Part 4 - By David Marshall-Martin
Here is the next in the series of this great article David has written for our enjoyment.
Picture 15 - Phantom IV. Some years ago I wrote an article for Praeclarum devoted exclusively to the Phantom IVs and I will use the same introduction here: the following is taken from Martin Bennett’s book Rolls-Royce The Post- War Phantoms IV, V, VI: “At the time of building the first Phantom IV Chassis No. 4AF2, it was the only one being built, and there was no certainty that there would be any more. It was therefore hand-built at the Clan Foundry, Belper, near the Derby works. Built under the code-
name ‘Nabha,’ 4AF2 was fitted with enclosed limousine coachwork by HJ Mulliner & Co Ltd . . . the choice of both chassis maker and coachbuilder was itself a break with tradition, as Hooper held the Royal Warrant at the time. The delivery of 4AF2 in July 1950 was accompanied by an announcement that the Phantom IV had been designed to the special order of Their Royal Highnesses, the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.’” The Phantom IV had a straight eight engine of 5,676 cc. Each of the 18 cars produced was coachbuilt on a wheelbase of 145 inches, with an overall length of 229½ inches, for Royalty and Heads of State only! It interesting to note that the second chassis built, Chassis No. 4AF4, was bodied as a Work Experimental Truck (Ute) by Park Ward. Unfortunately 4AF4 was dismantled. This ATC model of Chassis No. 4AF2 the HJ Mulliner 7-seat limousine, painted Valentine Green. The keen eyed will note that the mascot on this car is not the Spirit of Ecstasy, but St George Slaying the Dragon,
the Princess’s person mascot. After Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, the car was repainted in Royal Claret over Black.
Picture 16 - Silver Cloud. 1955 saw the emergence of
an all new design by John Blatchley. Many consider this design one of the most elegant ever, (see picture 17 which illustrates the standard saloon). The six-cylinder standard saloon came in both a short wheelbase of 123 inches and a long wheelbase of 127 inches. And, for the first time, automatic transmission was standard. However, as all the Silver Cloud (and Bentley) series were still built on a separate chassis there were many beautiful coachbuilt cars. Therefore I feel compelled to include this 1956 Hooper Empress Saloon, an Oxford model. As a coachbuilt car it has coach doors to the rear. In total, including 121 LWB, 2,359 chassis were built.
Picture 17 - Silver Cloud II. In 1959 Rolls-Royce introduced the Silver Cloud II. To the casual observer there are no obvious external differences in the appearance of a Silver Cloud and a Silver Cloud II standard saloon. However, under the bonnet there was a monumental difference! For Rolls-Royce had introduced a V-8 engine of 6,230 cc. And Bentley Motors has only recently decided to retire this engine after over sixty years of service. 2,417 standard SC II chassis were built along with an additional 299 LWB between 1959 and 1962. As with the Silver Cloud an owner could still have a coachbuilt body. This is a Universal Hobbies diecast model and represents the 1962 Silver Cloud II standard saloon used in the James Bond film, A View To A Kill. The actual car was owned by the film’s direct Albert Broccoli and is still used by his family.
Picture 18 - Phantom V. Even the LWB Silver Cloud was not enough for some customers, so Rolls-Royce decided that it was time for a new Phantom, available to anyone with the cash. Rolls-Royce built a chassis which was 22 inches longer than a LWB Silver Cloud-a generous 238 inches. James Young and HJ Mulliner and then Mulliner Park Ward produced many elegant limousines. A total 832 chassis were built and over the years from 1959 to 1968 many changes were incorporated into the designs, notably the dual headlights which became standard on the Silver Cloud III. Also most of these fine limousines continued to have coach doors to the rear. Perhaps one of the more (in)-famous is the Phantom V owned by John Lennon and painted in what is generally referred to as ‘psychedelic’ colours, but was in reality inspired by Romany (gypsy) designs. At Lennon’s request, the car was custom painted a bright yellow by coachbuilders J.P. Fallon. The design was based on a Gypsy caravan, with a zodiac sign inscribed on the roof, and scrolls and flowers in a kaleidoscope effect painted on the sides and the wheels. This is a TrueScale Miniatures model of Lennon’s Park Ward limousine Chassis No. 5VD75.
Picture 19 - Silver Cloud III. In 1962 Rolls-Royce introduced an updated version of the Silver Cloud series. The most obvious difference in appearance was the introduction of dual headlights. However, the standard body style remained the same. This amounted to 2,044 standard chassis and 254 LWB chassis. And, as with the previous series, there were 113 coachbuilt cars. Among the coachbuilt designs available was this HJ Mulliner drophead coupé. This is a NEO model.
Picture 7A - Phantom II. Our kind editor has allowed me an addendum for the Phantom IIs as described in Part 2. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to purchase the Springfield Marlene Dietrich New Phantom. However, I have since discovered that Phantom IIs continued to be built by the Rolls-Royce owned Brewster Coachworks in Springfield. They had ordered 200 LHD Phantom II chassis and managed to build bodies on 116. This is a GLM ‘Brewster Newmarket Permanent Sports Sedan Cabriolet,’ number 56/199.
By David Marshall-Martin, GSM