1929 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM
DARRIN TRANSFORMABLE TOP
Engine: 7,672 cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder
Horsepower: 108bhp at 2,3000 rpm
Transmission: 3-Speed Manual
A Little History
After World War I, U.K.–based Rolls-Royce opened a new manufacturing plant in Springfield, Massachusetts in order to better serve their growing American audience, whose passion for automobiles was beginning to overtake European markets. It was here that, in 1925, Rolls-Royce started production on the “New Phantom,” a successor line to the popular but dated Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. The Phantom on display was built in Springfield in 1929.
The majority of American Phantom models were bodied by the Rolls-Royce-owned Brewster Coachbuilders, however this Phantom is unique for the fact that it was bodied by Hibbard & Darrin – the Paris-based duo of Americans Thomas L. Hibbard and Raymond H. Dietrich whose coachwork came to be synonymous with the pre-war automobile aesthetic.
In true Hibbard & Darrin style, this car bears a Darrin-patented top with triangular fabric roof elements that snap tightly between trapezoidal windows. Showcasing the height of adaptability from this period, this Phantom’s roof can be fully opened for sunny days, partially buttoned up for moderate weather, or fully buttoned into an enclosed sedan for formal occasions.
Did You Know?
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s Rolls-Royce Phantoms were the car of choice for many Hollywood stars. The car on display was originally made and owned by Jack L. Warner, long-time co-head of Warner Brothers Studios. This car is also one of only two Phantom I’s in history ever to be given this Hibbard & Darrin coach design – the other was built one year later in 1930 for Paramount Pictures Director Josef von Sternberg, who gifted it to Marlene Dietrich in after she signed a deal with Paramount and the two collaborated on the box office hit, The Blue Angel.