Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupe by Barker For Sale (1930)
Year : 1930
Make : Rolls-Royce
Model : Phantom II Continental
Coachbuilder : Barker
Body Type : Drophead Coupe
Colour : Dark Green and Black
Trim : Red Leather
History : In 1929 the arrival of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II set new standards for others to follow. It was a vehicle specifically designed with the chauffeur driven passenger in mind. At the time the only home produced rival to compare with the Phantom II was the Bentley 8 Litre, which was a faster vehicle but was thought to be far less chauffeur friendly, with considerably heavier steering and a gearbox which was more difficult to operate. During the development of the Phantom II, the majority of the long distance testing was carried out on the long straight roads surrounding Chateauroux in France. This fact and Mr Henry Royceís many journeys between the South of England and the South of France no doubt opened his eyes to the type of motoring not available upon Englandís narrow and windy roads. With long distance high speed motoring in mind, the Phantom II Continental chassis was created, the project being personally overseen by Henry Royce with assistance from Ivan Evernden. The whole car, including originally its style of coachwork was conceived by Royce, to be a more sporting and compact four seater owner/driver motor car when compared to the long wheelbase standard Phantom II. Just 281 such chassis were produced and they differentiated themselves from their standard cousins with thicker springs and a 6 inch shorter chassis, measuring 144 inches. The steering column was optionally lowered to what was known as the ďFĒ rake position, and the floor was also lowered to allow more rakish coachwork to be fitted. Mechanically speaking the Continental was fitted with a higher ratio back axle (12/41) which provided brisk acceleration and higher top speeds at lower revolutions. Royce decided that the use of 5 thicker leaf springs as opposed to the standard 9 or 10 would save weight and allow for a smoother ride if the road surface was less than perfect. To assist control of the ride additional shock absorbers were also added to the standard hydraulic units, which were controllable from the driverís seat in the later examples. With lightweight coachwork being fitted the final result was a motor car capable of carrying four people in comfort, at high speeds, for many hours at a time over great distances. It is rightly considered by many, including ourselves, to be one of the finest pre-war Rolls-Royces ever built. The majority of Phantom II Continentals were fitted with closed, compact, close coupled four door coachwork. Coachbuilders Barker of Shepherds Bush in West London were one of the most popular choices of the era and were responsible for bodies on a large number of pre-war Rolls-Royce motor cars, ranging from Silver Ghosts to Phantom IIIís and all models in between. Their touring saloon coachwork was one of the most popular options available to customers purchasing a Phantom II Continental from their showroom on South Audley Street in Mayfair. However they were also responsible for producing a limited number of more flamboyant and stylish coachwork designs upon special request. One of Barkers best customers at the time was a gentleman by the name of Captain Jack Frederick Conrad Kruse of Sunningdale in Berkshire. Captain Kruse was somewhat of a playboy, known for his taste for exotic motor cars. His collection during the 1920ís and early 1930ís was known to include a number of racing Bentleys, some Mercedes, an Alfa Romeo, more than one Buggati and a Rolls-Royce Phantom I, all of which were garaged at his impressive and well staffed mansion adjacent to the famous Sunningdale golf course. Captain Kruse instructed Barker to construct a drophead coupe body for his latest purchase, a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental, chassis number 42GX. The work was completed in December of 1930 and following a short period of ownership Captain Kruse sold 42GX to R.H.W. Jaques of West London, who like Kruse was an avid driver and motoring enthusiast. The car was entered into the 1932 RAC 1000 mile rally and then in 1933 took part in the Monte Carlo Rally. Photos of Jaques and his co-driver Margaret Allen are present in the cars history file. It is understood that Jaques owned the car until his passing in 1950 when it became the property of Thomas Neale. Three further owners complete the history to present day, with the most recent owner having had 42GX in his collection for the past two decades. The car was comprehensively restored a little over fifteen years ago, with a full mechanical review by pre-war Rolls-Royce specialists. The car was stripped down to the chassis frame and following a detailed inspection the restoration plan was formulated. The mechanical works undertaken during the restoration included but were not limited to an engine re-bore with new fitted pistons, new white metal to the bearings, a back axle upgrade to 3.09 to 1, a complete re-wire and a re-cored radiator. The wooden body frame was found to be in very good condition upon inspection, with only the smallest of repairs required. Cosmetically speaking the car was stripped and re-painted in dark green and black, originally the car was entirely black, and then re-trimmed using leather that was colour and grain matched to the original material used in 1930. The car still presents beautifully following careful use and correct maintenance by its fastidious owner and would be ideal for entry at Concours dí Elegance level in our opinion. It is complete with a large file documenting the cars extensive history, copies of photos from the 1933 Monte Carlo Rally and also a framed display of photographs produced by Barker when the car was new. It is fitted with two tail mounted trunks and two spare wheels and comes complete with a full complement of tools which are stored in the running boards and its original handbook issued in 1930 to Captain Kruse. According to our records Chassis No 42GX is one of a very limited number of drophead coupes produced by Barker on the Phantom II Continental chassis, another example produced being Chassis No 186MY, which was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons in 2009. This fine motor car is in excellent condition and in our opinion would be a very worthy addition to even the best collection.
Condition : Excellent in every respect.
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.7 litres displacement, 7,668cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.
FOR MORE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION PLEASE GO TO WWW.FRANKDALE.COM
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