Lot 129

2022   |   Pebble Beach Auctions

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Tourer

From the William Maxwell Davis Estate

Coachwork by Barker

SOLD $456,000


$375,000 - $450,000





Car Highlights

The 1933 Paris Salon de l’Automobile Car; Used by King George V in 1935

Especially Sporting One-Off Tourer Coachwork with Long Bonnet, Special Instrumentation, and Dash

Well-Documented Ownership and Maintenance by Marque Specialists

A Proven Veteran of the Pebble Beach® Motoring Classic

One of the Best-Known Phantom II Continentals of the 281 Built

The Favorite Tour Car of an Iconic Rolls-Royce Connoisseur

Technical Specs

7,668 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Single Rolls-Royce Carburetor

120 HP at 3,500 RPM

4-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes with Servo Assist

Front Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Hydraulic Dampers

Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Hydraulic Dampers

Register to Bid

Garth Hammers

Dimitri Alessandro Sursock, Duke of Cervinara, Paris, France (acquired new in 1933)

Barker & Co., London, UK (acquired from the above in 1935)

Alexander Gavin Henderson, 2nd Baron Faringdon, London, UK (acquired from the above in 1936)

David W. Dangler, Lake Forest, Illinois (acquired in 1960)

Leonard and Ruth Horwich, Chicago, Illinois (acquired in 1971)

William Maxwell Davis (acquired from the above in 1984)

Salon de l’Automobile, 1933

Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, Michigan, 2005

RROC National Meet, Michigan, 2014

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2017

The Elegance at Hershey, Pennsylvania, 2018

This Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Tourer, chassis 4PY, was specified with a unique open four-door tourer body by Barker. Its specifications included a special 58" hood, with a long row of louvers extending into the cowl, as well as a chrome-plated dashboard with white instrument dials, a speedometer in miles and kilometers, and a Dover spring steering wheel. It was also finished in Nile Green inside and out. Significantly, it is one of the later examples fitted with both a synchromesh gearbox and larger 28-gallon fuel tank, making it the ideal Continental Tourer.

Completed in this dramatic and eye-catching livery, the car was exhibited at the Paris Salon de l’Automobile in October 1933. Its original owner was intended to be Dimitri Alessandro Sursock, Duke of Cervinara, and a member of a prominent Lebanese business family. The Duke’s acquisition was apparently not fully consummated after more than a year, and the car returned to Barker. It would remain with the coachbuilder for a year and, in 1935, was supplied to King George V for use in reviewing planes at the Mildenhall RAF base. This was captured in a British Pathé newsreel, which displays the flat-folding phaeton top particularly well.

In 1936, the Continental passed to the 2nd Baron Faringdon, then in 1960 was imported to the US. In 1971, it was acquired by Leonard Horwich, who used it as a touring automobile for many years. Its reliability and elegance in such endeavors did not go unnoticed by William Maxwell Davis, who, in 1984 acquired the car from Mr. Horwich’s estate. In the years since, the car described as “the queen when it is in residence” was his preferred choice for long-distance vintage car tours, including numerous Pebble Beach® Motoring Classics in which it performed effortlessly, aided by its desirable synchromesh gearbox and added overdrive.

The Continental has been meticulously upkept, with the desirable conversion to a roller camshaft, and the recent fitment of a new radiator core and stainless steel top tank. The body was refinished by D&D Classic of Covington, Ohio, in the original Nile Green some 20 years ago; its deftly added taillights are a souvenir of its later years in the UK. New upholstery, also in the original color, was fitted about five years ago by Mike Kiamy and coordinated by noted specialist E.F. Murphy who also fully rebuilt the top, which was also retrimmed. Today, the paint and interior remain excellent; service records from 1985 to 2021 are on file, totaling some $150,000 inclusive of work carried out in fall 2021 by Butch Murphy, as part of an exhaustive history file accumulated by Mr. Davis. These records are complemented by the equally voluminous files present from the Horwich ownership.

Writing of the car in Beverly Rae Kimes’ The Classic Car, Mr. Davis commented: “I like this car’s looks, especially the long hood which extends beyond the firewall into the scuttle, and the low windscreen. And mechanically it is very strong – to the top of Trail Ridge (12,000 feet plus) on the vacuum tank without incident, for example. The car is a joy to drive on the open road. I have loved every moment of my ownership.”