1st June 2017, Goodwood
Rolls-Royce announced ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’, an Exhibition in Mayfair, London, of the greatest Phantoms from the last 92 years. The Exhibition will also introduce the 8th generation of Phantom as a luxury item. Over eight weeks until the exhibition, Rolls-Royce will announce which great Phantoms will make their way to London from around the world, telling the stories of these motor cars and the historical events they witnessed.
Videos at the bottom of the page….
The Great Eight Phantoms
The Rolls-Royce Phantom has stood by at history’s most defining moments, from treaty signings to occasions of state and the events that have defined the world we live in today since its debut in 1925. As the “ride of choice” of the world’s most powerful and influential personages for 92 years, a Phantom was present at moments as significant as The Beatles collecting their honours at Buckingham Palace, Field-Marshal Montgomery driving Churchill and Eisenhower, and numerous superstars collecting their Oscars.
Rolls-Royce will bring together the most famous examples of all seven previous generations of Phantom at ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ Exhibition from 27th July of this year. Phantoms that have been owned by the rich & famous, the great & the good will return from around the globe to Rolls-Royce’s luxury spiritual home in Mayfair, London to meet their latest sibling and eighth generation of ‘The Best Car in the World’.
Each week until the event, Rolls-Royce will reveal which famous Phantoms will travel to London.
The first of these iconic stories is about ‘The Fred Astaire Phantom I’ on loan from the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.
Rolls-Royce Phantom – ‘The Best Car in the World’
Rolls-Royce began producing the Phantom I in 1925. The car was developed in great secrecy with the project code-name ‘Eastern Armoured Car’ pretending it was a military vehicle. They even left bits of armour plating around the factory to confuse industrial spies. The Phantom I was an instant success. The new 7.668-litre straight-six engine gave the car an unmatched turn of speed. General Motors opened a testing ground in Michigan to discover that most of their cars at full throttle for two laps of the 4-mile circuit disintegrated the engine ‘big ends’, whereas the Phantom I cruised imperiously at 80 mph without failure for as many laps as they liked.
Sir Henry Royce famously said, “take the best that exists and make it better” and that led to the Phantom II in 1929 with a totally new chassis, improved the handling, and a re-designed engine.
Sir Henry Royce’s last project was the Phantom III. He died in 1933, aged 70, about 12 months into its development. The finished model, with superlative 12 cylinder engine, was unveiled in 1936 and production lasted until the Second World War (1939). The final chassis was produced in 1941, although the war meant it did not receive its coachwork until 1947.
In 1950, Phantom IV was originally intended to be a one-off for H.R.H. Prince Philip and the then Princess Elizabeth. However, a further 17 units were commissioned at the request of other royal families and heads of state around the world. Fitted with a straight-eight engine, it performed superbly at low speeds – essential for taking part in ceremonial parades – and featured the kneeling version of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot.
The Phantom V was produced between 1959 and 1968; with 516 examples made for clients including the Queen Mother, governors of Hong Kong, King Olav of Norway and John Lennon.
The long-production Phantom VI (1968-90) carried on the royal connection, notably with the Silver Jubilee Car, a raised-roof version presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 by the British Motor Industry to celebrate her 25 years on the throne, and later famously used at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In 2003, the Phantom VII was born at Rolls-Royce’s new home in Goodwood, West Sussex. It had a 453bhp 6.75-litre V12 – 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds – and every possible comfort an AlphaLuxe consumer could desire.
Exquisite detail right down to the car’s Teflon-coated umbrellas and self-righting wheel-centres, reinforced the mark and marque of luxury. Production of the Phantom VII ceased at the end of 2016.
‘The Great Eight Phantoms’, a Rolls-Royce Exhibition, will be the first time that this exceptional group of truly iconic luxury motors will be gathered under one roof. Every Rolls-Royce Phantom is an exceptional car, but some are more exceptional than others thanks to their famous owners.
So far, Rolls-Royce have announced the inclusion of The Fred Astaire Phantom I and the Phantom III that was owned by Field Marshal Montgomery.
Fred Astaire 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom I
Field Marshall Montgomery 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III
You can keep up-to-date on the subsequent announcements at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars website
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).