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On-line Auction: 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Ascot Dual Cowl Phaeton - TX - Not Mine


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On-line Auction: 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Ascot Dual Cowl Phaeton - TX

Sorry for the short notice, this on-line auction just came to my attention.  There are a variety of other interesting collector cars included as well.

1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Dual Cowl Phaeton | Collector Cars  Antique Cars  Antique Cars - 1920's  | Online Auctions | Proxibid

 

 I have no personal interest or stake in the eventual sale of this 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Ascot Dual Cowl Phaeton.

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16 minutes ago, alsancle said:

If I read that right - new coach work.

"Springfield Brewster Ascot Styled Body by John Abrahanson"

 

AJ: Who was that John Abrahanson?  I've seen his name associated with Rolls-Royce coachwork at various times.

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42 minutes ago, alsancle said:

If I read that right - new coach work.

Hmmm?

So does that mean this was probably a closed sedan originally that has been rebodied to look like a more desirable phaeton?

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9 minutes ago, alsancle said:


not sure Steve. 

AJ: John Abrahamson operated Enfield Restorations, Enfield, CT.   One supposes that once the equipment and skills to properly restore coach-built cars are acquired, its an easy next step to creating new custom coachwork.

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Only about 20% of my collector type cars have been form the 1930's era (and not in the Rolls or Duesenberg league) while the majority have been from the 50's & 60's.

So, admittedly, I am a neophyte in this arena, however I am astounded at the lack of originality placed on some of these higher end cars and I can't quite fathom how this "re-visioning" is deigned acceptable? 

I do understand that the chassis/drivetrain is what makes this a Rolls Royce but when the original 92 year old coach work is given the heave-ho, only for someone else to build a new body out of new materials, I can't help but feel I'm looking at a very expensive resto-mod.

I can only equate this to say, higher end muscle cars from the 1960's, many of which easily bring six figures today.  But the value in these cars whether unrestored originals or rotisserie restored examples all come down to being as close to what they were when built.  Even straying from the original colors on the trim tag can greatly alter the pricing.  Cars changed from a run-of-the-mill small block Chevrolet engine with automatic transmission to a much more desirable  big block, tri-power with four speed transmission, are forever branded as clones or tributes and their value plummets in comparison to the real deal.  A "rebody" to a completely different style would be unthinkable.  There are a few who have converted say, a coupe Corvette to a convertible or a notch back Mustang to a fastback, but these are considered more as a novelty than any type of upgrade and their values are in the basement.

So could someone here explain to me (in simple layman's terms please) why the highest end marques of this industry seem to be completely exempt from their actual genesis?  And if so many of the closed cars continue to be sacrificed to make these new recreations won't that eventually make the once ubiquitous closed cars rarer than the currently desirable open cars?

Your friend in need of knowledge, Greg

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From what little bit I understand.

 

#1 Prime directive - open cars are always more desirable

 

#2 The judging standards of the time when they became collectors cars.

In the 1950s - 60s Full Classics were not judged on "numbers matching". There were no data plates or build sheets to say how they were originally built. Back then judging seems to have been based on condition. No deductions for wrong color, wrong interior, etc.  As I understand it, it wasn't until Bill Harrah decided to 'preserve history' by doing a 100% authentic restoration (preservation was not always a thing) that accuracy or authenticity became a big concern. The competition between Mr Harrah and JB Nethercutt played a big role in setting the bar high for a 100 point car. Before that just having a nice one was Ok.

It is Mr. Harrahs high standards that paved the road to numbers matching and Bloomfield gold. 

 

#3 changing bodies was done during the Classic era, so "historically" it is acceptable. There were big sedan bodies removed from used 1929 J Duesenburgs and replaced with a open versions before 1935. They were just 4 year old used cars and a sport body made them an easier sell or at least more interesting to their owner. This concept that body swaps were acceptable, carried over into the 50s & 60s. Then by the 80s when the supply of original open bodies was gone building a new one was acceptable. 

 

A story of survival that doesn't get the respect that is deserves is Jay Leno's Town Car Dusenberg with the (ugly) Town Car body by Woods. It isn't a (beautiful) Murphy or Derham Town Car, it is an old carriage style built by an old carriage company. (It was the abandoned in the NYC parking garage Dusey) Shabby from it's time in the parking garage, in almost anybody else's hands it would have received a modern Tourister or other phaeton body quicker than it could be unloaded from the transporter. Only somebody like Jay would have spent the money preserving history. But even Jay changed it from its original black to green . . . . (see the YouTube video) 

 

There are only a few true 426 Hemi Mopar Muscle cars. They are million dollar cars. There are more than a few originally 318 or 383 cars that have been Hemizied. Certainly not the value of a 100% Hemi car but a recreation Hemi will always sell for more than a 383 car (or at least sell quicker for the same amount). Sure the 383/Hemi car would never win a national prize, but you cant drive a 100 point Hemi car anyway.

There have been some incredible closed Classic bodies that have been lost, but there have also been some (incredibly rare) original 225 slant six Barracuda and Challenger convertibles that have sadly been Hemizied. Same theme. 

 

And now we are back to reason #1. Collector car buyers are not always historians, they just want what they want. 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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I see.  So the rebodies do not erase the car's prior history, there is still a price to pay.

m-mman, you make several interesting points. Thanks.

I look at the craftsmanship of some of the early coach builders and feel it's a shame to erase that lost art.

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Rebodying luxury marque chassis began when these cars were used cars a few years old to 'move the metal' when a big old limousine was traded-in and the dealer would replace that body with a Playboy roadster which was more saleable.   Marque enthusiast and later collectors simply ran with that concept, sometimes motivated by personal taste, sometimes for potential financial gain.   

 

In this case, being a known rebody, it represents an opportunity for someone who can live with an elegant, stylish and desirable Ascot phaeton to drive and enjoy without fretting about the body not issuing from the Brewster body plant.   Since its a fait accompli, accept it as it is, enjoy it at a lesser price, just as those fellows did in the 1930's who availed themselves of a pre-owned Rolls-Royce Playboy roadster.   And, don't misrepresent it to a potential next owner as anything other than what it is. 

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1 hour ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Rebodying luxury marque chassis began when these cars were used cars a few years old to 'move the metal' when a big old limousine was traded-in and the dealer would replace that body with a Playboy roadster which was more saleable.   Marque enthusiast and later collectors simply ran with that concept, sometimes motivated by personal taste, sometimes for potential financial gain.   

 

In this case, being a known rebody, it represents an opportunity for someone who can live with an elegant, stylish and desirable Ascot phaeton to drive and enjoy without fretting about the body not issuing from the Brewster body plant.   Since its a fait accompli, accept it as it is, enjoy it at a lesser price, just as those fellows did in the 1930's who availed themselves of a pre-owned Rolls-Royce Playboy roadster.   And, don't misrepresent it to a potential next owner as anything other than what it is. 

 

Steve,  you know better!   Not quite the same as Brewster swapping a Playbody body on back in the 30s.

The problem with a new coachwork car,  is that the works costs the same.    It is easier to absorb a 75k motor job on a car worth 300k vs one worth 100.

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Here is the auction description.   Note that it is a copy of the hingeless door handle less Ascot body.

 

* NO RESERVE from the Estate of Gordon R. Granger * Mileage Exempt | Odometer Reads 74,041 * Rolls-Royce Chassis No. S205KR * Springfield Brewster Ascot Styled Body by John Abrahanson * 7668cc 467.9ci 7.7 Litre Straight 6-Cylinder Engine with 108hp * Manual Transmission * Rear Wheel Drive * Left Hand Drive * Dual Windshield * Running Boards with Dual Side Mounts * Front and Rear Bumper Guards * Wire Wheels * Trunk * Formally of the Richard Atwell Collection * Working Battery | Engine Cleaned & Operable | Drives | Paint Cleaned & Buffed | Interior Cleaned | Chrome Cleaned & Polished | Wheels & Tires Cleaned | Runs a Little Rough * Please Note: in the absence of Mr. Granger, we have done our best to properly identify and describe this vehicle; however, we ask that you remember you are purchasing this vehicle as is where is and based solely upon your own inspection.

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I can confirm the quality of a body built by my friend John A is just as good as what was being offered by Brewster when new. An EXACT reproduction. I have driven the actual car this body was copied from. It’s the first Rolls I had ever driven, and have known the car since the early 80’s. Too bad about the poor color choice. As far as a P1 with a running problem..........anywhere from ten dollars to 100k to fix it. It’s a roulette wheel when it comes to the bill.........try your luck.

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Steve,  you know better!   Not quite the same as Brewster swapping a Playbody body on back in the 30s.
 

I do?  Nah, a difference with a small distinction.   The things I don't know could fill volumes... 

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According to John De Campi in his RR in America book S205KR was originally delivered to Mrs JW Cushing of Garden City NY on 9/13/29 wearing a Kenilworth body 

RR pic (462 x 600).jpg

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Good Heavens! 

They have exceeded the limits when they alter an original coach that offered "bamboo blinds and skeleton trim".

 

skeletons.gif.6d368ba6490597dcd59da7abe5f7276d.gif

 

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On 6/4/2021 at 2:38 PM, GregLaR said:

So does that mean this was probably a closed sedan originally that has been rebodied to look like a more desirable phaeton?

 

If the car isn't as originally produced, and the new body

was put on to increase the car's desirability, I feel it's right 

to call the car a clone.

 

To me, it is about the same as taking a 1960's Pontiac

Tempest, adding extra features, putting on a GTO nameplate,

and calling it a GTO.  A Tempest "built after the manner of"

a more desirable model!

 

Similarly, cutting the top off a 1950's coupe and fabricating

a convertible body decades later, does not make it a genuine

convertible.

 

The Rolls looks excellent, and I like the colors, but the same

standards need to apply to a car even if it's of an earlier era

or more expensive.

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I find the 310k impossible to believe. The sedan numbers especially on one of them seem too high also. 310 for a repop body when a great real car is available at 250? No one wakes up one day and says I want to buy a P1 today. Ownership of these automobiles comes about over years of exposure and interest. Very few people impulse buy quarter million dollar cars that they don’t even know how to start. Seems too over the top to my eyes. Who knows.........people with too much money and too few brains are never around when I’m selling my stuff........ever..........for fifty years.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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