Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Kellner
Edouard Edmond-Blanc, St. Cloud, France (acquired new in March 1934)K.C. Dobson, Surrey, England (acquired in 1946)Ashley Havinden OBE, Hertfordshire, England (acquired in 1951)Richard Loucks, Riverside, California (acquired via Classic Cars of Brompton Road, London, UK in 1956)Mark J. Tuttle, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1981)John Calley, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1982)Private Collection, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1990)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 1998)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 1990 (Gwenn Graham Most Elegant Convertible)Chicago International Concours d’Elegance, Chicago, Illinois, 1991 (Best of Show)Fisher Island Concours d’Elegance, Miami, Florida, 1991 (Best of Show)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 1995 (Third in Class)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2015
Not long after the introduction of the Phantom II in 1929, Sir Henry Royce envisioned a less formal, owner/driver version of the model for high-speed motoring. Shortened by 6", and with a lowered steering column angle and higher rear-axle ratio, the new chassis, called the Continental, had a lowered floor that was perfect for lighter, more sporting coachwork. The fastest Rolls-Royce to date, the Phantom II Continentals were low and streamlined, and their long bonnets projected the image of speed – even at a standstill. Many enthusiasts consider them to be the finest and most desirable of all prewar Rolls-Royce models.
This late-production Phantom II Continental, chassis 164PY, was on test in late November 1933 and was outfitted with André Hartford adjustable shock absorbers and a specially ordered large-face speedometer and tachometer; the finished chassis was dispatched to Carrosserie Vanvooren in Paris in early December. The Continental’s first owner, Edouard Edmond-Blanc, the son of a prominent French politician, originally ordered a divided, short-coupled Sedanca de Ville body with an oversized trunk. A subsequent accident early in the car’s life prompted the order of 164PY’s Drophead Sedanca Coupe body from Kellner of Paris. The design was evocative of other three-position Sedancas made famous by such coachbuilders as J. Gurney Nutting and Barker, but with subtly skirted fenders and a more steeply raked trunk and spare arrangement set off by a lightweight, divided bumper.
In 1951, the Kellner Sedanca was owned by famed typeface designer and graphic artist Ashley Havinden OBE, and within five years, the Rolls-Royce was acquired by Richard Loucks of California and imported to the US in 1959. It wasn’t until 1981 that the Continental’s ownership changed again, when noted prewar Rolls-Royce authority Mark J. Tuttle of Los Angeles acquired the car. An owner of multiple Phantom II Continentals, Mr. Tuttle sold 164PY to friend and fellow enthusiast John Calley, who commissioned a full restoration of the one-off Drophead by Buess Restorations, with finish work by Hill & Vaughn.
In 1990, when the restoration was complete, the Rolls-Royce made its concours debut at Pebble Beach, where it received the Gwenn Graham special award for the most elegant open car. The Sedanca Coupe then passed to another owner, under whom the car earned a pair of Best of Show accolades in 1991.
In 1998, 164PY was acquired by the current owner and has since resided in his significant collection. Today, the sporting Rolls-Royce displays the gentle patina that a quality restoration acquires over many years, and its next owner will surely be thrilled by the opportunity to return this special Phantom II Continental to the road or the show field.