From 1921 to 1931, Rolls-Royce constructed luxury automobiles specifically for the American market at their factory in Springfield, Massachusetts. After starting production by assembling cars from British parts, Rolls-Royce America steadily took on more and more manufacturing, sourcing many components from well-known North American suppliers. Soon the quality of the Springfield craftsmen and their American suppliers proved the equal of the British, and in many ways were superior. American coachbuilders, too, rose to the opportunity with dynamic, comfortable, high quality construction and design. Let by Brewster & Co. in New York (acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1925), Rolls-Royce's American coachwork catalog offered the burgeoning ranks of American financiers, industrialists and entertainers the most elegant, refined catalog bodies available for Rolls-Royce. This 1929 Phantom I with Newmarket convertible sedan coachwork by Brewster & Co. of New York is a prime example of the culmination of Rolls-Royce's ventures in the United States. 1929 was the company's most successful sales year with 350 cars sold. 1,241 Springfield Phantom I's would eventually be built, but only 67 of them were fitted with Brewster's Newmarket convertible sedan coachwork which combined elegance, the comfort of rollup windows and the adaptability of a fully folding top for open use, an automobile that sold, without special fittings or trim, for the astounding sum of $18,885, well more than twice the cost of the average American home sold in the last year of the Roaring Twenties' euphoria before the stock market crashed. S210KR was sold new to W.R. Thorsen on the West Coast (probably the Michigan steelmaker and later Toulomne County lumber baron). It remained there, passing through the ownership of several Rolls-Royce enthusiasts, including the longtime Master of Ceremonies at Pebble Beach, Paul Woudenberg. In 1993, it was acquired by marque enthusiast Robert Merrifield, who kept cared for it for the next twenty years. Most importantly, its long history of caring, informed owners have ensured that it has survived complete and in exceptionally well preserved condition, benefiting from cosmetic and mechanical attention as needed throughout its history but never needing a complete restoration. Finished in Brewster Green, its aluminum body is attractively and distinctively highly polished aluminum on the bonnet top panels, cowl top and down the concave body accents below the window sills, a treatment that highlights its elegant lines. The interior is button tufted tan leather accented American walnut. The top is matching tan cloth. Chrome spoke centerlock wire wheels mount a set of blackwall tires with dual sidemounted spares. Magnificent Marchal Trilux headlights flank the radiator grille. This is an exceptional example of a comfortable, luxurious, beautiful Springfield Rolls-Royce Phantom I with desirable Brewster Newmarket coachwork that has led a secure, even pampered, life with knowledgeable collectors. It is ideal as an example of its type in a larger collection of classics, a welcome participant in Rolls-Royce Owners' and Classic Car Club events, and perfect for a first-time venture into the world of collecting classic cars.
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