1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Three-Position Drophead Coupe

Coachwork by Barker
Estimate: $700,000 - $950,000
Chassis: 186 MY
Engine: CJ-85

Exceedingly Rare Open-Air Coachwork by Barker
The Ultimate Expression of the Revered Phantom II Continental
Fascinating Early Provenance
Beautifully Presented in Garnet and Black over Tan Leather Interior
Offered with Tools, Books, Records, and Receipts

7,668 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Rolls-Royce Carburetor
120 BHP at 3,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Mechanical Servo-Assisted Drum Brakes
Front and Rear Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs with Rolls-Royce Hydraulic Dampers and Andre Shock Absorbers

PROVENANCE
Captain John Wanamaker Jr., New York, New York (acquired new in 1933)
Sir Terence J. O’Connor, Oxfordshire, England (acquired from the estate of the above in 1936)
Patrick D. de Laszlo, England (acquired circa 1940)
A. Jones, England (acquired circa 1945)
Captain Spencer Hart, London, England (acquired in 1950)
Herman R. Zinn, Rochelle Park, New Jersey (acquired from the above in 1959)
Dr. Gerard E. Schultz, Buffalo, New York (acquired from the above in 1961)
Howard W. Kizler, Scottsdale, Arizona (acquired in 1965)
Thomas W. Barrett III, Scottsdale, Arizona (acquired from the previous in 1971)
Craven Foundation Collection, Toronto, Canada (acquired in 1974)
Richard B. Hooper, Seattle, Washington (acquired from the above in 1985)
Harold Meden, Bellevue, Washington (acquired from the above in 1991)
Ronald Benach, Chicago, Illinois (acquired from the above in 1999)
Private Collection, London, England (acquired in 2006)
Livio Cossutti, Bissone, Switzerland (acquired in 2009)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)

EXHIBITED
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, 1959 (National Award)
Western Inter-Regional, Vancouver, Canada, 1986 (Second in Class, Prewar Class)
The Oregon National Vintage Tour, 1992
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, 1995 (National Award)
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, Lake Forest, Illinois, 2006
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, Lake Forest, Illinois, 2007
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy, 2011
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy, 2015

LITERATURE
Nick Whitaker and Steve Stuckey, The Rolls-Royce Phantom II and Phantom III, listed on pp. 190-191, photographed and discussed on pp. 112 and 425
Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Newsletter, May/June 1989, pictured on p. 63
Bumper Guardian, April/May 1999, cover story
The Flying Lady, November/December 1999, pictured and advertised on p. 5,903
The Flying Lady, September/October 2011, pictured on p. 10,175

THIS CAR
The Rolls-Royce Phantom II made its debut in 1929 and comprised the final series of motorcars personally developed by Sir Henry Royce before his death in 1933. The Phantom II was designed to be a chauffeur-driven automobile and compete head-to-head with the Bentley 8 Litre. In 1931, Sir Henry, set about designing a new car based on the Phantom II with an eye toward long-distance, high-speed motoring throughout the Continent. Sir Henry envisioned a more compact, sporting chassis to be fitted primarily with owner/driver coachwork. With a 6″ shorter wheelbase, shallower steering column angle, stiffer springs, additional shock absorbers, higher-ratio rear axle, and a lowered floor to allow for more rakish coachwork, the Phantom II Continental was born. It was a low, streamlined car, and with its chassis improvements and new fuel-delivery system, it was the fastest Rolls-Royce to date. Its long bonnet and light, sleek coachwork projected the image of speed. Countless Rolls-Royce aficionados consider the Phantom II Continental to be the finest of all prewar Rolls-Royce models.

According to The Flying Lady of September/October 2011, the fascinating Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Three-Position Drophead Coupe on offer is one of just four built by the coachbuilder Barker. In Barker’s Coachbuilding – 1933-34, which illustrated this spectacular body style, it is described as “Barker Foursome Cabriolet DeVille.” In later depictions, the moniker changes to Three-Position Drophead.

Continental chassis 186 MY was ordered as a Three-Position Drophead to the exacting specifications of Captain John Wanamaker Jr. in 1933. The grandson of John Wanamaker, the Philadelphia department store magnate, he served with the Army’s 78th Division during WWI and headed communications and transportation when President Woodrow Wilson was in France negotiating the Treaty of Versailles. Upon Wanamaker’s return to the States, the sporty new open-air Rolls-Royce was the perfect choice for the captain, who was a fixture of high society, an avid sportsman, and a successful speedboat racer in the US and Europe. Regrettably, he didn’t own the car for long. Wanamaker died unexpectedly on November 30, 1934, at age 45.

In 1936, this Rolls-Royce returned to England after being sold to Sir Terence J. O’Connor, a member of British Parliament. Around 1940, it was purchased by Patrick D. de Laszlo, who reportedly hid it and kept it safe throughout WWII. After the war, the car passed to two additional British owners before returning to the US in 1959 in the care of Herman R. Zinn of Rochelle Park, New Jersey. From 1959 until today, this Phantom II Continental has enjoyed loving care by Rolls-Royce enthusiasts in the US, Canada, England, and Switzerland, including a decade in the Craven Foundation Collection in Toronto, Canada. The Continental’s flowing coachwork is finished in a rich garnet tone over sleek black fenders. The interior is covered in buttery tan hides and Wilton wool carpet, and features beautifully restored woodwork. Opening the bonnet reveals the jewel-like Rolls-Royce inline six-cylinder engine, complete with a newly cast cylinder head, and a remarkable under-bonnet tool set. Receipts on file document the car’s history as well as attention given to its mechanical components.

With a fascinating provenance rooted in notable American and British ownership and a period of hiding during WWII, this Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupe has a truly captivating past. Today, a veteran of such high-level concours as Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and its completion of such challenging multi-state tours as the Classic Car Club of America National CARavan and the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club National Vintage Tour, this car stands as a rolling testament to Rolls-Royce’s enduring beauty and undeniable build quality.

This intriguing motorcar represents an extraordinary opportunity to acquire an exceedingly rare, stunningly beautiful, prewar coachbuilt Rolls-Royce, considered by many to be the best Sir Henry Royce ever created. It offers the new owner an opportunity for concours competition, rallying, and long-distance touring.


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