1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II “Star of India”: Worthy of a Maharaji

1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II “Star of India”: Worthy of a Maharaji

Engine Straight 6 Horsepower 120 BHP (88.32 KW) @ 3000 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Transmission 4-speed manual

Named after a 563-carat star-shaped sapphire, this incredible and one-of-a-kind saffron-painted Rolls-Royce was built by Thrupp & Maberly for the Maharaja of Rajkot. This car was a symbol of wealth and strength, and its color symbolized courage according to Indian tradition.

Source: Flickr

As a logical continuation of the Phantom I luxury series, RR also released the second series of this incredibly beautiful vehicle. Produced for only 6 years, this luxurious vehicle continued the traditions inherent in the first series. From 1929 to 1935, the company released only 1608 vehicles of the second series which became a turning point for the British automaker: this automobile received a new frame, a more spacious body, and an improved chassis. In modern slang, this series would be called a restyled version of the main model, but at that time the RR company was in a creative search and the improved model was represented as something new. Nevertheless, it made a whole revolution in the world of premium limousines and set trends that many followed.  

The origins

Source: Model-Car

The history of the iconic “Phantom” series began back in 1925 with the Phantom I, which was produced from 1925 to 1929. The car from the first series was an improved Silver Ghost and was equipped with an overhead valve engine that gave the large and heavy body car high-performance characteristics. Having sold 3502 cars of the first series (1925-1929), the company introduced the second generation in 1929 which continued the traditions of the previous one. The new model was equipped with a Straight 6 engine and a 4-speed gearbox, which was also located in the engine block. The automobile had a single-disc dry clutch and hemispherical flat spring suspension at the front and rear, a completely new frame with stable axle suspension, and semi-elliptical leaf springs. Moreover, Rolls-Royce Phantom II became a landmark model for the company. Amid the global economic crisis, Rolls-Royce managed not only to survive in the luxurious car market but to outlive many of its competitors in Europe and the US, gaining control over its competitor in the UK – Bentley, largely thanks to the well-selling Phantom II. 

From the very beginning of its history, the Rolls-Royce brand was in special demand by Eastern rulers. The Indian Maharajas were no exception, they possessed enormous wealth. Dharmendrasinhji Lakhajiraj Jadeja, who assumed the title of Maharaja in 1930, decided to replace the family’s old Rolls-Royce with a new one. He ordered a 4-door convertible Phantom II from Thrupp & Maberly. 

The Star of India

Source: Supercars.net

In 1934, the new Maharajah of Rajkot decided to replace his father’s 20-year-old Rolls-Royce with a new one, which he later named the “Star of India” after the famous 563-carat sapphire. He ordered from renowned British brand Phantom II, whose 188PY chassis was duly completed at Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant and shipped to London bodybuilders Thrupp and Maberly to create a beautiful and striking all-season convertible body. A special order for a high-profile client was painted in a saffron-ocher color, symbolizing courage, and the hood and fenders were made of polished aluminum. The interior was upholstered in ocher-colored leather, and the wood instrument panel was finished in the saffron-marbled paste. The car received steerable high-beam headlights and two small lights that flashed orange to let you know that the Maharajah was approaching. On the doors and side windows one could see the national emblem of Rajkot with the motto “Dharmi praja raja”, which meant “impartial ruler of people of all faiths.” The crescent and full moon symbols on the backs were made of ivory and dark semi-precious stones. Until 1968, the car was in the garage of a noble family, after it was sold to a British collector.

Did you know?

Source: Airows

In 2010, Maharaja Mandhatasinh Jadeja of the Rajkot royal family paid around INR 3.22 million ($850,000) for his grandfather’s unique “Star of India” and returned the family’s treasure to its original owners.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II “Star of India”: Worthy of a Maharaji

Engine Straight 6 Horsepower 120 BHP (88.32 KW) @ 3000 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Transmission 4-speed manual

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