2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Streamlined Saloon
From The Tony Vincent Estate Collection
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.
$800,000 - $1,200,000
1934 Olympia Motor Show Car
Stunning One-Off Streamlined Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.
One of Just 281 Phantom II Continentals Built
Multiple Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® Awards
Spectacular Restoration of a Historically Significant Rolls-Royce
One of the Most Beautiful and Dramatic Phantom II Continentals
7,668 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Rolls-Royce Carburetor
120 BHP at 3,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Mechanical Drum Brakes
Front Solid-Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Hydraulic Dampers
Rear Live-Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Hydraulic Dampers
Helen M. Pritchard, Streetly, England (acquired new in 1934)
Arnold Greening, Bushey, England (acquired in 1957)
Anthony H.C. Proctor, Devon, England (acquired in 1959)
Poynton K. Bishop, Mahwah, New Jersey (acquired in 1960)
Robert T. Achor, Flossmoor, Illinois (acquired in 1963)
Dr. Samuel L. Scherr, New York City, New York (acquired in 1964)
Paul Rizzo, East Meadow, New York (acquired in 1965)
Ed Engel, Delton, Michigan (acquired in 1966)
Christian L. Stepp, Wisconsin (acquired in 1998)
Kenneth M. McBride, Seattle, Washington (acquired in 2003)
Ronald J. Benach, Lake Forest, Illinois (acquired from the above in 2005)
Tony Vincent (acquired from the above in 2008)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2005 (First in Class)
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, 2006 (Automobile Quarterly Award for the Most Elegant Formal Sedan or Town Car)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2013 (Third in Class)
Rolls-Royce addressed demand for a chassis capable of traversing the improved roads on the European continent with its Continental derivative of the Phantom II model. Appealing to the enthusiast owner-driver, Rolls-Royce engineers incorporated several mechanical enhancements facilitating high-speed touring over extended distances, including a lower numerical axle ratio, a lower steering column, and modified springs, all incorporated in the agile 144" wheelbase chassis. Among the 281 Phantom II Continentals built, chassis 86SK was fitted with striking one-off coachwork by Park Ward Ltd., a noteworthy example of the Willesden, UK, firm’s exploration of streamlining. This 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Streamlined Saloon is now offered here to the discriminating enthusiast who appreciates its historic significance.
The SK was 14th in the sequence of the 16 Phantom II series built, and as such, 86SK benefited from improvements made during the production run including the higher 5.25:1 compression ratio and the high-lift cam. Its build sheet lists an off-test date of August 25, 1934, with delivery to Park Ward three days later, destined to be fitted with what is considered to be the most avant-garde coachwork by Park Ward – perhaps that of any coachbuilder – for the Phantom II Continental chassis. According to André Blaize in his definitive book on Phantom II Continentals, this striking coachwork was designed after conducting wind tunnel experiments, which was cutting-edge technology in 1934.
For body no. 3968, Park Ward stylists employed the form-follows-function philosophy, resulting in a design that is both aesthetically and aerodynamically pleasing. The roofline’s graceful taper to the rear is echoed in the front and rear fender design, which also incorporates pronounced wheel arches suggesting ample power. The body is remarkably free of ornamentation, incorporating details such as a concealed door, hood and trunk hinges, Ace wheel discs, and full spats enclosing the rear wheels.
This striking design made its debut at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1934 on stand no. 24 as part of the Park Ward display. Its first owner was Helen M. Pritchard of Streetly, England, and it remained in England through 1959 while in the possession of Arnold Greening and Anthony H.C. Proctor.
By 1960, it had made its way across the Atlantic and was owned by Poynton K. Bishop of Mahwah, New Jersey, the first of several RROC members in the US. Among its subsequent owners was noted reconstructive surgeon Dr. Samuel L. Scherr of New York City, who advertised 86SK in the RROC’s newsletter The Flying Lady in 1964 for a mere $2,000. By 1966, RROC records indicate the car was in Delton, Michigan, under the ownership of Ed Engel. Glyn Morris, publisher of Dalton Watson Fine Books, sold it shortly thereafter to Kenneth M. McBride of Seattle, where it joined a fine collection of American and European classic automobiles. Mr. McBride recognized the importance of this vehicle and engaged Pebble Beach Best of Show-winning restorers McDonald Vintage Restorations of Canby, Oregon, to return the car to its original 1934 appearance. During the exhaustive, no-expense-spared restoration process, all authenticity issues were addressed, including modifications made to the front fenders years earlier.
Following this two-year restoration, 86SK would make its debut at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. Purchased just prior to the concours by Ronald J. Benach of Lake Forest, Illinois, this Streamlined Saloon, restored as it first appeared 70 years earlier, made its way onto the show field where it garnered a coveted First in Class award. The following year, it was recognized at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance with the Automobile Quarterly Award for Most Elegant Formal Sedan or Town Car. Tony Vincent acquired the car in 2008, and it made an encore presentation at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® where it received a Third in Class award.
The car is finished in the identical color scheme as when exhibited at the Olympia Motor Show, described in the build sheet on file as “black throughout, moulding in Coronet Red.” The accent tone is repeated in the interior compartment, which is upholstered in red leather with black piping. Front seat occupants can enjoy an open-air driving experience by sliding back the metal sunroof panel, and rear-seat passengers have access to fold-down tables equipped with vanity mirrors fitted into the front seatbacks. The sloping rear deck incorporates a flush lid hinged to the right, providing ample access to the luggage compartment and spare wheel.
Park Ward’s unique and advanced streamlined coachwork is the perfect complement to the sporting Continental chassis, with both components working in tandem to provide swift and elegant motoring. The incredible quality of the restoration is evidenced by its current condition, still a highly authentic and well-presented motorcar. Its next owner has the privilege of becoming the custodian of an important and historic Rolls-Royce automobile that is certain to be appreciated for both its styling and engineering significance.