The Silver Ghost was the car that established Rolls Royce as the undisputed king of fine automobiles. The Ghost was not only opulently equipped and clothed in elegant bodywork, it was also over-engineered to a standard that was unmatched by its rivals. So when a replacement was due, Rolls Royce made sure the new car lived up to the lofty standards it had set with the Silver Ghost. The new car was developed in secret, and even code named “Easter Armoured Car” to throw off potential spies. The Phantom, as it would become known, featured an all-new 7.7 liter inline six with overhead valves and pushrods. The block was cast in alloy, with cast iron cylinder heads. Suspension, steering and brakes were an evolution of the Ghost’s. Thanks to the success of the Silver Ghost, an assembly plant had been established in Springfield, Massachusetts to build cars that catered to American clientele. The Phantom debuted in 1925, and in 1926, Phantoms were leaving the Springfield plant to meet strong demand. A vast array of catalog body styles were offered, with the famous coachbuilders at Brewster getting a large number of contracts for the Springfield cars. All told, 1,241 Phantom 1s left the Springfield works from 1926 to 1931.
One such car is S82PM – a magnificent 1927 Phantom 1 wearing a “Regent” convertible coupe body by Brewster. It was originally ordered by H.H. Work of Madison, New Jersey. The young man had actually purchased the car as a gift for his uncle, one H.D. Hutchins – a fine gift, indeed! The car left the works wearing a St. Stephen Landaulet Town Car body by Brewster (Number B5053). It was not uncommon for cars of this nature to be rebodied as styles and taste evolved or when they changed hands. S82PM was returned to Brewster in 1933, where it received body number B7150 – a sporting and elegant Regent convertible coupe. The Regent body style is more sporting then the similar “Stratford” convertible coupe, also by Brewster. Regents have a lower, sportier roof line, a raked windscreen and a more graceful sweep to the front fenders. It is a gorgeous design, elegant and expertly judged.
S82PM still wears this Regent body after 82 years and today it presents in beautiful, properly restored condition. The bodywork is finished elegantly in black, with a black top piped in maroon to complement the leather upholstery. It is impeccably detailed with dual sidemount spares, polished and painted wheel discs contrasting whitewall tires, drum headlamps and wood running boards trimmed in polished stainless steel.
The cabin, trimmed in maroon leather and wool carpet, is an elegant and special place to spend an afternoon’s motoring. With room for two (or possibly three) up front, those who are relegated to the rumble seat are at least allowed dignified ingress/egress thanks to a small access door for the rear compartment. The engine compartment is very nicely detailed and properly presented and shows very little in the way of use. It appears extremely well maintained and is ready for regular use.
This special car has clearly been lovingly restored to a very high standard, and it has held up beautifully since. It still remains very much show worthy and would certainly make its next keeper proud on the show field. Thanks to its sound mechanicals and CCCA Full Classic Status, it would also be a most welcome touring car. The RROC and the Phantom 1 Society are very active and always encourage touring in these magnificent machines. This is a highly desirable and very elegant Phantom 1 that has been exceptionally well-restored to be enjoyed to the fullest.