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American Rolls Royce (Ghost, PI & PII)


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37 minutes ago, 34LaSalleClubSedan said:

Love the DuPont Duco plug. What year was this ad ??? 

 

Jim,  if you double click on the picture and look up in  your browser's URL bar you will see the filename which gives the newspaper and date.

 

St__Louis_Post_Dispatch_Wed__Feb_8__1928

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On 11/25/2020 at 9:20 AM, alsancle said:

 

This could be a great topic.   Which cars tend to be trailer queens vs which cars tend to be tour cars.   Probably some obvious reasons what a car lands in either category.   I'm thinking about 540K Mercedes which is almost always a trailer queen (I know of two instances of one touring in 25 years).

It is a dedication and it gets harder by the day.  

 

It is also incredibly expensive - I should just open my wallet and ask people to root around in it until they are happy (happy for many to most would be emptying it and I do not blame them as I give people some horrendous projects of "that is really broken good").   Then there is just complicated:  I think my posted somewhere here last week about my upholster threatening to "slap me silly" if I brought him another X to do - says I am great to work with, but my projects are much more not fun over the regular not fun projects. 

 

Dad and I were discussing that the Auburn has probably cost us an extra 40K (and I am frugal) over what would be trailer queen maintenance over past 15 years for the pleasure of having a car that can be driven anywhere.   I have no doubt that the Auburn I am doing now will be undependable for probably 2 years while I shake the bugs out.  Use to be with a lot of old timers that when we sent something for a drivetrain rebuild the rule was put 1K miles on it and then drive it over to the house and drop it off - try to find people that will do that today.   And so it goes ....

 

 

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On 7/30/2017 at 1:09 PM, alsancle said:

There is little conversation on these fantastic cars so I want to start one.    I don't know much about the Silver Ghost other than the design lasted a long long time.   The PI & II are more in my wheelhouse as they were dead in the middle of the Classic era.   Springfield RR were made from about 1920 to 1931 in Massachusetts.  I believe all the PI and PII cars were LHD.   The PII chassis were built in England and shipped to the U.S. for body and assembly so I count them as "American".

 

I know some forum member own these and I'm hoping we can get some first hand impressions.  I know build quality is fantastic.  The engine is huge, but not geared to be a speed demon.  Although the later PII "continental" chassis were supposedly good for 90mph.   I don't know that the U.S. shipped models had that specification.

 

To kick things off,  here is a car I really want.  Sort of shame the took it apart.

 

http://www.realcar.co.uk/view-cars/2018

 

2018-215AMSext34.JPG

 

A very rare opportunity to acquire one of the small number of left hand drive Phantom IIs produced, in this case being a very attractive Sports Saloon in part dismantled state, ready for a relatively light restoration. The car was delivered new to Canada, and has remained there for its entire life until now. Some of the photos show the car as it arrived, partly dismantled by the last owner in preparation for restoration, and others with it loosely 'hung together' to give an indication of the car’s handsome appearance, which includes louvred bonnet, rear-mounted spare wheel, quarter bumpers, etc, etc. As you can see, there are many components included with the car, including nicely re-chromed bumpers. A fascinating project, probably never to be repeated. Click the video link below to see footage of the car arriving here, and pictures after partial re-assembly.

 

 

So it looks like the new owner of this PII has been very busy working on it.   Here are a couple of videos he posted to youtube.   In the second video he's hauling,  60 mph.   I'm wondering if this car has the continental rear end ratio.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Hard to imagine it does not need a reproduction Cylinder Head - I guess someone could have put one on years ago and properly stored it, but originals are time bombs and ....

 

They might have gone through the motor.   I think the owner has posted on here so maybe he'll come back at some point and comment.

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7 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

I assume the two taxis going in the opposite direction are still in service which is pretty wild.  Interesting, he imported LHD US made RR to the UK! 

 

Not exactly Steve.  The AJS/AMS PII was built in Derby and shipped to America for a Brewster body and a few minor "US" updates.   This particular in one of a very few that were bodied in England also.   It was originally delivered to Canada.  

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I like it........decent looking for UK coachwork. Short or long chassis?

 

 

There is NOTHING better than a good Rolls, and NOTHING worse than a bad one.  

 

 

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Long chassis, original head and standard differential, cruises nicely at 60 to 65 not labouring or over revving, goes like a bomb for such an old car, all systems original and working as expected, smooth and quiet, a good example of the 1930s driving experience. Frame replaced last year, bodywork being restored this and next year (slowly because of Covid difficulties) the car will be restored to good functional condition in preparations for an Alpenfahrt and then a trans America run (work permitting) The car will never be judged, I have no interest in rosettes, See you all when we come over for the trans America.

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On 12/8/2020 at 4:15 PM, Keith Ward said:

Long chassis, original head and standard differential, cruises nicely at 60 to 65 not labouring or over revving, goes like a bomb for such an old car, all systems original and working as expected, smooth and quiet, a good example of the 1930s driving experience. Frame replaced last year, bodywork being restored this and next year (slowly because of Covid difficulties) the car will be restored to good functional condition in preparations for an Alpenfahrt and then a trans America run (work permitting) The car will never be judged, I have no interest in rosettes, See you all when we come over for the trans America.

 

Thanks for the update Keith.  Please keep us posted.  The trans-America run seems very interesting!

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On 12/8/2020 at 2:15 PM, Keith Ward said:

Long chassis, original head and standard differential, cruises nicely at 60 to 65 not labouring or over revving, goes like a bomb for such an old car, all systems original and working as expected, smooth and quiet, a good example of the 1930s driving experience. Frame replaced last year, bodywork being restored this and next year (slowly because of Covid difficulties) the car will be restored to good functional condition in preparations for an Alpenfahrt and then a trans America run (work permitting) The car will never be judged, I have no interest in rosettes, See you all when we come over for the trans America.

I would love to see a well-documented trans-America/Canada run! Videos, photos, and all the details. I have long been wanting to do something similar and could use the information for both inspiration and planning. Absolutely wonderful car!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was hoping this was my former car when new, but thinking it is an English chassis in Brewster Town Car style verses being a "Dover new" sedan

 

gettyimages-1195065792-640x640.jpg.1464996562fe07f670b51ffdbf6677d6.jpg

 

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/polo-champions-superimposed-over-action-shot-from-polo-news-footage/1195065792?adppopup=true

 

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Interesting comment about the new cylinder heads thank you. I have 2 original cylinder heads for this car, the original repaired one and a spare, it works well. I spent a lot of cash on these cylinder heads firstly because I want the car to retain as much originality as I can and secondly because having spoken to other owners I have heard some things about the repro heads that I'm not sure are good, boiling being a common comment because the new heads have been made with thicker aluminium so they resist corrosion leaks longer, this means there is more hot metal to be cooled with less water. Also with modern corrosion inhibitors the original heads should give good service. It's all just my opinion I guess but I filled my cooling system 3 years ago with 40% fernox Alphi II and there has been no corrosion during that time and no leaks have occurred. Also remember it is an un-pressurised water jacket working at about 65 to 70 degrees Centigrade, and modern epoxy putty products like "Quicksteel" will plug all but the most catastrophic roadside coolant/casting problems.

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  • 1 month later...

I’m reading Raymond Gentiles great book on the Phantom II.  Given our top speed discussion I found this factory service bulletin interesting.  Basically they didn’t want you continuously driving you PII faster than 75 mph.  The PI doesn’t get mentioned sadly.

 

  

061878F5-5DAE-4EE3-AECE-DD920470E0F1.jpeg

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18 hours ago, alsancle said:

I’m reading Raymond Gentiles great book on the Phantom II.  Given our top speed discussion I found this factory service bulletin interesting.  Basically they didn’t want you continuously driving you PII faster than 75 mph.  The PI doesn’t get mentioned sadly.

 

  

061878F5-5DAE-4EE3-AECE-DD920470E0F1.jpeg

You can drive it as fast as you are willing to pay the bills for destroying it.  

A friend asked me to buy his MGTD and I told him no, he plead his case (and I still told him no) - well, he is on engine rebuild 4, headgasket X, crankshaft 3, and .....- you cannot drive it 75MPH all day long (well you can, but it will destroy it). 

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On 10/19/2017 at 3:43 PM, John_Mereness said:

I am only aware of the company referenced by West Peterson and Peter Zobian (and I have not bought complete sets from them, but on the 25/30 cars I have bought the replacement parts for the die cast pieces at the hub and they were very nice).

 

 I actually would not mind having an original PI set of (20") wheel disk covers - anyone have an extra set ?.

 

I understand the owner of Lamarr died and the company is no longer in business?   Is anyone else making wheel disks these days?

 

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I think Fiennes in the UK make them and they quite often come up on eBay, but if you want the Park Ward style with the disk valve ports you might be looking for a very long time. This guy Anthony recently bought a trailer full of wheels, wheel disks and spare wheel covers for pre-war Rolls Royce cars Www.barnfindspecialist.co.uk 

Edited by Keith Ward
additional info (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Keith Ward said:

I think Fiennes in the UK make them and they quite often come up on eBay, but if you want the Park Ward style with the disk valve ports you might be looking for a very long time. This guy Anthony recently bought a trailer full of wheels, wheel disks and spare wheel covers for pre-war Rolls Royce cars Www.barnfindspecialist.co.uk 

 

Keith,   did the AJS/AMS cars use the same disks as the other series cars?    I recall that they were shipped to the US with only hubs as the rims are American.  I'm wondering how different the wheels are.

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5 hours ago, Keith Ward said:

It's a good question but I'm pretty sure they were sent with wheels complete there were a few things dropped from the shipping list like plugs, tool kit etc but I don't remember rims being on the list.

 

Ed explained it to me the other day.  I'm going to poke him to come here and spill the beans.

 

I'm 1/2 way through Gentile which I think is worth reading.  However,  he kills almost 50 pages explaining what is a Continental and what isn't.  

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Gentile is quite detailed, I sometimes think he was slightly hostile about non continentals but I have to confess I do deliberately wind up the purists when I quote my build sheet (which includes to body that RR had erected on the chassis for the customer) which says “Continental Touring Saloon” not just “Touring Saloon” and I express my belief that Rolls Royce are better qualified to say what is and what isn’t a continental than Gentile. I know I’m talking BS but it does shut them up (for about ten seconds) 

 

I checked the Handbook Version VII (Left Hand) which was written for American customers and it goes into quite some detail about the 20” Dunlop Spoked Wheels, care, cleaning, maintenance and balancing so I think I am right in saying they were shipped with wheels. 
 

K

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12 minutes ago, Keith Ward said:

Gentile is quite detailed, I sometimes think he was slightly hostile about non continentals but I have to confess I do deliberately wind up the purists when I quote my build sheet (which includes to body that RR had erected on the chassis for the customer) which says “Continental Touring Saloon” not just “Touring Saloon” and I express my belief that Rolls Royce are better qualified to say what is and what isn’t a continental than Gentile. I know I’m talking BS but it does shut them up (for about ten seconds) 

 

I checked the Handbook Version VII (Left Hand) which was written for American customers and it goes into quite some detail about the 20” Dunlop Spoked Wheels, care, cleaning, maintenance and balancing so I think I am right in saying they were shipped with wheels. 
 

K

 

I know what you mean about the hostility.   He gets pretty fired up and seems annoyed that RR would use the term "Continental" on the build sheet for any car that wasn't short wheelbase with the extra leaf springs.   Which I believe was the characteristics that he settled on as definitive.   Everything else was optional across all PII:  rear spares, axle ratio, compression, etc.

 

I just talked to Ed about the wheels and he his hedging now so you are probably right.   He's driving around in 70F degree weather in a V16 right but will chime in later.   It is 8F degrees here.

 

Did you find an original VII version of the handbook or is it a club copy?

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I have a photo somewhere of what is supposed to be PII chassis being shipped without wheels. They show just the hubs. They certainly are Dunlop hubs and centers. I know there was multiple issues and drama going back to the Springfield Ghost and even the P1 with issues like clocks, wheels, batteries, and other odds and ends being very difficult to source in the States. I will defer to any printed material..........if you asked me 18 years ago, there were still some Springfield Works employees that I could have asked. There was not too much happening in Springfield by late 1931.......best guess is 95 percent of the help was gone by then. Being born and raised in Springfield I must admit I favor the pure American unit over the PII that’s a conglomeration of both sides of the pond. I find the P1’s easier to drive......though there is little doubt that 90 percent of the people in the know like the more modern PII. Personally, I’ll take the York over the Henley every time. 😎

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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An interesting observation. I have never liked the PII very much - or rather, I like the PI much better and the Ghost better than the PI. I thought the earlier Ghosts, without front brakes, lighter handling than the later cars. Of course, that presumes you have driven one that was well sorted...my observations on the Ghost are limited really to one car, a '23 town car that had 14,000 original miles on it and had been carefully maintained it's entire life.

 

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

An interesting observation. I have never liked the PII very much - or rather, I like the PI much better and the Ghost better than the PI. I thought the earlier Ghosts, without front brakes, lighter handling than the later cars. Of course, that presumes you have driven one that was well sorted...my observations on the Ghost are limited really to one car, a '23 town car that had 14,000 original miles on it and had been carefully maintained it's entire life.

 

 

I have limited experience with both,  driving a single LHD PI and a single LHD PII.   I wasn't in love with the 4 speed in the PII but I'm sure after talking to Ed I had the shift points to high which I should have known.

 

Frame flex seems to be a common complaint with the PI,  but I don't now how and when that issue manifests itself.  Perhaps power sliding through a turn?  😄

 

You observation on sorting is true,  how many prewar cars are truly sorted correctly?   This is why I'm nice to Ed since he is a sorting savant.

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I don't know what you'd have to do to flex the frame of PI...I've had a body-less chassis at one time so I've seen the whole thing exposed and I suspect there are very few trucks as solidly built. That complaint sounds more like improperly lubricated suspension parts which are very easy to have because the Bijur "on shot" system is almost always clogged. I expect 98% of PI's aren't properly lubricated - another reason why I like the Ghost. It's more work but at least it's positive.

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On 1/31/2021 at 10:05 PM, edinmass said:

I have a photo somewhere of what is supposed to be PII chassis being shipped without wheels. They show just the hubs. They certainly are Dunlop hubs and centers. I know there was multiple issues and drama going back to the Springfield Ghost and even the P1 with issues like clocks, wheels, batteries, and other odds and ends being very difficult to source in the States. I will defer to any printed material..........if you asked me 18 years ago, there were still some Springfield Works employees that I could have asked. There was not too much happening in Springfield by late 1931.......best guess is 95 percent of the help was gone by then. Being born and raised in Springfield I must admit I favor the pure American unit over the PII that’s a conglomeration of both sides of the pond. I find the P1’s easier to drive......though there is little doubt that 90 percent of the people in the know like the more modern PII. Personally, I’ll take the York over the Henley every time. 😎

I had an entire new build November 1932 RRPI for Thanksgiving day delivery (L series) an oddity as by that point a bulk of the cars were parts inventory built - the difference in this case being original owner (Valeria Langloth) as in the steel mill business and was a supplier to them. 

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