1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III: A Glimpse into the Past

1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III: A Glimpse into the Past

Engine V12Horsepower 165 hp @ 3,500 RPMTorque 300 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 2,359kg | 5,200 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual 

The Phantom III held a special place in the brand’s history, as it was the last of the pre-war “phantoms” designed by the legendary engineer Henry Royce himself. As with its predecessors, the car was a testament to the meticulously handcrafted quality, a perfectly balanced mechanical design, a noiseless engine, and a seamless driving experience.

Source: Classic Digest

The brand’s model built under the direct supervision of Henry Royce himself was the last pre-war Phantom, a unique vehicle that amazed even those familiar with the brand’s interiors due to its impeccable assembly mastery. The manufacturer paid particular attention to detail, ensuring excellent dynamic qualities and absolute smoothness by carefully balancing all moving parts. Additionally, the vehicle’s independent front suspension and substantial weight contributed to its exceptional comfort levels.

The origins

Source: LBI Limited

In the mid-1930s, as the world was still recovering from the Great Depression, Rolls-Royce, the British luxury automobile manufacturer, faced the economic downturn’s effects but decided to create the ultimate status symbol. Their engineers and designers embarked on a mission to build the most powerful, luxurious, and technologically advanced automobile that the world had ever seen, knowing that they had to deliver something truly exceptional that would make people forget about their economic struggles and dream of a more lavish future. The result was the third Phantom, a vehicle that embodied the company’s commitment to excellence in every detail. With a massive 7.3-liter V12 engine, it was one of the most powerful automobiles of its time. Its chassis was designed to be longer and more rigid than previous models, providing a smoother ride for passengers. However, it was not just the power and engineering that set it apart from the competition. Its design was a masterpiece, with sleek lines, a longer hood, and a larger grille that commanded attention. The interior was just as luxurious, featuring hand-crafted wood trim, sumptuous leather seats, and every conceivable comfort and convenience feature. The novelty quickly became the preferred vehicle for the rich and famous, including royalty, Hollywood stars, and wealthy entrepreneurs. It was a symbol of wealth, power, and success, cementing Rolls-Royce’s position as the pinnacle of luxury automobile manufacturing. The company’s vehicles were delivered as an open chassis with all necessary mechanisms, with third parties such as Park Ward, Mulliner, Hooper, Barker & Co, Vanden Plas, Vesters & Neirinck, Freestone & Webb, Voll & Ruhrbeck, and Thrupp & Maberly responsible for making the bodies.

The 1939 model year

Source: Tiriac Collection

The 1939 model year marked the end of an era, as it was the last model of the “Phantom” series constructed under Henry Royce’s direct supervision. The 1939 edition was a remarkable vehicle that stood out among its competitors with its exceptional handcrafted quality and attention to detail. Under the hood, the 1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III featured a powerful 7.3-liter V12 engine that delivered an impressive 160 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful automobiles of its time. The vehicle’s independent front suspension and significant weight of nearly 2,800 kg ensured a comfortable ride, which was the hallmark of the Rolls-Royce brand. The exterior of the 1939 version boasted a sleek and timeless design, with a longer hood and a larger grille than its predecessors, commanding attention on the road. The automobile’s body was handcrafted with precision and care by third-party coachbuilders, ensuring that each vehicle was unique. Inside, the 1939 Phantom III was the epitome of luxury, featuring sumptuous leather seats, handcrafted wood trim, and every possible comfort and convenience feature that a discerning buyer could want. The vehicle was equipped with a radio, clock, and an array of gauges that provided the driver with all the necessary information about the vehicle’s performance. Compared to its predecessor, the Phantom II, the 1939 Phantom III featured a longer wheelbase and a more rigid chassis, resulting in a smoother ride for passengers. The vehicle also had an improved braking system and an updated gearbox, which made it easier to handle and control.

Did you know?

Source: AutoEvolution

The 1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III was a favorite among the rich and famous of its time, and it had some notable owners. One of the most famous owners was King Farouk of Egypt, who had a custom-made convertible version of the car with a gold-plated mascot of the goddess Isis on the hood. The automobile was later sold to an American collector, who restored it to its original condition. Another well-known owner of a 1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III was Hollywood actor Clark Gable. Gable had a specially commissioned automobile with a Vanden Plas touring body, which was one of only three automobiles of its kind. The car featured a custom interior with wool carpets, silk curtains, and a built-in bar. 

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1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III: A Glimpse into the Past

Engine V12Horsepower 165 hp @ 3,500 RPMTorque 300 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 2,359kg | 5,200 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual 

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