Lot 44

2013   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2013

1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Special Roadster

Coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin

SOLD $308,000


$450,000 - $550,000





Car Highlights

An Attractive, One-Off Springfield Rolls-Royce
Striking Parisian Design with Sporting Features
Matching-Numbers, Original-Bodied Example
Ownership History Documented by the RROC
Well-Maintained Example with Recent Cosmetic Attention
Ideal for RROC and CCCA Events

Technical Specs

7.668 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Rolls-Royce 2-Jet Type Carburetor
Stated 40/50 HP at 2,300 RPM
3-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Mechanical Brakes with Servo-Assist
Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring Front Suspension
Cantilever Leaf Spring Rear Suspension, Adjustable Friction Shock Absorbers
Register to Bid

The striking body of this Rolls-Royce was crafted by coachbuilder Hibbard & Darrin of Paris. Founded in 1926 by Americans Thomas L. Hibbard, a co-founder of LeBaron coachbuilders, and designer Howard “Dutch” Darrin, the duo designed and built cars through 1931. Hibbard & Darrin bodied a total of 31 Phantom I chassis; without question, their elegant continental designs were among the most handsome of their time.

Chassis no. S297FP was built in the Rolls- Royce Springfield, Massachusetts, factory and sent to Paris for fitment of its unique one-off coachwork, described by John Webb deCampi as a “Special Roadster.” This left-hand drive Phantom was initially delivered on June 21, 1930, to Porter B. Chase of West Hartford, Connecticut, a 1918 graduate of Yale University. There is some conjecture that Mr. Chase was affiliated to the banking family of the same name. A series of owners followed, including well-known aficionado Charles LeMaitre. RROC sourced records document ownership through 1991.

Unlike many Rolls-Royce of the era, which were sent back to coachbuilders to be re-bodied with what was then considered most fashionable, this Phantom I retains its original Hibbard & Darrin body, no. HD203. According to its current owner, the most recent restoration was completed to a high standard more than 30 years ago. It has also just been fitted with new blackwall tires and a black convertible top which contrasts beautifully with the red and burgundy coachwork. Perhaps most impressive are the well-maintained brass-rimmed gauges inset within the burl walnut dash along with inlaid veneers extending to both doors. A lovely burgundy leather interior and rumble seat complete the seating appointments. The telltale split windscreen immediately identifies the car as a Hibbard & Darrin design. Dual sidemount spares, chrome-plated wire wheels, accessory trunk, and period-correct tubular bumpers are both functional and visually appealing.

The consignor reports that it is “a great driving car ideal for touring.” Ideal for Rolls- Royce Owner’s Club driving events or CCCA CARavans, this exquisite Hibbard & Darrin bodied Phantom will be admired wherever it might appear. With known provenance and distinctive coachwork, this is a spectacular automobile not to be missed.