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Rolls-Royce Phantom III - It's V-12 Engine, Chassis and Coachwork


58L-Y8
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42 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

AJ:

 

The aesthetic trap of the Classic Era proportions is that our eyes read the main body mass, in where it begins and ends relative to the axle planes.  Those that appeal the most the radiator is parallel with the front axle plane and the rear body ends at or very near the rear axle plane.  Move either mass forward or extend it beyond the rear, the aesthetic appeal diminishes. 

 

"Jason's formula of 25/50/25"

Would you please enlarge on this?   

 

Steve

 

Jason said in a previous post that 25% of the PIII were ugly,  50% fair and 25% attractive.    Feels a bit generous but probably about right.  I think with the PII the ratios are more like 20% ugly, 30% fair,  50% attractive.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

This is actually a fantastic car that slipped through the cracks at Bonhams a few years ago.   It is a PII Special Newmarket body placed on the PIII chassis when new by Inskip.     It was bought at Bonhams by a smart guy who recognized it and is turning it back to its original configuration.     The roof was padded later to make it a 4 season car and ruined the roof line.    When finished it will be very cool.  I got to see it under restoration and was impressed.

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/91/

 

It is perhaps not surprising that it was built for an extremely wealthy client, the famed 'Asbestos heir' Tommy Manville Jr. Manville was the type of socialite that novelists such as Evelyn Waugh and F. Scott Fitzgerald were so minded to encapsulate in their famous Roaring Twenties characters, decadent in the extreme... There were no fewer than 11 Mrs. Manvilles over the course of his 73 year lifespan!

But, if there was one thing that he appears to have been loyal to, it was Rolls-Royce, from whom 5 successive cars were acquired. The best known of those was the iconic Windblown Coupe that he acquired of the New York Auto Show Stand in 1930, that was followed with two left hand drive Phantom IIs, A Croydon and a Henley Roadster.

Underpinned by the mechanical zenith that the Phantom III undoubtedly is the car was clothed with a design by the company that Cole Porter was so moved to right 'You're the Top, You're a Brewster body'... Its extremely attractive coachwork heralds from slightly earlier in the decade, being supplied originally on one of the late American built left hand drive Phantom IIs, 216 AMS which was delivered to wealthy industrialist Frederick F. Brewster of New Haven Connecticut. Like Manville, Brewster was a serial Rolls buyer, and it appears that when he took delivery of his new Phantom III in April 1937, he had the Sporting Sedan moved over to the V12 chassis.

Manville would have owned the Phantom III between the divorce with Marcelle Edwards and before his 3 month marriage to Bonita Edwards in November 1941. Rolls-Royce/Inskip remained clever negotiators of cars between their clientele. When charged with finding a new home for the Phantom III in March 1941, they wisely moved the elegant coachwork on to it and lightly modernized it with their trademark sweeping fender treatment. In 1970 it moved into the long term custody of Clarence Curtiss from whom it would only emerge in recent times.

Viewed today, this is a fascinating statement, it has the wonderful styling cues of the Brewster bodies of the time with the sweep down from the windshield line arcing towards the front wheels as it descends the body, arguably echoing famed French carrossier Jacques Saoutchik and of course reminiscent of the Windblown coupe.

Aesthetically, this is a remarkably original car, its interior remains to its original style and the tasteful two tone paint scheme of 'coffee and cream' accents the lines of the car well.

Having lived on the East Coast for much of the last 50 years, this imposing V12 Rolls-Royce would no doubt be welcomed at events up and down the Pacific coast.
 

 

 

PIII-special-newmarket.png

 

 

 

Tommy owned a bunch of great junk........most of it was Rolls, but he also had a handful of other interesting cars. I currently maintain the best car he ever owned in my humble opinion. It's also an auto show car. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

Maybe the most attractive PIII?   Brewster bodied Henley.   Only one to my knowledge.   I have a picture of it at Pebble a few years ago restored that I will try to find.

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom III Henley Roadster :: 10 photos :: autoviva.com

 

Now owned by a friend with a top five car collection in the Western Hemisphere. It's simply fantastic..........but it's stablemates are more impressive............it sits in a line of cars that would make your young hit the floor at first glance. It has been painted since this photo if I am not mistaken. 

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Not to follow the preceding posts/pictures with a sacrilegious question...but, As I believe all or most all PIIIs were RHD is it known if anyone has converted to LHD in the past and/or is that even possible?

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4 minutes ago, prewarnut said:

Not to follow the preceding posts/pictures with a sacrilegious question...but, As I believe all or most all PIIIs were RHD is it known if anyone has converted to LHD in the past and/or is that even possible?

I’m guessing impossible.

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1 hour ago, prewarnut said:

Not to follow the preceding posts/pictures with a sacrilegious question...but, As I believe all or most all PIIIs were RHD is it known if anyone has converted to LHD in the past and/or is that even possible?

There was one P III built to left hand drive specification by the factory, and it was a disaster.    P IIIs don't have a center gear shifter, the shifter is on the far right side of the cockpit.   The emergency brake handle is on that side as well.   

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom III Alligator-head V12 full

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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14 minutes ago, prewarnut said:

 

That pic does give me some angina.....


Take it apart and you will need a transplant!

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24 minutes ago, prewarnut said:

A Hooper on BAT now. Comments there seem to be spot on. One said they took one up to 70-75 mph and got 4 mpg!

 

No Reserve: 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III by Hooper

 

I thought no reserve for one of these on BAT was actually pretty ballsy.   34k with 5 hours to go.  Current seller bought it less than a year ago on BAT.   Does it say it runs?  I couldn't find it.

 

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1937-rolls-royce-phantom-iii-by-hooper/

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On 4/27/2022 at 9:17 PM, K8096 said:

And here's the transmission.   The round part is the brake servo.   

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom III Alligator-head V12 full 

That picture makes me a dizzy mechanical engineer just looking at it, a lot going on there.

 

I find it interesting how few (For a RR) bolts there are holding everything together.  I worked on a 1920s RR which had bolt heads almost touching each other to hold things together.

 

Great discussion on a marque I’ve never had any desire to own, probably a blessing, since I couldn’t afford the maintenance, let alone the car!

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14 hours ago, edinmass said:


Take it apart and you will need a transplant!

Ed:

So, does each distributor fire only the spark plugs on that bank of cylinders its nearest?

Steve   

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8 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Ed:

So, does each distributor fire only the spark plugs on that bank of cylinders its nearest?

Steve   

 

I think it has two plugs per cylinder.

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Yes, there’s 24 spark plugs.   There’s a second set down in the valley under the intake manifold.   And both distributors each have 2 sets of points.   Lots of fun!  

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27 minutes ago, K8096 said:

Yes, there’s 24 spark plugs.   There’s a second set down in the valley under the intake manifold.   And both distributors each have 2 sets of points.   Lots of fun!  

Then, how are those points synchronized to fire simultaneously on their respective cylinder since they are otherwise separate distributor set-ups?

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I believe each distributor only feeds one bank of cylinders.   On the instrument panel there’s a switch for running on only bank A or bank B, or both.  I believe theoretically you could run the engine on 6 cylinders.   But that switch would mainly be used to help diagnose and pinpoint ignition problems.  

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It’s not a good deal. Fixing a single bad head gasket would cost more. The most expensive car in the world is a cheap PIII.

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12 hours ago, Cadillac Fan said:

Sold for $42,500 on 4/29/22

 

Much like the proverbial stopped clock,  Ed is right this time.   Bad deal unless the plan is garage art.  Running and driving that is a 100k.  How many years and money are needed to make that happen?

 

 

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On 4/29/2022 at 9:34 AM, 58L-Y8 said:

Ed:

So, does each distributor fire only the spark plugs on that bank of cylinders its nearest?

Steve   

One is battery, other is probably mag.

 

P1 & P2 are that way. 

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Posted (edited)

Since we are on the PIII, I'll tell my one and only PIII story.

 

I was offered one years ago, when I was in my 20s. The price was $3000 and it was freely admitted this was because it had a bad connecting rod.

I passed but my boss, the late Ted Leonard (who knew almost nothing about mechanical work) bought it which meant that I got the job of fixing it.

It's a little vague now (it was close to 45 years ago) but I believe my colleague Don Dugal and I figured out a way to get the piston and rod out from the bottom. (Actually, 2 rods and 2 pistons...they are forked rods.) In any case, we got it out...and Ted asked me if I knew someone who could rebabbit it. (There was no way he would spring for a real engine job...on anything much less a PIII.) I took it to the guy I had in mind who actually was able to do a very nice job of it...he charged $150. Ted thought that was too much and refused to pay, which left me in the middle as the deadbeat because I'd brought it in. I think I paid for it and then beat Ted up to reimburse me...

 

Somehow, we put the engine back together. It ran...how well I can't say because I've never experience a good one but it ran as well as it needed to to get Ted from his home to his Volvo dealership (which was only about 3 or 4 miles). The one time I had to drive it further, it overheated (that's another story). I'm not particularly  proud of my part in this but I was an employee and obliged to do as I was told. There is, however a further part to this...

 

The original owner had been a WWI flyer. He had significant political connections in Britain in the 1930s and was able to get a special license plate for his car...it read "FLY 111". As you probably know, in the UK the number goes with the car, not the driver. They can be transferred but, as far as I know, this also requires "connections." Ted sold the license plate to a British Airways pilot who paid him slightly more for it than Ted had paid for the car!

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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On 4/27/2022 at 7:13 AM, K8096 said:

37F7064B-A3FF-4DEF-AA1F-BEA997243AFB.jpeg

A £50 upcharge would have been a hell of a bargain for a Landaulet conversion, even adjusted today for inflation.  

 

Craig

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44 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Now this is interesting.   Typical of Bohman and Schwartz coachwork.   I believe this is pictured in Rolls Royce in America.

 

As the thread is getting off topic. 

Rolls-buick Rolls_Royce_21_Silver_Ghost_Buick_Black. In South Africa.  Looks to be a Buick 1939 series 40/60 body shell

 

 

1921Rolls-buick Rolls_Royce_21_Silver_Ghost_Buick_Black.jpg

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Just now, 1939_Buick said:

As the thread is getting off topic. 

Rolls-buick Rolls_Royce_21_Silver_Ghost_Buick_Black. In South Africa.  Looks to be a Buick 1939 series 40/60 body shell

 

 

1921Rolls-buick Rolls_Royce_21_Silver_Ghost_Buick_Black.jpg

 

I moved the B&S stuff over to the Rolls Royce thread.   Maybe the Buick bodied car can go there too?

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