produced over several decades, had been brought in to James Young from de Havillands, where he had spent the war years. Previously he had been stylist and chief designer with J. Gurney Nutting. During the early 60ties production at James Young was running at about 50 to 60 bodies a year. This company in fact was the last independent coachbuilder producing a considerable number of bodies anyway, other famous names like Hooper or Freestone & Webb etc. had been forced to close their premises years ago. With Rolls-Royce offering factory bodywork of almost impeccable quality for their Rolls-Royce and Bentley models the work of coachbuilders had been limited after the war. When Rolls-Royce confidentially informed coachbuilders in 1959 that the next model generation (i.e. Silver Shadow/T-Series) would be of monocoque construction it was concluded correctly that bespoke coachwork would become incredibly expensive.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

Rolls-Royce Phantom VHence the car shown here with a body to design PV22 is something of a "Swansong" of a coachbuilder and it marks more or less the beginning of an end of a period. James Young ceased coachbuilding in 1967 and the bodies on Rolls-Royce Phantom V built until then were but variations of the basic lines shown here.


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