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American Rolls Royce (Ghost, PI & PII)


alsancle
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There are only a few cars that the actual start up and operation of the machine are special. Any Ghost, P1 or P2 are among the very few special automotive experiences that are hard to explain. Starting a J, and warming it up, sliding through the gears before the oil in the transmission thins out is another………and then once it’s thin and smooth, opening the cut out and bringing the tach up to 3800………. a very special experience that can’t be explained……….

 

Driving a car where the oil pressure is part of the ignition system advancing the timing…….so few people get to experience a piece of automotive craftsmanship…….it brings joy to one’s heart.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

There are only a few cars that the actual start up and operation of the machine are special. Any Ghost, P1 or P2 are among the very few special automotive experiences that are hard to explain. Starting a J, and warming it up, sliding through the gears before the oil in the transmission thins out is another………and then once it’s thin and smooth, opening the cut out and bringing the tach up to 3800………. a very special experience that can’t be explained……….

 

Driving a car where the oil pressure is part of the ignition system advancing the timing…….so few people get to experience a piece of automotive craftsmanship…….it brings joy to one’s heart.

I had to memorize the multiple pages in the owners manual about the starting sequence, hard for me to do - but once I was actually starting and running the P1, it was all very logical and smooth (at least once the 2 carbs were rebuilt).  And proving to myself that you could start a P1 whose engine was still warm by 'flicking' the spark advance back and forth instead of using the starter motor felt real nice - even better when people would try to tell me that it wasn't possible.  And while I didn't make a habit of running the engine very slowly, that you could run it so slowly - hood and windows open, so that you couldn't hear it running, was amazing.  Super smooth, great feel.  My father was always too busy to drive it more than a couple times over the years, but I knew he appreciated what a great car it was.  He wasn't always easy to talk to, but he knew and appreciated my caring for our cars, the older P1 and a couple Packards (one of which I still have).

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On 7/10/2022 at 8:37 PM, alsancle said:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1927-rolls-royce-phantom-

 

This 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I is a left-hand drive sedan that was reportedly purchased by the seller’s father in 1968, and it has remained with the family since. Refinished in black over a beige cloth interior, the car is powered by a 7.7-liter inline-six paired with a three-speed manual gearbox. The Brewster coachwork is mounted to a replacement chassis, and equipment includes an upholstered roof, rear coach doors, painted wire wheels, wood interior trim, and a chassis lubrication system. The engine was rebuilt in 1997, and work completed within the past four years is said to have included a fuel system cleaning and servicing, an oil change, and coolant flush. This Phantom 1 is now offered with photos and correspondence dating back to 1954, spare engine components, an assortment of tools, and a clean Oklahoma title in the seller’s name.

 

 

 

 

Sold for $75,000 on 7/17/22

 

Strong money for a very nice car.   My prediction would have been 25k less.   We say it everywhere in this thread,  but a nice Rolls is awesome and a poor one will break you.   This seems to be the former.  Also, about as attractive a high hat car as you will see.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's back...

The PI Avon sold at Amelia Island. I thought the selling price was on the high side given how much it will need to be sorted properly but now you can get it for only slightly less than twice that amount, There is no mention of the fiberglass front fenders but it does look as if it's been reupholstered since I last saw it...

 

s-l1600.jpg.6f816ce31ad9a240f1cd4ab23d6be49c.jpg

 

s-l1600-1.jpg.7698ae60ec3eb9e03cb233cc61707735.jpg

 

s-l1600-2.jpg.a454480cb925eb894b0a39b5d0da6baf.jpg

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

It's back...

The PI Avon sold at Amelia Island. I thought the selling price was on the high side given how much it will need to be sorted properly but now you can get it for only slightly less than twice that amount, There is no mention of the fiberglass front fenders but it does look as if it's been reupholstered since I last saw it...

 

s-l1600.jpg.6f816ce31ad9a240f1cd4ab23d6be49c.jpg

 

s-l1600-1.jpg.7698ae60ec3eb9e03cb233cc61707735.jpg

 

s-l1600-2.jpg.a454480cb925eb894b0a39b5d0da6baf.jpg

 

Joe,  where did you find this?    The fenders were still fiberglass at Amelia.

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ebay...

 

I'm sure the fenders are still fiberglass. Either they don't know or are hoping any prospective buyer doesn't notice. In fact, the wording of the description appears to have been plagiarized from the Amelia Island catalog so this is probably a "flip" by a dealer that doesn't know a PI from a hole in the ground.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gooding has this very nice Riviera S188PR with canework at Pebble.  The body and chassis seem to have been separated at one point but are now back together?  Auction speak is sometimes tough to decipher.  In any event, a beautiful car.

 

https://www.goodingco.com/lot/1931-rolls-royce-phantom-i-riviera-town-car

 

The Springfield Phantom I provided the American Rolls-Royce customer with a chassis tailored to stateside driving conditions, featuring left-hand steering placement, a three-speed gearbox and the Bijur centralized chassis lubrication system. Among the 1,243 chassis built, the final PR series benefited from additional improvements including aluminum cylinder heads and thermostatically-controlled radiator shutters. This example, chassis S188PR, was among the last cars built at the Springfield Works and was one of 10 fitted with spectacular Riviera town car coachwork by Brewster.

Brewster’s well-earned reputation for quality, innovation, and style was the ideal complement to the Rolls-Royce chassis and the coachbuilding firm was acquired by Rolls-Royce of America in October 1925. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Springfield Phantom Is were equipped with Brewster coachwork. Brewster offered a wide array of body styles to the discerning Rolls-Royce customer, the most formal of which were its town car designs. Among those, Brewster’s Riviera town car is unquestionably the most attractive, cleverly combining sporting and formal design elements. Noted Rolls-Royce authority John Webb De Campi succinctly described the Riviera as “One of Brewster’s most striking styles. From the front seat forward it looked like a sporty Ascot tourer with an elegant brougham attached behind.”

A close examination confirms that assessment. The hood and cowl blend perfectly with the front doors, which are free of ornamentation, including any exterior door hardware. The delicate windshield, with its slightly angled rake, suggests sportiness and can be lowered completely for an even more rakish appearance. The rear half of the body speaks formality, beginning with dual coach lamps, a more upright passenger compartment and rear-hinged doors. The passenger compartment provides privacy for its occupants, courtesy of the blind, rear quarter-panels, which are fitted with decorative landau irons on the exterior.

Alfred Cleveland Blumenthal was reportedly the first owner of S188PR, taking delivery of the car on February 1, 1932, at his address at the Hotel Ambassador in midtown Manhattan. Blumenthal was a real estate developer and theatrical promoter, married to Ziegfeld Follies actress Peggy Fears. By 1953, S188PR was owned by John Eliot Holt of Hampton, Connecticut at which time the chassis was fitted with a Brewster Kenilworth sedan body. Noted Rolls-Royce enthusiast David G. Domidion of Bernardsville, New Jersey acquired S188PR around 1979 when it joined his collection of more than a dozen Springfield Phantom Is. It then became part of the Imperial Palace Collection in Las Vegas, Nevada, by which time it had once again been fitted with proper Brewster Riviera coachwork.

Its current owner acquired the car in 1998 and embarked on a no-expense-spared restoration which was documented by photographs of the process. Upon completion in 2013, S188PR emerged in a proper period color combination featuring black paintwork accented with delicate straw-colored canework on the rear body and doors. Blackwall tires and black painted wire wheels complete the presentation of restrained elegance, and as a late Phantom I chassis, S188PR features flat-bar bumpers and conical headlamps providing a sleeker appearance. Inside, the elegance continues with elaborate walnut marquetry trim, beige upholstery, fold-down occasional seats, and a sliding glass chauffeur’s division. The chauffeur’s compartment is finished in black leather and comes equipped with a removable tendelet canopy and side curtains. A period accessory trunk is fitted at the rear.

Now configured as when new, S188PR has been used sparingly since restoration and maintained accordingly. This Phantom I Riviera Town Car blends robust Rolls-Royce mechanicals with one of Brewster’s most attractive designs—a superb blend of sportiness and elegance. Exclusive when new, it remains so today with just two other examples listed in the current RROC directory. S188PR exudes grace and sophistication, making it a strong contender for elegance awards at any concours.

PhantomI-Riviera.jpg

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   I was going to ask if anyone thought the inlays are original but I tend to wonder if they were added during restoration. Most period furniture marquetry I look at which has flowery or leaf motifs there is some "veining" to ther leaves and more importantly a light burn to tan or "shadow" where an overlap occurs and to give it 3 dimensionality. I don't see any of that in the central flower as example or the rococco type decorative swags and curls. I'm not trying to be particular but just to learn what is and isn't original. This is a tabletop and not even the very best example....

main product photo

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Gooding has this very nice Riviera S188PR with canework at Pebble.  The body and chassis seem to have been separated at one point but are now back together?  Auction speak is sometimes tough to decipher.  In any event, a beautiful car.

 

https://www.goodingco.com/lot/1931-rolls-royce-phantom-i-riviera-town-car

 

The Springfield Phantom I provided the American Rolls-Royce customer with a chassis tailored to stateside driving conditions, featuring left-hand steering placement, a three-speed gearbox and the Bijur centralized chassis lubrication system. Among the 1,243 chassis built, the final PR series benefited from additional improvements including aluminum cylinder heads and thermostatically-controlled radiator shutters. This example, chassis S188PR, was among the last cars built at the Springfield Works and was one of 10 fitted with spectacular Riviera town car coachwork by Brewster.

Brewster’s well-earned reputation for quality, innovation, and style was the ideal complement to the Rolls-Royce chassis and the coachbuilding firm was acquired by Rolls-Royce of America in October 1925. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Springfield Phantom Is were equipped with Brewster coachwork. Brewster offered a wide array of body styles to the discerning Rolls-Royce customer, the most formal of which were its town car designs. Among those, Brewster’s Riviera town car is unquestionably the most attractive, cleverly combining sporting and formal design elements. Noted Rolls-Royce authority John Webb De Campi succinctly described the Riviera as “One of Brewster’s most striking styles. From the front seat forward it looked like a sporty Ascot tourer with an elegant brougham attached behind.”

A close examination confirms that assessment. The hood and cowl blend perfectly with the front doors, which are free of ornamentation, including any exterior door hardware. The delicate windshield, with its slightly angled rake, suggests sportiness and can be lowered completely for an even more rakish appearance. The rear half of the body speaks formality, beginning with dual coach lamps, a more upright passenger compartment and rear-hinged doors. The passenger compartment provides privacy for its occupants, courtesy of the blind, rear quarter-panels, which are fitted with decorative landau irons on the exterior.

Alfred Cleveland Blumenthal was reportedly the first owner of S188PR, taking delivery of the car on February 1, 1932, at his address at the Hotel Ambassador in midtown Manhattan. Blumenthal was a real estate developer and theatrical promoter, married to Ziegfeld Follies actress Peggy Fears. By 1953, S188PR was owned by John Eliot Holt of Hampton, Connecticut at which time the chassis was fitted with a Brewster Kenilworth sedan body. Noted Rolls-Royce enthusiast David G. Domidion of Bernardsville, New Jersey acquired S188PR around 1979 when it joined his collection of more than a dozen Springfield Phantom Is. It then became part of the Imperial Palace Collection in Las Vegas, Nevada, by which time it had once again been fitted with proper Brewster Riviera coachwork.

Its current owner acquired the car in 1998 and embarked on a no-expense-spared restoration which was documented by photographs of the process. Upon completion in 2013, S188PR emerged in a proper period color combination featuring black paintwork accented with delicate straw-colored canework on the rear body and doors. Blackwall tires and black painted wire wheels complete the presentation of restrained elegance, and as a late Phantom I chassis, S188PR features flat-bar bumpers and conical headlamps providing a sleeker appearance. Inside, the elegance continues with elaborate walnut marquetry trim, beige upholstery, fold-down occasional seats, and a sliding glass chauffeur’s division. The chauffeur’s compartment is finished in black leather and comes equipped with a removable tendelet canopy and side curtains. A period accessory trunk is fitted at the rear.

Now configured as when new, S188PR has been used sparingly since restoration and maintained accordingly. This Phantom I Riviera Town Car blends robust Rolls-Royce mechanicals with one of Brewster’s most attractive designs—a superb blend of sportiness and elegance. Exclusive when new, it remains so today with just two other examples listed in the current RROC directory. S188PR exudes grace and sophistication, making it a strong contender for elegance awards at any concours.

PhantomI-Riviera.jpg

Not everyone would consider the aluminum head engines to be superior.  My late father, an aeronautical engineer, greatly preferred the older cast iron heads.  The older of his 2 SP P1's had cast iron, the later, less than 100 chassis later, had aluminum.  When I last ran the older one, it was still incredibly smooth.  The newer one, sadly, (to use his words) had been run into the ground, but being one of the (according to what is written here) 10 Riviera Town Cars built by RR in Springfield and at Brewster, was still a beautiful car when I last saw it 50 years ago covered in river mud from Hurricane Agnes.  That one had the 'pipe' bumpers and drum headlights that I prefer.  Regardless, the hand painted cane work is beyond amazing.

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8 hours ago, pbug56 said:

Not everyone would consider the aluminum head engines to be superior.  My late father, an aeronautical engineer, greatly preferred the older cast iron heads.  The older of his 2 SP P1's had cast iron, the later, less than 100 chassis later, had aluminum.  When I last ran the older one, it was still incredibly smooth.  The newer one, sadly, (to use his words) had been run into the ground, but being one of the (according to what is written here) 10 Riviera Town Cars built by RR in Springfield and at Brewster, was still a beautiful car when I last saw it 50 years ago covered in river mud from Hurricane Agnes.  That one had the 'pipe' bumpers and drum headlights that I prefer.  Regardless, the hand painted cane work is beyond amazing.

If you go back prior to the reproduction aluminum heads, which I believe were first cast in the 1980s, everybody preferred the iron head cars. It wasn’t so much the engineering, as the fact that the aluminum degraded over time.  It is possible, that the aluminum heads are somehow better engineered, but I don’t know the differences 

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On 7/30/2022 at 8:43 PM, JV Puleo said:

It's back...

The PI Avon sold at Amelia Island. I thought the selling price was on the high side given how much it will need to be sorted properly but now you can get it for only slightly less than twice that amount, There is no mention of the fiberglass front fenders but it does look as if it's been reupholstered since I last saw it...

 

s-l1600.jpg.6f816ce31ad9a240f1cd4ab23d6be49c.jpg

 

s-l1600-1.jpg.7698ae60ec3eb9e03cb233cc61707735.jpg

 

 

I can't recall ever seeing a rear compartment of a Rolls-Royce as plain as this one!  No inlaid wood door & partition cappings below the windows, spirits cabinet on the partition, center armrest in the rear seat....

 

Craig

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10 hours ago, alsancle said:

If you go back prior to the reproduction aluminum heads, which I believe were first cast in the 1980s, everybody preferred the iron head cars. It wasn’t so much the engineering, as the fact that the aluminum degraded over time.  It is possible, that the aluminum heads are somehow better engineered, but I don’t know the differences 

Aluminum is great for planes, but one has to wonder why RR went for them.

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9 hours ago, 8E45E said:

I can't recall ever seeing a rear compartment of a Rolls-Royce as plain as this one!  No inlaid wood door & partition cappings below the windows, spirits cabinet on the partition, center armrest in the rear seat....

 

Craig

Those features didn't start to appear until the late 30s and are mostly associated with British coach builders. For the most part they post-date the American cars. They weren't common on English RRs then either although there is one over-the-top car with a passenger compartment done in Louis XIV style.

 

 

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Reading the auction description…….one can only conclude caveat emptor. The price is pretty optimistic for something that doesn’t come with the blue ribbon guarantee. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another Derby.  Loving the ancient cream yellow paint and red chassis and interior.  Up at Owl's Head ME.

 

Later style headlights and bumper.  Original coachwork and history from new on this one.20220823_112848.jpg.7252b9fee1b2414f83720190ad4f7d78.jpg

20220823_112909.jpg

20220823_112721.jpg

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
Added more pics (see edit history)
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On 8/19/2022 at 4:28 PM, Milburn Drysdale said:

Ultimate RR. Owned by a great collector 


Henley’s are nice cars……I prefer a York. 

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