Into the early Thirties Rolls-Royce built cars in Springfield, Massachusetts which many collectors assert were better than those built in Britain. Springfield had the advantage of learning from the experience of Derby, adopting new features after they were developed and proven in British production. It had a superb workforce, too, and the availability of American parts and accessories that were in many cases better than those available in Britain as well as more adapted to American operating conditions and the preferences of American clients. Production of the New Phantom, now known as the Phantom I, began in Springfield in 1927, over a year after the overhead valve engine model entered British production. The changeover moved slowly at first but built up to Springfield's best year in 1929. Left-hand drive was standard on Springfield-built cars and the quality and design of locally built bodies, particularly those from Rolls-Royce subsidiary Brewster in Long Island City, NY, was superb. This 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom was delivered on October 14, 1929, just two weeks before 'Black Tuesday', the Crash of 1929. Its fortunate new owner was Miss Marjorie M. Ward of Chicago, the adopted daughter of mail order and department store magnate Aaron Montgomery Ward. The close-coupled coachwork it bears is Brewster's Kenilworth Sedan. Intended to be chauffeur driven, it has a rollup division window and lightweight 'skeleton' trim in the rear compartment with exposed wood roof battens below the cloth headliner and rollup shades on the side and rear window. The body is finished in Brewster Green with black fenders and body accent and upholstered in brown leather for the chauffeur and fine green cloth for the passengers' compartment. The exterior is further equipped with black center lock wire wheels with chrome lock rings, black wall tires, dual side-mounted spares with mirrors, black leather covered roof and streamlined Brown Reflector headlamps with matching fender marker lights. This Rolls-Royce has a history known since 1955 within the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club. Its restoration is sharp and fresh, as if it had been done yesterday, and it runs and drives perfectly. The coachwork, of which Brewster built only 38, all on the Phantom I chassis, is unusual and highly attractive with its close-coupled passenger compartment and a luggage trunk, a discrete Rolls-Royce for the privileged daughter of the man Forbes magazine identified as the sixteenth most influential businessman in American history, the creator of “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.” No doubt Marjorie was satisfied with her Rolls-Royce Phantom Kenilworth, as will its next owner.
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