Cars from the 30s: The 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental

This Phantom II Continental Sport – The third and last of Rolls Royce’s great 40-50bhp, six-cylinder cars, was built for Captain Sir Malcolm Campbell. He dominated the racing scene with multiple land speed world records as well as on water during the 1920s and 1930s. Registered AGO 1, it was the third of his three Phantoms.

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

The Sports Saloon coachwork by Barker & Co is finished in metallic Saxe Blue. The interior is blue leather with grey headlining, dark blue carpets and beautifully detailed wooden door cappings and dashboard. It’s special features include a low-rake steering column, wider track, higher-ratio axle and sports Continental springs.

Chassis no.140MY came with many other extras, while various accessories were transferred from Sir Malcolm’s previous Phantom, such as the large Atlantic spot-lamp, with mirror, a siren, a set of Bosch tri-tone horns and a St Christopher’s cross, which is affixed to the dashboard. In recent years the car has been the subject of a comprehensive restoration.

This historically important model was displayed at ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ exhibition held in July 2017 at Bonhams on London’s Bond Street, close to Old Bond Street, where the car was originally delivered new to Campbell in March back in 1933. The event, organised by Rolls-Royce for the global unveil of the Phantom VIII, saw all eight generations of the Phantom on display.

Visiting that exhibition was industrialist and collector Yohan Poonawalla. He saw the car there for the first time and immediately fell in love with it, sparking his acquisition of the Rolls-Royce in 2020. This iconic classic car now resides in the renowned YZP Collection in India, parked in the esteemed company of other celebrated Maharajah cars. It will be showcased at ENGINE the museum being established by its owner in Pune, which will house India’s most diverse and extensive collection of Rolls-Royces along with many other marques from all eras.

Author and motoring historian Mohammed Luqman Ali Khan observes: “Sir Malcolm Campbell’s heroics on the circuit were complemented by his connoisseurship of fine cars, and 140MY is a testament to that. It epitomises qualities cherished by the legend: power, performance and speed. This truly historic car is the motoring legacy of a pioneering speedster extraordinaire who enthralled a generation, a motorist par excellence who left an ever-lasting impression in the automotive world. Its historicity is trumped only by the stature and incredible achievements of its first owner.”

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