Part 2 - By David Marshall-Martin
Here is the next in the series of this great article David has written for our enjoyment.
Picture 4 - Twenty HP (above). After the Great War, Rolls- Royce abandoned its one model policy it was decided to make a smaller car-‘The Baby Rolls-Royce.’ Many consider the 20 HP one of the best of Rolls-Royce motor cars. The car had a six cylinder engine of 3,127 cc. The overall length was 178 in. on a wheelbase of 129 inches. In theory this was intended to be an owner/driver car. The small, lightweight cars were very popular with medical doctors and were often called a ‘Doctor’s Coupe.’ Unfortunately some owners added rather heavy saloon bodies which occasionally caused a lack of performance leading to an oft used expression ‘couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.’ From 1922 to 1929 2,940 cars were produced. Most 20 HP cars had horizontal radiator louvers. This model is a 1923 Coupé by Rio. This same model is available with the hood down. The bonnet can be removed to reveal a rather nicely detailed motor.
Picture 5 - New Phantom (above). The New Phantom was introduced in 1925, as a replacement for the Silver Ghost, and produced until 1929 in England, with 2,212 chassis manufactured. The chassis dimensions were much the same as the Silver Ghost, but a larger engine of 7,668 cc and many mechanical and other improvements were introduced.
As with all Rolls-Royce at this time a buyer got a chassis, with a motor and all the running gear, but the body could be whatever the buyer desired. This is Chassis #9LC, a Barker Torpedo, built for HRH Maharaja of Bikaner, who enjoyed hunting, thus the two shotguns. This shape is often referred to as a ‘boat-tail.’ This is a Matrix model, who generally only make 408 of each edition; this is number 314.
Picture 6 - New Phantom Springfield (above). New Phantoms also were produced at Springfield in the USA from 1926 to 1931, with 1,225 chassis. Some servicing was continued until 1935 after which the Springfield works was finally closed down. This model is a GLM Phantom ‘Convertible Sedan’ or ‘Transformal Phaeton’ with coachwork by Hibbard-Darrin. The car is listed as 1930. However, according to Bird & Hallows #S317KP is a 1928 chassis. I suspect it took a couple of years to build the body. The car was presented to Marlene Dietrich by Paramount Studios and actually featured in the final scene of her first movie ‘Morocco.’ Unfortunately, the actual model I purchased has not arrived from overseas so this is a photograph taken from the internet.
Picture 7-Phantom II (above). An upgraded model was needed, so the Phantom II was produced. Between 1929 and 1935 1,672 Phantom II chassis were built, similar in size and horsepower to the New Phantom. Most of the changes to the chassis details were improvements over the previous 40/50 HP models, like those of the other models and was the final departure from the Silver Ghost cars. It was at this time that the New Phantom became retrospectively known as the Phantom I. However, many purist don’t like this appellation. Note: Rolls-Royce used Roman Numerals to indicate successive Rolls-Royce models, not Arabic numbers. However, Rolls-Royce used Arabic numbers for the small horsepower cars and the various Bentley models when Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley in 1931. This model is by NEO of Chassis #188PY, an all-weather cabriolet by Thrupp & Maberly. Built for the Maharaja of Rajkot, the car is named the Star of India, after a 563 carat star sapphire.
Picture 8-20/25 HP (above). Along with the Phantom II the small horse power cars were also manufactured from 1929 to 1936. The power was increased to 3,699 cc. The wheelbase remained at 129 inches. 3,823 chassis were produced. This is an Eligor model of a left-hand drive taxi limousine for the Carlton Hotel, Paris. Unfortunately the mascot is missing from the model. It is dated as 1928. However, the 20/25 chassis did not start production until 1929. An interesting aside is that Eligor, a French company, also produced Mercedes- Benz and Talbot taxis branded with various hotel logos using the same body and luggage and just changing the colours and the radiator grill.
To be continued.... Part 3
By David Marshall-Martin, GSM
Photography Notes: David uses a Pentax K-5 camera with a macro lens, F stop F19,
at 1/30 second with the ISO at 1600.