The Rolls-Royce New Phantom succeeded the long-running Silver Ghost for 1925. Over the nearly two-decades of Ghost production, Rolls-Royce made countless improvements to the engine and chassis; therefore, it was unsurprising that engineers took an evolutionary approach to the New Phantom’s design. The chassis carried over essentially unchanged from the very last Silver Ghost, yet under the bonnet was an all-new 7.7-litre inline-six with overhead valves, replacing the Ghost’s refined but admittedly antiquated side-valve unit. Power output, described as “adequate” by the factory, was delivered with exceptional smoothness and unparalleled refinement that few manufacturers have ever matched.
Like the 40/50 Horsepower Silver Ghost before it, the New Phantom (known retroactively as Phantom I after the arrival of the Phantom II) was produced in parallel at Rolls-Royce of America’s Springfield, Massachusetts works, and Springfield Phantoms eventually accounted for 1,241 of the 3,453 Phantom I chassis. With demand at its peak, Rolls-Royce of America added the legendary coachbuilder Brewster & Co. of New York to its portfolio. While buyers could select from any coachbuilder of their choice, Brewster remained the exclusive supplier of catalog bodies for Springfield-built Phantoms through the dissolution of Rolls-Royce of America in the mid-1930s. Buyers were offered numerous open and closed styles, all built with Brewster’s typical superlative quality and restrained elegance.
Chassis number S453MR hails from 1930 and features the Newmarket body – Brewster nomenclature for their convertible sedan. This particular car wears its original coachwork, which is magnificently restored to concours standards. Finished in black with a black canvas hood, it is understated, with perfectly judged flourishes from the chrome wire wheels, whitewall tires, lovely polished beltline, and of course, the iconic radiator shell. This car also features dual side-mount spare wheels, a color-matched trunk, and a period-correct NOTEK central fog lamp. As offered out of long-term ownership with a respected collector, the older restoration is remarkably well-preserved, with exquisite paintwork and detailing from stem to stern.
While the black paint conveys restrained elegance, the interior juxtaposes that with sumptuous ostrich hides, matching red carpets, and impeccably refinished woodwork. The artistry is superb, with meticulous finishing throughout the cabin. Another highlight is the central bulkhead, which houses a lavish cabinet stocked with a lovely crystal drink set. Instruments, switches, and controls are all restored and in excellent order.
The mighty 7.7-litre inline-six is properly and authentically detailed, and in the time since it was restored, it has been beautifully maintained in exceptional condition. Paint finishes, chrome plating, and polished surfaces are excellent, and it shows minimal signs of use on areas like the exhaust and around the carburetor.
Following its restoration, this car was shown at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and it later scored 99.75 points at a Classic Car Club of America meet. Thanks to meticulous care from its long-term caretaker, it remains superb throughout and is one of the finest examples of the Newmarket Convertible Sedan we’ve offered. It would be a most welcome entrant into a wide range of concours, RROC, and CCCA events. In whatever manner its next caretaker chooses to enjoy it, this marvelous Phantom I is a superb display of the craftsmanship, engineering excellence, and sophisticated style that only the pairing of Rolls-Royce and Brewster can provide.
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