This Rolls-Royce Phantom II with chassis number 10-GX was ordered on June 24, 1930 by the firm Connaught Coachworks at the Rolls-Royce factory. On 16 July 1931 Rolls-Royce delivered the car. The coachbuilder must by then have ready certain parts for the bodywork because two months later, on September 17th 1931, the 10-GX receives a license plate. Rolls-Royce notes that the car is completely ready for delivery on 18th September 1931 and that the warranty starts on 30 September 1931. The car was probably delivered via the London dealership of Connaught, the Connaught Motor and Carriage Company at Berkeley Street in London.
Connaught built a special coach on the chassis of the 10-GX, which is also called "blown wind" coachwork. Looking at the car one can immediately see why this beautiful coachwork is called like this. The front wings are special for a Phantom II, they have the shape of a helmet and give the blown wind coachwork along with the steps and the louvres in the hood and the louvres under the steps a sporty design. The steps behind have footboard lighting.
Although at that time a windshield from a single unit was already possible, the car was equipped with a split window. The installation of the Bosch electric windshield wiper will have add to the decision to chose for a split window. The Rolls-Royce production card (copy available) states that the car was intended for use in England and on mainland Europe. That continental use meant that there were a number of extra and sometimes special options on the order list.
For example, the order list contains technical options such as a second spare wheel, 20-inch wheels, ACE hubcaps, special Marchal headlights and double Bosch electric horns, loud and soft. Of course there was also a snake horn. Special is also that the car was equipped with electric windscreen wipers of the brand Bosch, usually at the time were vacuum driven wipers.
Very common at that time, as with this car, was a fold-out windshield. It is striking that ventilation flaps are installed in the roof, both in the front and in the back. They will come in handy on hot summer days. A special feature is the layout and ingenious function of the side window on the driver's side. It consists of two parts in which the lower part can also be folded open. The objective is probably that the driver with hand signals can indicate his direction, direction indicators were not foreseen on the Phantom II.
For the passengers there was also the necessary luxury, there was room for seven people by the presence of ingenious folding chairs, nicely hidden in the back of the front seat. To take the necessary stuff with you, a large travel bag was placed on the back of the car. Of course there was also a liquor cabinet and a venetian blind for the rear window. The glass panel that separated the passengers from the driver can be turned down because owners from this type of car often liked to drive themselves.
Rare on an English car is the glass Lalique ornament on the bulkhead for the windshield. The famous French artist René Lalique made jewels, vases and also special car ornaments for the rich on earth. In front of the windshield is an original art-deco glass bird made by Lalique, a lamp has been mounted under this glass ornament. It is really a fantastic sight to see the car drive in the evening, it is even more beautiful to experience that in the car!
The first owner of 10-GX is Mrs. L.M. Galea, she lived lives in Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London. It is presumed that the car is used sparingly, the crisis years of the thirties hit everywhere and ever deeper wounds. The Phantom II is probably parked outside of London in a preserved state during the war years. As was often the case after the war, there are various reasons - sickness, death, money short, loss of interest - that the car remains in storage.
On 25 October 1962, the car was registered in the name of Frederick James Burnett who sold the car to James Rintoul Simpson in 1968. He sells the car in the seventies to the classic car dealer Charles Howard of Coys Automobiles. Howard will later devote a few lines to the 10-GX in his book "An Auto Biography", in which he describes his 40 years of experience as a classic car dealer. He describes in this article that he bought the car when it was a very low mileage car.
Howard sold the car still in original condition in the late seventies to a Dutch collector. In 1980 the car was sold to the second Dutch owner. The Phantom II is used by this collector for trips for 38 years, but also cherished by him. In these 38 years some nice long journeys were made, among other things, to Berlin, which was split in two during the time of that trip because of the wall erected by the East Germany.
After the refinishing of the Rolls-Royce by the first Dutch owner, the car was never sprayed again. The paint still looks fantastic and there is nowhere to find a trace of rust. The engine compartment and the underside of the car look as new. The interior is still the original interior.
This never-restored Phantom II by Connaught is truly unique because of its body style and details and is technically in top condition! A Rolls-Royce that exudes true English class! This Rolls-Royce Phantom II with art-deco Lalique bird has been in a warm nest for 38 years, apparently there was a lot of mutual love between owner and bird! This bird is now looking for a new warm nest, where will it nestle?
The Rolls Royce Phantom II is generally considered to be Rolls-Royce's pre-war masterpiece. The Phantom II was introduced at the Olympia Motor Show in London in 1929, being the last of Sir Henry Royce’s own designs.
The Phantom II followed a distinguished line of six-cylinder cars headed by the 40/50hp 'Silver Ghost'.
The Phantom II answered all the critics and was technically up-to-the-minute in design while retaining all the standards of mechanical excellence shared by its predecessor.
The new car featured unit construction of engine and gearbox, improved ride and handling characteristics and better braking. It was powered by a 7.668 cc six cylinder pushrod overhead valve engine which ran almost in silence and yet produced more than ample power to carry the most flamboyant coachwork provided by bespoke coachbuilders in Great Britain, mainland Europe and America.
The chassis of the Phantom II was completely new. The front axle was mounted on semi-elliptical leaf springs as on earlier 40/50 hp models, but the rear axle was now also mounted on semi-elliptical springs instead of cantilever springs. This, along with the drivetrain changes, allowed the frame to be lower than before, improving the handling. From 1929 to 1936 a total of 1,281 Phantom II chassis of all types were built.
The Phantom II was the choice of captains of industry, European nobility and royalty, the list of customers reading like an international Who's Who. The Rolls-Royce chassis could only be fitted with coachwork by factory-selected coachbuilders. One of the selected builders was Connaught.
1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II 1931
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