Rolls-Royce’s Third Great Phantom Has Fish Scales In Its Paint

10 July 2017 - motor1

Rolls-Royce’s Third Great Phantom Has Fish Scales In Its Paint

Rolls will display eight important Phantoms in London to coincide with the launch of the new generation.

Sir Malcolm Campbell was the fastest man in the world in the 1920s and '30s by setting multiple land and water speed records. His 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental will be among the eight Phantoms on display at Bonhams on Bond Street in London on July 27, including the new generation of the opulent model.

Even after so much success, Campbell wanted more. In 1933, he set out to reach 300 miles per hour (483 kilometers per hour) on land, and he intended to use a 2,300-horsepower (1,715-kilowatt) 36.5-liter Rolls-Royce R aero engine to do it. Campbell came initially came up a little short by hitting 272 mpg (438 kph) at Daytona Beach, Florida, but celebrated by buying a new Rolls Phantom Continental, which was the sporty, short-wheelbase variant in the range. Campbell eventually broke the 300-mph barrier at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1935.

Campbell's Phantom Continental featured a touring saloon body by Barker. His car featured a radio, spotlight, and an exhaust nine inches longer than normal. Plus, there's no worry about getting motorists' attention because there's a klaxon horn, another horn from Bosch, and a siren. The light blue paint had a pearlescent finish thanks to ground herring scales in the paint.

The other Phantoms on display at Bonhams will include British Field Marshal Bernard "Monty" Montgomery's 1936 Phantom III with its unique windshield and Fred Astaire's 1927 Phantom I.

The eighth-generation Phantom won't look much different from the current model. The big Rolls will ride on BMW's CLAR platform from the latest 7 Series. The new chassis will likely mean significant weight loss. The cabin will receive major technology upgrades, including a digital instrument cluster. Buyers will likely still find a V12 under the hood. Spy shots already show the long-wheelbase variant under development.