1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I: The Pureblood Briton

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I: The Pureblood Briton

Engine Straight 6 Horsepower 108 HP (79.488 KW) @ 2300 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Transmission 4-step manual, 3 Selective Sliding

The Phantom I replaced the classic Silver Ghost in 1925, receiving the name New Phantom with an internal index of 40/50 HP. The Phantom I was named retroactively when the company introduced the Phantom II in 1929.

Source: myAutoWorld.com

Introduced in 1925, the Phantom I was built at one of two Rolls-Royce factories, located in Derby, Britain, or Springfield, USA. The model had a more powerful engine than its predecessor, the Silver Ghost. Interestingly, the American and British builds differed from each other: the car from the Springfield plant had a slightly shorter wheelbase (3721 mm) than the British-made cars (3822 mm). In addition, they had different gearboxes: the American Phantoms had a 3-speed manual transmission, compared to the 4-speed manual transmission of the British builds. The body, traditionally, was manufactured by well-known coachbuilders Barker, Park Ward, Bidde and Smart, Thrupp & Maberly, Mulliner and Hopper for the British market and Chatsworth, Newmarket, and Hibbard & Darrin for US customers.

The origins

Source: Audrain Auto Museum

Although the Silver Ghost was still popular in the luxury car market, it was already in need of a replacement. Rolls-Royce did not come up with this idea right away, since conservatism was one of the cornerstones of the company, and the brand’s clientele was not very fond of fashion trends. Nevertheless, the company introduced the New Phantom in 1925 which received the same chassis as the previous model and a new 7.7-liter 6-cylinder overhead valve engine.  Externally, the new model reminded the Silver Ghost, as the same coachbuilders built bodies on the same chassis with the same wheelbase. Nevertheless, it became the most elegant British vehicle of those years receiving the title “The best passenger car in the world.” All New Phantoms were offered in two wheelbases and manufactured by the company in parallel with the “20HP” model at the Derby plant. The finished chassis was then shipped to the bodybuilder chosen by the customer. Moreover, the buyers negotiated with the body maker on their own several months before the chassis was ready. From the moment of ordering a car to receiving it, customers had to wait from six months to a year. The new car was very expensive. Rolls-Royce took 1850 pounds for the chassis alone, and the finished car could cost about 2500 pounds. For this money, the company gave a three-year warranty. Over the entire four-year production period, 2212 chassis were made, of which 1225 were assembled in the USA. Remarkably, assembly was carried out at the Springfield plant until 1931, after which the American branch turned into a regular dealership due to the onset of the Great Depression.

The 1929 model year

Source: Classic Driver

The Phantom I established Rolls-Royce’s reputation for reliability, quality, and near-silence, and ended the second series in 1929. So 1929 was the last for the model. The car of 1929 was equipped with an overhead valve inline 6-cylinder engine and had two blocks of three cylinders and removable heads made of aluminum. The car also had a dual ignition system: under the hood, you could see a distributor coil and a magneto. As for all his cars, RR indicated the power as “sufficient”, but according to experts, it was about 100 hp. Front and rear servo mechanical drum brakes were installed under license from Hispano-Suiza. The motor transmitted torque to the rear wheels through a single-disk dry clutch, a 4-speed manual transmission, and a torque tube. In 1929, sales of the first series fell by half compared with 1928 in the American market. The reasons were both the beginning of the economic crisis and the release of the Phantom II model in Derby, Great Britain. Those who could afford Rolls-Royce preferred to order a new model from Derbi. So, the American branch turned into a regular dealership.

Did you know?

Source: WallpaperUp

The most expensive and extravagant Rolls-Royce Phantom I was Brewster’s Riviera Town Brougham made in 1929. Only 10 of these luxurious coupes, weighing 2500 kg, were made in 1929.   It was sold for $19,965, excluding the cost of numerous gilded exterior and interior details.

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1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I: The Pureblood Briton

Engine Straight 6 Horsepower 108 HP (79.488 KW) @ 2300 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Transmission 4-step manual, 3 Selective Sliding

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