7,668 OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
120bhp at 2,500rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Sporting Pall Mall Tourer coachwork
*Excellent Rolls-Royce for tours and driving events
*Quality built motorcar of the Classic era
*Only two owners since 1983
THE ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM I
A direct descendent of the Silver Ghost, the Rolls-Royce Phantom I was launched in May 1925. It became immediately obvious that Rolls-Royce had gained quite a bit of knowledge in terms of refining the chassis. Sir Henry Royce felt that the Silver Ghost chassis was adequately robust. He was not easily persuaded that the company needed a new chassis. Instead, further improvements were made – in essence, a process of careful technical advancement – which reflected Royce's belief in evolution rather than revolution. For the most part, the Phantom I chassis was identical to that of the Silver Ghost. It did offer customers two different wheelbase lengths from which to choose: 143.5 inches or the longer 150.5 inches. The Phantom I gearbox was also the same as before, except that the old cone clutch was replaced with a new, single dry plate clutch – more conducive to quieter and smoother operation.
In America, following the decision to construct left drive, US-specification chassis in Springfield, the need arose for lightweight coachwork to preserve the performance of the new chassis, while retaining the quality for which Rolls-Royce was renowned. Part of the solution was "Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks," a name given to designs owned by the factory that were produced under contract by the leading coachbuilders of the day.
The Pall Mall tourer, a design that originated on the Silver Ghost, had long been regarded as one of the most stylish open bodies offered on the Rolls-Royce chassis. An attractive body, it featured a distinctive belt molding, above which the body rolls in gently, creating a very sporting look – and one that would be seen on many subsequent designs by other coachbuilders.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This elegant and sporting Pall Mall has lived an interesting life. The chassis, S211RM, was delivered new to Mrs. Maria Lilly of Los Angeles with a formal Arundel limousine body on January 3rd 1929. Exactly two and a half years earlier, chassis S224ML was fitted with the Merrimac built Pall Mall body seen on the offered vehicle, body number M-1552. The Pall Mall body would find its way onto at least four other chassis (S220ML, S150MK, S115FR, and S282PK) before finding its way to S211RM. In the meantime, S211RM had received a Fleetwood Cabriolet body at some point. It all goes to show just how interchangeable bodies and chassis were—especially since this Pall Mall body sat on two different chassis before the one it rides on was even delivered.
While the earliest history of this chassis is not known, by 1979 the car was with legendary collector and dealer Leo Gephart of Englewood, Ohio. Sold to Paul Stern of Manheim, Pennsylvania, it was acquired by Dr. Thomas R. Campi of Allentown, Pennsylvania in November 1983. Dr. Campi quickly set about researching the car's history, working with the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club with letters and records on file detailing the fruits of his labors. Over the course of the next few years, the car was carefully restored—a process detailed in notes and copious scanned photos—and shown at Rolls-Royce Owners Club events, where it was a National Award Winner in 1986 and again in 1989—brass badges adorn the dash commemorating the victories.
Still fresh from its concours victories, S211RM was extensively toured, as noted in the January-February 1992 issue of The Flying Lady where it was noted to have recently completed the 1991 RROC Vintage Tour with great success. The Rolls would remain with Dr. Campi for a quarter of a century, joining the present owner's collection in April of 2008.
On static display since acquisition, the car still presents very nicely as lovely touring car. While it has not been run extensively in some time, it was recently started and run by a Bonhams specialist—although mechanical recommissioning is recommended prior to any real use. A rare opportunity to acquire a Springfield Phantom with a stylish, open body for the whole family, this Rolls will make an excellent addition to the next owner's collection.