Rolls-Royce rally car available with Bonhams at 75MM

17th March 2017
Bob Murray

Here’s a car from the forthcoming Bonhams Members’ Meeting sale that’s taken our fancy. After all, if you want to go historic rallying, you may as well go in style…


It’s a Rolls-Royce Phantom, but definitely not as we know it. This Phantom, one of the Springfield, Massachusetts cars, may have started life in 1929 as a sedate luxury tourer for a well-off and tennis-mad American politician, but more recently has been hammered mercilessly in rallies from North Africa to the Mongolian Desert.

And it’s been built for the job. When, after 50 years of museum storage in the US, it came to the UK for the first time in 2008 it had a nut-and-bolt restoration and rebuild into a car fully prepared for historic rallying. Bonhams says “nut and bolt” and it’s easy to see why: the car comes with two lots of restoration bills, one totalling £177,000 and the other £70,000…

Today the Phantom I is equipped with rallying essentials such as twin ignition coils, automatic lubrication,150-litre twin fuel tanks, three fuel systems, two electrical generating systems, overdrive transmission, under-body protection, a canvas boot cover and modern seats with belts, fittings for a GPS navigation unit, and a fire extinguisher.


Not your average Phantom then but this car was never average. It’s a 1929 Stratford Coupe, one of only six Phantom Is with the sporty body by Brewster, the coachbuilder that provided a lot of bodies for the RRs assembled in Springfield in the US between 1926 and ’34. The left-hand drive car was ordered by Dwight F Davis, founder of the Davis Cup tennis tournament and US Secretary of War in the 1920s. 

Bonhams is selling the car at its MM sale on Sunday 19 March, with a guide price of £100-150,000 – as it says, a fraction of the cost of its restoration and rally preparation. The best thing is the car is “truly turnkey”…all it needs is a new owner to gets behind its wheel and head out on that next big long-distance adventure…

  • 75MM

  • Bonhams

  • Rolls-Royce

  • 2017

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