1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I


* Chassis no. 10MC
* Engine no. EB75
* 7,688cc ohv six-cylinder
* Four-speed transmission
* A very early Phantom
* Australian delivery example

Successor to the legendary Silver Ghost that had made Rolls-Royce one of the world’s preeminent automakers, the New Phantom arrived in 1925. Its entirely new 40/50hp overhead-valve six-cylinder engine had a 7,688cc displacement and was considerably more powerful than its Edwardian predecessor.

As with the smaller Rolls-Royce 20hp that had preceded it in 1922, the New Phantom chassis utilized a disc-type clutch and adjustable radiator shutters. The chassis, though, remained essentially the same as that of the later four-wheel-braked ‘Ghost’.

After Rolls-Royce introduced the Phantom II in 1929—which brought with it an entirely new frame—the 1925-1928 40/50hp series became known retrospectively as the Phantom I. Some 2,212 Phantom I chassis were produced by the Rolls-Royce UK factory.

The Phantom I production span had coincided with a period of economic prosperity in Australia, and approximately 60 were sold there, either new or shortly thereafter. New Phantom chassis 10MC was the first of its type delivered to Australia, and is globally one of the oldest Phantoms extant. Factory tested in May 1925, it was shipped to Sydney. There, it received an open tourer body, by local coachbuilders Jackson, Jones & Collins, preparatory to delivery by Sydney Rolls-Royce agents Dalgety to Frank Albert, a wealthy Australian music publisher. He is said to have kept the Rolls-Royce in storage from 1929 to 1936.

Around 1937, the Albert Phantom I was reconditioned with new saloon coachwork by Martin & King of Malvern, a Melbourne suburb, and put back into service. The sleekly formal closed-quarter styling of the new five-passenger saloon body, complemented by the chassis’ newly streamlined fenders, was completely contemporary to the period. Inside, a division window provided rear compartment privacy.

Subsequent to Frank Albert’s ownership, the car passed through two owners before its acquisition in the 1970s by Jim Weir of Sydney and it has been in collector hands since. Approximately three years prior to its arrival in the U.S. in 2011, the car’s mechanical systems were checked over by an Australian RR specialist. The Martin & King coachwork remains sound, although its black paintwork reflects considerable patina. The front compartment upholstery was retrimmed a few years ago and shows little wear. The rear compartment shows well, resplendent in patterned fabric and includes a set of six crystal glasses and a table, should pangs of thirst set in while underway.

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Text by Bonhams