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American Rolls Royce (Ghost, PI & PII)


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On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 10:38 PM, edinmass said:

There are lots of differences between the P1 & P2, overall ninty percent of them are chassis related, and ten percent are engine related. I have driven both, and truth be told, I prefer the P1. It's kind of interesting to observe but of ALL the legendary pre war motor cars, I only find two that live up to the hype, legend, and reputation of the ages. The first is Duesenberg, and the other is Rolls. All the others are good cars but every one of them can be discounted against the formentioned two.  No car is perfect, and many pre war cars were flawed, some of them seriously. I also find many cars with reputations of "being a great car" to be poor performers and have many bad habits and disappointing traits. Just my two cents. Ed

 

Aw..c'mon.....you going to compare a P I or even a P II against a late 1930's American super-luxury car ?  

 

And the mighty Dusie...c'mon...it was  outstanding technology for what it was and for its technological era...( as was the Rolls)   you seriously going to compare it with the last of the Cad V 16's or Packard V-12's...?

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Pete,  I think Ed is talking about pure speed and muscle.  If you had to win a race with any stock American prewar car wouldn't you go with a Model J (I won't even say SJ)?  Even though it was 1928 technology a Model J Duesenberg tuned correctly is very very fast, even by 1938 standards.

 

Refinement, drivability, steering braking, etc, we can probably find 20 better pewar cars that would also maintain 65 mph.

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On 10/12/2017 at 11:49 PM, JV Puleo said:

It's so good to know that they had it looked after in the "muscle car garage".  I bet they had an interesting time adjusting the brakes, if they were even able to look at them. I find ads like this so banal they are insulting.

 

I have to say I laughed when I saw this comment.  By the way, not sure there are a dozen people on the globe comfortable in adjusting brakes on a PI and my guess is only a handful more adventuresome to try and will get it right when completed. 

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Saw this quote: one of the things that always hurt the company was that most RR buyers really didn't know much about cars and were purchasing a status symbol...

 

My guess is that they were well aware it was the highest priced car they could purchase, but they did not know what mechanically/quality separated it from other cars.  

 

A good story:  So for our Concours "Cincinnati Concours d'Elegance" about three years ago a representative from RR borrowed a car from a Columbus client and put it on dealer display hoping to generate sales.  Cincinnati has had two RR dealers (one Pre WWII and one  late 1960's to 1990's) over company history and traditionally has been a good marketplace - my reply was that only a limited number of people here will purchase something that has to be put on a flatbed and sent to another city for service.    Probably the same goes for RR cars over their history - unless you were in a large city  (NYC, LA, Chicago, or ....) the cars were too much of a handful to have serviced. 

 

I am told Cincinnati had a local sales office on 8th street from late teens through 1939ish - best I can tell was that the marble staircase to no where at 15 East Eight downtown was the entrance and the actual building is now a parking lot.  I have always heard the office closed due to WWII (and supply), but also I hears sales were dramatically effected by "wrong element" (ex. Kentucky casino owners and ....) in people buying the cars.

 

Also, I heard a toll was taken by  "The Great Gatsby" taking a slam at "Nouveau riche" Americans in their yellow Rolls-Royces'.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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On 10/14/2017 at 4:42 AM, edinmass said:

 

 

Good news! The trunk has been removed. I'm having P1 withdrawal issues, so I will pick it up on Wednesday and put it in the new garage where it belongs........its new forever home. ?

Ed, I took the trunk off my PI and found out quick that the the jack barely fits in the toolbox (and then spent far too much time getting all other tools in toolbox) and the jack handle would have to go under the carpet matched to the car being incredibly impractical without luggage as it is a big car but storage is at a premium - so I am having the trunk restored and ....  - trunk gets to go back on.  I thought about having a low profile trunk built, but again realized car really does need the storage. 

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Question:  What is the most expensive P2 you can buy?

 

Answer:  The cheapest P2 you can buy.

 

Actually, that may not be true.  I wonder what the least expensive P2 is you an buy these days that will actually run and drive.  If this one purrs like they say it does they should take some picture outside.

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These are a few listed on Hemmings.

 

$273,700 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sporting Open Tourer

$200,000 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Brewster Newport Town Car

$229,900 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II

I wonder what it would cost to restore this one (the picture look pretty good.

$26,950 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom for Sale
Mileage: 63700
Transmission: Manual
Condition: Excellent
Exterior: Onyx
Interior: Biscuit Tan Connolly

Seller’s Description:

Smooth running 6 cyl. O.H.V. Engine – 3,680 c.c.,
3 speed manual transmission,
Full disc painted hubcaps,
Four wheel hydraulic brakes,
Refinished in Onyx Black paint,
Original Biscuit leather interior,
Rear mounted spare,
Roll up division window,
Flying Lady radiator mascot,
Front and rear bumpers,
In-dash clock,
Center driving light,
Odometer reads 63,700 miles

1 of 41 Built
Unrestored
A true piece of automotive history- extremely
Rare 5 passenger limousine.
Delivered new to Mrs. E.M. Morgan
Harpenden, Herts, England – March 30th, 1935
Exported to U.S. In 1988
Present owner has enjoyed the car for over 28+
years. - complete ownership history
 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tinindian said:

These are a few listed on Hemmings.

 

Problem is that except for the Brewster Newport they are all RHD cars for English market.  There were only 146 or so LHD American delivery cars.  Those bring a premium in the states.

 

 

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Wonderful comments! Glad I found these posts. Here is a photo of my 1930 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom 1 Regent Convertible Coupe by Brewster. I'm a "newbie" as this is my first Rolls, and I've only owned it for about 5 years. But, I'm glad I have it. About the speed, it seems most comfortable at 50 to 55 mph, but will willingly go up to 60 or so. However, the engine seems to be really working at that speed. I know several owners of Rolls cars have fitted Gear Vendors Overdrives, but if I want speed, I'll get a later model car.

 

My Regent is an "original" Regent and not a re-body on a sedan or Limo.

 

 

1Rolls-Gate.JPG

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3 hours ago, Peter Zobian said:

About the speed, it seems most comfortable at 50 to 55 mph, but will willingly go up to 60 or so. However, the engine seems to be really working at that speed. I know several owners of Rolls cars have fitted Gear Vendors Overdrives, but if I want speed, I'll get a later model car.

 

Please THINK about why folks are putting overdrives  ( or like I did, "high speed" rear axle gear sets )  into pre-war cars that did not come with overdrive or "Columbia" style differentials...

 

Here's something to think about.   How long is the stroke...how heavy are those connecting rods?     What kind of roads did the original design team anticipate...and at what road speeds...?

 

Looks like you have STARTED to figure it all out, by noting "it is really working at 60 mph".    No kidding !

 

Where do you suppose you could go a steady 50 mph when that car was designed....?

 

"Springfield" Rolls's have OUTSTANDING brakes and handling.   Will out-handle most any large luxury car of their era.  No reason not to get out on the highway and enjoy them today.. true...you don't get QUITE the stopping distance of a car with modern super wide tire tread and disc brakes,  but a little care in following distances resolves that.

 

My recommendation is that until you re-gear that georgeous car, keep the speed well under 50 mph.   Once you get connecting rod bearing "pound out" it is too late.  

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A twin to the car above lives in Northern Ohio.  Different windshield & bumpers though.  Was owned by same person from about 1948-2005 when he passed away.   Well known car.  Restored in the 1960's.  Was all black originally.    

 

image.thumb.png.58f1693431d2401cc1c57fb07670284f.png

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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With reference to the discussion about Rolls Royce speeds I thought you may be interested in the information letter issued by Roll Royce in the 1930's and re published in the book the Rolls Royce Phantom 11 Continental by Raymond Gentile.  You will note that the letter talks about CONTINUOUS  high speed.

 

A Phantom 11 with an 11 - 41 diff ratio and 700 - 20 tyres would only be turning 1900 rpm at 50 mph and 2675 rpm at 70 mph.

They may have white metal bearings but after all, they are a Rolls Royce and are designed with perfection in mind.  The only reason I could see to add an overdrive to these cars is to improve the fuel economy.

 

59e60ddfdc18e_scanRRbook001.thumb.jpg.d842dfb5757d401195bc3ce7d5bffcec.jpg

 

 

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Thanks David for that posting , finally located that last evening  and I was just about to do the same. In my opinion the only thing you can compare to a PII

Rolls  is another PII. Overall nothing else comes close.

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I once had someone tell me that the goal was gearing so they pulled off from a stop light or stop sign beautifully - ie most cars went from parking garages to department stores.  That being said, for a long trip you could not have chosen a better product - all be it you did not start seeing stretches of what are now known as limited access highways until perhaps middle 30's.

 

I never had either of the 25/30 cars (Lancefield bodied Sedan and Owen Gurney Nutting bodied Drophead) up to 65 for any more than perhaps 2 or so minutes - they liked 55 though.

 

A Cleveland fellow has always said his 20HP Convertible Sedan did just fine at 65 mph and friends ran their English PI at 65 on occasion (but the 4 speed really helped in gearing)

 

As to the 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom for Sale - actually a really solid car.  Seems to desperately need the front seats restuffed or re=sprung and always suspect of 80 something year old aluminum cylinder heads (all be it price allows latitude).

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9 hours ago, DavidAU said:

With reference to the discussion about Rolls Royce speeds I thought you may be interested in the information letter issued by Roll Royce in the 1930's and re published in the book the Rolls Royce Phantom 11 Continental by Raymond Gentile.  You will note that the letter talks about CONTINUOUS  high speed.

 

A Phantom 11 with an 11 - 41 diff ratio and 700 - 20 tyres would only be turning 1900 rpm at 50 mph and 2675 rpm at 70 mph.

They may have white metal bearings but after all, they are a Rolls Royce and are designed with perfection in mind.  The only reason I could see to add an overdrive to these cars is to improve the fuel economy.

 

 

 

I assume this is in the "continental" configuration?   Are the American shipped PII's in this configuration I wonder?

 

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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The letter applied to all Rolls Royce's as there is virtually no difference in the engines and apart from the left hand drive motors which were the same but cast in the opposite hand, I believe the American export engines are exactly the same specification. 

The major difference between the Continentals and the standard saloons is in the chassis, suspension, steering box angle and the light weight bodies on the Continentals.    This lighter weight and lower profile bodies allowed the Continentals to achieve higher speeds and also transverse rougher roads at speed with less drama.

 

The letter apparently was issued after Mr Hitler started building the German autobahns and cars were able to travel at high speed for long distances.

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I think the PII Continentals also had a different camshaft with a slightly higher lift and a a slightly unusual profile. My understanding is that these were not as successful in the long term as they had expected and most have been returned to the original design... But, I'm dredging up conversations I had 30 years ago so I wouldn't take this to the bank. I've never taken a PII engine apart.

 

I don't believe any of the AJS or AMS PIIs were continentals.

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19 hours ago, alsancle said:

A factory photo of an Avon.  Could even be John's car originally.

RollsAvonSedan.jpg

I would love to find an original photo (and one must exist somewhere), though this photo is not my car - my car has historically at times been referred to as an Avon, but the body style actually is a Dover (the second version of a Dover verses the original 1929ish version which is a 7 window sedan).  The only original photo of a Dover body I have found is in the book " Rolls-Royce In America" and is on a PII AMS/AJS chassis.   The parallel body to my car, but in a Town Car, I believe would be called a St. Martin (also something not commonly photographed).  I am aware of another PI match to my car - it is dark Blue and was in Europe last I heard.  And,   when I saw my car first it was at a family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in very early 1970's (we think perhaps 1971) - it was entirely in black paint at that time (may or may not have been original paint - do not recall as I was like 6 years old) and recently I have had a few chassis parts off car and found some traces of pale yellow paint in the corners and backsides (so my car may have at one time had a painted undercarriage or ....).

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21 hours ago, alsancle said:

John,

 

Do you know if anybody is making the wheel disks?

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 ?.

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Took the trunk off the P1, removed the incorrect windshield wipers, and fixed some stone chips and road rash on the front end. For a 53 year old restoration it has been well maintained and looks great from five feet away. I think the car would still score 95 points. It was kind of loaded up from sitting the last four months, but driving it around is getting back to its sweet spot again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
22 hours ago, Peter Zobian said:

I think the addition of overdrive to my Rolls would not to make it go faster, but to lower the engine revs at a reasonable speed.

 

You are mistaken.   Your phantom is an extremely "long-stroke" motor - made necessary from a design standpoint  by the fuels available of the era in which it was engineered.   Beyond a certain rpm, it LOOSES power.

 

Yes - you are correct to this extent....an overdrive  (typically around 70%)  would lower the engine revs.  But at ANY speed !    By reducing the final drive out-put shaft's rpm,  you would effectively get MORE power at higher speeds,  since you'd be getting the engine's rpm down to its best power-producing level. 

 

A typically over-drive-equipped long stroke car such as your Phantom would be at LEAST  20 mph faster  "flat out"   than a "stock-geared" one.

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I agree.  Very nice car and would have it my driveway any time.  That said, I can't help wondering how it goes with modern fuels, no ventilation in the hood (apart from the "manicure slot" next to the fan which I could never figure out) and the fuel vacuum tank mounted up against the hood on the firewall.

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