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American Rolls Royce (Ghost, PI & PII)


alsancle
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A friend of mine had a 1906 Loraine-Dietrich. A very good, big, chain drive 4-cylinder car that had been painted, probably in the 50s, but was otherwise unrestored. My friend sold it because it was a bear to start. (Today, I could have fixed it but I couldn't then)...I think he sold it for about 15,000 to a doctor who was going to restore it. The doctor took it apart and realized it was way beyond him and offered it for sale, completely dismantled - for $35,000!

 

I may have dodged a bullet though. I'd seen the car in George Waterman's storage barn several years earlier and I later learned it had been imported by Burton Upjohn. His mechanic told me it was the most worn out car he'd ever tried to work on. Still...it would have been worth the effort ... far more interesting than a 1910 Mitchell.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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On 7/5/2021 at 8:44 AM, edinmass said:

Bad wood is easy to replace..........upholstery is easy to do. It runs.........35 years ago, maybe. Nice car. Just add 850k and four years time and you can take it for a drive. It today’s world.....it’s parts. And that is scary.

 

Yes... but there are still some people in this hobby who would do it as a hobby. Especially to one as good looking as this one.

 

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Does anyone know how RR engineering allowed them to avoid bonnet vents or doors (occasionally there's one or two I know) without the engine running too hot? Doesn't the air need to be drawn across the radiator in some fashion? This has long mystified me...Thanks!

- Dan.

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10 hours ago, prewarnut said:

Does anyone know how RR engineering allowed them to avoid bonnet vents or doors (occasionally there's one or two I know) without the engine running too hot? Doesn't the air need to be drawn across the radiator in some fashion? This has long mystified me...Thanks!

- Dan.

 

I've wondered about this also.    The radiator is definitely big and that probably helps.   I assume the hot air is exhausting out the bottom.

 

A friend said something to me the other day that stuck in my head.   RR was designed for England,  where the temps stay between 40-70.   The USA has a swing more like 0-100.

 

I will say the one prewar car I'm most familiar with runs cool.  But it also had a very high dollar restoration.

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" I assume the hot air is exhausting out the bottom."

 

Not that easy on an original car as they were fitted at the factory with fairly extensive splash pans installed between the frame and the engine. The gearbox and fan  etc. have full covers under them.  The sides and joints between the pans have leather gaskets fixed to them to seal the dirt out so they dont promote a good airflow.

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American Ghosts, and I presume PI's (the only car I worked on that had all of it's original under pans was a Ghost) - had louvered covers on the side but I suspect the cooling was really controlled by the extremely large radiator. I can report that even on a hot day in New England it was sometimes necessary to use the radiator louvers to bring it up to temperature. I only remember one car that had an overheating problem. It had a very badly clogged radiator and we replaced it with one that was just as old.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Look at the engineering in a Rolls P1..........they didn’t overheat then.......or today. Having driven a P1 in 100 degree heat in the mountains, I never saw my temperature get to half way up the guage.

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Must be nice to have a prewar car with no ventilation that you actually never think about overheating.   

 

RR was the king of incremental improvement.   The Silver Ghost and then the PI which was an improved silver ghost was in production for almost 30 years.   Each chassis would be tested for 30 days before being sent to the coachbuilder, at least at Derby.   Not sure what the Springfield methodology was but probably something similar.

 

 

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Pebble Beach will have some great cars for sale.   This one will be very interesting.   It is a Derby but is basically identical to the green Ascot that RM sold 2 years ago.   The difference is this car has the cut down doors and is late with the better fenders and later headlights.   But the green car was a hidden hinge car.

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo21/monterey/lots/r0052-1930-rolls-royce-phantom-i-derby-tourer-by-brewster/1114377

 

THE PHANTOM I DERBY TOURER

Of the numerous body styles catalogued for the Springfield Phantom I, among the sportiest and most attractive was the Derby, named for the town where Rolls-Royce’s main factory operated. Essentially a four-passenger version of Brewster’s dashing York Roadster, the Derby shared that car’s sports car-style curved doors and a low folding windshield, mated to an exceptionally rakish, low-slung top. A folding second cowl and rear windshield graced the close-coupled interior, while the trunk was of a compact, curved design that hugged the body. Long, narrow open fenders accentuated the overall appearance of lightness and speed, unusual for any Phantom I. John Webb de Campi wrote in Rolls-Royce in America that “these were perhaps the handsomest bodies ever put on a Rolls-Royce chassis”—a bold statement, but one seldom argued by anyone who has seen a Derby in the metal.

Mr. De Campi recorded that at least twenty examples of the Derby were produced, some of which were used in-period on more than one chassis, and not all of which have survived. Those that do exist belong to an illustrious roster of caretakers, including some of the world’s most prominent and best-known collectors and museums, resulting in scant availability.

CHASSIS NUMBER S402MR

Chassis number S402MR, offered here, is very special in that it was fitted when new with the Derby coachwork that it has retained for its entire life. Further, as a late-production Phantom I, it was mounted with the attractive C.M. Hall acorn-style head- and side lights, a fashionable upgrade from the earlier drum-style lights. It was delivered on 12 February 1930 to original owner Margaret McCleary Dunlop of Amsterdam, New York, heiress to one of the massive Mohawk County carpet mills and spouse to an executive of another. Mrs. Dunlop would retain ownership of the car for seven years before it was succeeded in the family carriage house by a Phantom III.

S402MR remained in New York, first in the hands of Dorothy Tuckerman, daughter of movie theatre king and talent agent M.A. Shea, who in 1939 evidently traded it in on a Phantom II Brewster Special Newmarket Sedan, with the Derby being acquired by Francis De Beixedon of Easthampton. In 1944 it was owned by a John Neff, resident at a Manhattan hotel. It soon moved across the country, and in 1945 was recorded with T. Ryden Skinner of Sandy, Utah. The following year it moved to San Diego, California, in the hands of Lester P. Wegeforth, member of a prominent local family; his father had founded the San Diego Zoo. Mr. Wegeforth appreciated fine automobiles and is well-remembered as the owner of the infamous “Packenberg,” a 1932 Packard coupe roadster with a Model J Duesenberg engine. The Derby underwent no such shenanigans.

By 1966 the Phantom I had been acquired by the prominent Oklahoma collector and auctioneer, James Leake, one of the most visible faces in the antique automobile hobby from the 1960s into the 1990s. In Mr. Leake’s ownership the car was pictured to illustrate the Derby style in the aforementioned Rolls-Royce in America. It remained part of his personal museum until 1987, when the museum’s contents were sold at auction.

At that time this car was purchased by another prolific collector of the era, Sam Vaughan of Texas, from whose own vast stable it would be acquired by the present collection in 1990. It has remained for over thirty years, well-preserved and much-loved, alongside numerous other highly significant Rolls-Royce models. Its rich chestnut livery, striped in cream and offset by burgundy upholstery and an off-white top, dates from the Leake ownership but remains highly attractive and is still very much in-tune with modern tastes.

This is an opportunity to acquire what is, quite simply, one of the peaks of the Springfield-built Rolls-Royce in both engineering and design—the glamorous, sporting, dramatic Phantom I Derby.

S402MR-1.jpg

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9 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Really, really nice car.  Not sure how well the brown works with the deep red upholstery.  Imagine it in this color scheme.

 

 

I love the mud all over the rear fender.   That would be great minus the whitewalls.   Note the roof line in back and the door cut.  Then note the price difference from those two tiny details.

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A Derby is five times more desirable than an Ascot. And I like them both. Look at the door close. It’s a big potato chip........you have to be flexible to get in and out........

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

A Derby is five times more desirable than an Ascot. And I like them both. Look at the door close. It’s a big potato chip........you have to be flexible to get in and out........

 

A lot of money when the only difference is the cut of the door.   The green Ascot has hidden hinges and this car does not.   If the difference is 5x,  then the brown car is a 1.2 million and you pay 300k all in for the Ascot? 

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The last Derby was 2.0 at Amelia, the last Ascot was under 300......... so to answer your question, yes. 
 

My bad, 6x........🥸

 

Remember, I’m born and raised in Springfield!
 

 

 

 

 

1C4E2E3C-BA6A-4C6A-9DF1-20E71B196E9E.png

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Perfect combo to me would be more modern looking top, but can lights and older bumpers like the green Ascot.  Maroon car is ironically just the opposite.

AJ if you liked muddy fenders you should have seen adventure getting this car out of the low lying field after a week of rain.  Not an ugly car or combo by any means, but I wonder if top profile, lights, etc. Were specified by owners as it does not seem to follow a chronological model update type order.

In any event attractive cars in various configurations, and differences in details make it fun spotting them.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Analogous to fine art, in custom coachbuilding design, the difference between great pieces and the creme-de-la-creme is always a matter of details.  The Ascot would be regarded as the latter were it not for the Derby.   

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Estimate on the Derby is $425,000 - $525,000 USD.    It does not have the flared rear fenders like the 2 million dollar car Ed posted.   It is also not black.  

 

Lets say it sells for 425k all in.  The green car sold for 300k all in.   The brown car has the later fenders and headlights as well as the cut down doors.   The green car has no visible hinges, a better color and stainless wheels which actually look pretty good. 


Tough call.

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Are they Stainless Steel or chrome plated? I may be mistaken but remember reading on some documentation from Brewster that the stainless wheels (that cost as much as a Ford model A) were something they regretted introducing because of the claims they received due to premature fatigue failure.

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10 minutes ago, Keith Ward said:

Whilst we are discussing the LHD pre war Rolls Royce cars, would I be allowed to post a plea for some parts I am desperately looking for for a LHD Phantom II chassis number 215AMS


Of course.  What do you need?

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14 minutes ago, Keith Ward said:

Are they Stainless Steel or chrome plated? I may be mistaken but remember reading on some documentation from Brewster that the stainless wheels (that cost as much as a Ford model A) were something they regretted introducing because of the claims they received due to premature fatigue failure.


Modern reproductions.  I think they were around 20k.

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I want to buy another Henley for $250 bucks..........

 

 

Scan 3.jpeg

 

 

Notice down below, they also have margin prices on Packard's, Duesenbergs, Cadillac's, and Pierce Arrows.......sounds like I need to go shopping there. 

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Thanks Al, I'm looking for one or a pair of front shock dampers, I don't mind what condition as long as they are saveable, I would like to rebuild replacements on the bench before swapping them round so I can rebuild the originals without the car being off the road, then swap them back. I was offered a pair in the UK a while ago but for stupid money so had to decline, I'm glad I did because I found out later that they were not quite as the seller had described.

 

Mine as you can see are a bit worse for the wear 

7640A14B-1F9E-4E5D-8418-DF8FA9651152.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Keith Ward said:

Whilst we are discussing the LHD pre war Rolls Royce cars, would I be allowed to post a plea for some parts I am desperately looking for for a LHD Phantom II chassis number 215AMS


Sure.......always appropriate to talk Rolls Royce cars........

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1 hour ago, Keith Ward said:

Thanks Al, I'm looking for one or a pair of front shock dampers, I don't mind what condition as long as they are saveable, I would like to rebuild replacements on the bench before swapping them round so I can rebuild the originals without the car being off the road, then swap them back. I was offered a pair in the UK a while ago but for stupid money so had to decline, I'm glad I did because I found out later that they were not quite as the seller had described.

 

Mine as you can see are a bit worse for the wear 

7640A14B-1F9E-4E5D-8418-DF8FA9651152.jpeg


 

In England they would say.......they look a bit poorly. 🥸
 

 

Unfortunately PII parts are like unicorn horns. Hard to find under the best circumstances. 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Estimate on the Derby is $425,000 - $525,000 USD.    It does not have the flared rear fenders like the 2 million dollar car Ed posted.   It is also not black.  

 

Lets say it sells for 425k all in.  The green car sold for 300k all in.   The brown car has the later fenders and headlights as well as the cut down doors.   The green car has no visible hinges, a better color and stainless wheels which actually look pretty good. 


Tough call.


 

On paper, a Derby will always smoke as Ascott apples to apples. And it should be x2 or more if traditional numbers are still running the same way.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Keith Ward said:

Thanks Al, I'm looking for one or a pair of front shock dampers, I don't mind what condition as long as they are saveable, I would like to rebuild replacements on the bench before swapping them round so I can rebuild the originals without the car being off the road, then swap them back. I was offered a pair in the UK a while ago but for stupid money so had to decline, I'm glad I did because I found out later that they were not quite as the seller had described.

 

Mine as you can see are a bit worse for the wear 

 

 

Keith,   were the shock dampers the same through every series?   There was an optional one too I think?  I would try a want advertisement on the RROC website.  If you are not a member I can do it for you.  Also, post one with the RREC.

 

Those look like I worked on them.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Blackwalls maybe tone things down?   The Blue is too bad.   It has the new head which is nice.

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26887/lot/98/

 

1930 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I Salamanca
Coachwork by Hibberd & Darrin
Chassis no. S476MR
Engine no. 22769


7,668cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine
Single carburetor
100bhp at 3,000rpm
Three-speed manual transmission
Front semi-elliptical leaf springs and rear cantilever spring suspension
Four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes

*Restored by Pebble Beach award winner Stu Laidlaw
*Delivered new to Chicagoland
*Stunning custom coachwork
*A rare and special machine


THE PHANTOM I

Introduced by Rolls-Royce in 1925 to replace the Silver Ghost, the New Phantom (retrospectively known as the Phantom I) boasted an entirely new overhead-valve six-cylinder engine displacing 7,668cc and, like the contemporary 20hp model, adopted a disc-type clutch and adjustable radiator shutters. Its chassis though, remained essentially the same as that of the later, four-wheel-braked Silver Ghost and would continue fundamentally unchanged until the arrival of the Phantom II in 1929 brought with it an entirely new frame.

Like its 'Ghost predecessor, the New Phantom was also produced by Rolls-Royce of America Incorporated, a subsidiary set up in December 1919 when the parent company purchased the American Wire Wheel Company's plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield commenced manufacture of the New Phantom in 1926 and by the second half of 1929 production had risen to 12 cars per week. This would prove to be the high point of Rolls-Royce of America's fortunes, the October '29 Wall Street Crash and the introduction of the Phantom II - re-tooling for which the US company could not afford - signaling the beginning of its decline. The Phantom I was in production for only five years and the Derby-built models ran parallel with the Springfield cars but ended in 1929, whereas the Americans continued until 1931.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This fetching Salamanca is one of the rare Hibbard & Darrin bodied Springfield Phantoms. The coachbuilder for discerning taste makers such as Jack Warner and Marlene Deitrich, this Rolls was ordered new by Louis A. Mitchell of Evanston, Illinois and delivered on May 14, 1931. Remaining in Chicagoland, the Rolls would later travel only a few miles west to join the garage of inventor Walter Goodman of Skokie according to the Schoellkopf card on file. The interim history from there is murkier, but by the late 1990s the Rolls was in Southern California with an esteemed collector and restored around 2000 by Pebble Beach award-winning restorer Stu Laidlaw.

The Salamanca was sparingly used for the next nearly decade before the engine was rebuilt in 2009 by Rolls-Royce specialist Roger Ford. During this service, new valves, exhaust, radiator, and aluminum head were fitted while the drivetrain, clutch, and brakes were checked and lubricated and the generator rebuilt. Acquired by the present owner in January of 2010, the Rolls has been on static display since purchase. A stunning machine with its polished aluminum bodywork offset by is blue paintwork and matching blue top, mechanical recommission is recommended prior to active touring. Once back on the road, it will make an excellent vehicle for shows and events.

 

Rolls-Royce-Phantom-I-Salamanca.jpg

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Al, thanks for the advice, I've tried those options but to no avail unfortunately, They were not identical throughout production but the AMS are N2 series as far as 44MS and those are all identical. I didn't think anything would be available as they are as rare as hens teeth so I will just have to get the machine shop on to it to make up some new shafts and arms for me. My big worry is the other parts, seals etc because the usual suppliers over here are increasingly "Out of Stock" which usually means waiting with a half fixed assembly for months and sometimes years for the parts suppliers to restock so the job can be finished.

 

No Problem, I thought it was worth a try but I'm working on the frame for the next 6 weeks or so anyway, so I've got plenty of time to get on with it.

 

K

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That PI has an interesting look.......but I’m guessing it’s better in photos than in person. Not sure I like it on a Rolls. 

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6 hours ago, alsancle said:

Blackwalls maybe tone things down?   The Blue is too bad.   It has the new head which is nice.

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26887/lot/98/

 

1930 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I Salamanca
Coachwork by Hibberd & Darrin
Chassis no. S476MR
Engine no. 22769


7,668cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine
Single carburetor
100bhp at 3,000rpm
Three-speed manual transmission
Front semi-elliptical leaf springs and rear cantilever spring suspension
Four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes

*Restored by Pebble Beach award winner Stu Laidlaw
*Delivered new to Chicagoland
*Stunning custom coachwork
*A rare and special machine


THE PHANTOM I

Introduced by Rolls-Royce in 1925 to replace the Silver Ghost, the New Phantom (retrospectively known as the Phantom I) boasted an entirely new overhead-valve six-cylinder engine displacing 7,668cc and, like the contemporary 20hp model, adopted a disc-type clutch and adjustable radiator shutters. Its chassis though, remained essentially the same as that of the later, four-wheel-braked Silver Ghost and would continue fundamentally unchanged until the arrival of the Phantom II in 1929 brought with it an entirely new frame.

Like its 'Ghost predecessor, the New Phantom was also produced by Rolls-Royce of America Incorporated, a subsidiary set up in December 1919 when the parent company purchased the American Wire Wheel Company's plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield commenced manufacture of the New Phantom in 1926 and by the second half of 1929 production had risen to 12 cars per week. This would prove to be the high point of Rolls-Royce of America's fortunes, the October '29 Wall Street Crash and the introduction of the Phantom II - re-tooling for which the US company could not afford - signaling the beginning of its decline. The Phantom I was in production for only five years and the Derby-built models ran parallel with the Springfield cars but ended in 1929, whereas the Americans continued until 1931.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This fetching Salamanca is one of the rare Hibbard & Darrin bodied Springfield Phantoms. The coachbuilder for discerning taste makers such as Jack Warner and Marlene Deitrich, this Rolls was ordered new by Louis A. Mitchell of Evanston, Illinois and delivered on May 14, 1931. Remaining in Chicagoland, the Rolls would later travel only a few miles west to join the garage of inventor Walter Goodman of Skokie according to the Schoellkopf card on file. The interim history from there is murkier, but by the late 1990s the Rolls was in Southern California with an esteemed collector and restored around 2000 by Pebble Beach award-winning restorer Stu Laidlaw.

The Salamanca was sparingly used for the next nearly decade before the engine was rebuilt in 2009 by Rolls-Royce specialist Roger Ford. During this service, new valves, exhaust, radiator, and aluminum head were fitted while the drivetrain, clutch, and brakes were checked and lubricated and the generator rebuilt. Acquired by the present owner in January of 2010, the Rolls has been on static display since purchase. A stunning machine with its polished aluminum bodywork offset by is blue paintwork and matching blue top, mechanical recommission is recommended prior to active touring. Once back on the road, it will make an excellent vehicle for shows and events.

 

Rolls-Royce-Phantom-I-Salamanca.jpg

Just because one can, doesn't mean one should...  Take one Rolls-Royce Hibbard & Darrin design masterwork then turn it into an esthetic travesty!   Polished aluminum and cobalt blue jump ahead and push the design nuances aside, shouting "LOOK AT ME!!!"   "discerning taste makers" not who the individuals were that made the finishing decisions on this unfortunate victim.  Just look at that hideous reflection of the sidemount in the hood side!  Idiotic!

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36 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Just because one can, doesn't mean one should...  Take one Rolls-Royce Hibbard & Darrin design masterwork then turn it into an esthetic travesty!   Polished aluminum and cobalt blue jump ahead and push the design nuances aside, shouting "LOOK AT ME!!!"   "discerning taste makers" not who the individuals were that made the finishing decisions on this unfortunate victim.  Just look at that hideous reflection of the sidemount in the hood side!  Idiotic!


 

Yup.......I was tempering my response........here it goes..........restoration colors and finish were poorly chosen by someone who had no clue what a PI is.........

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40 minutes ago, edinmass said:


 

Yup.......I was tempering my response........here it goes..........restoration colors and finish were poorly chosen by someone who had no clue what a PI is.........

Ed: 

Sometimes, letting the invective fly is fully warranted...this is a prime example...no need to hold back.   

Steve

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2 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Ed: 

Sometimes, letting the invective fly is fully warranted...this is a prime example...no need to hold back.   

Steve


 

Ok....Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles picked out the colors.............

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