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Car of the Month - April 2018
Rolls-Royce Phantom I, 1926, #132LC
Tourer re-creation (3rd body)


 

Rolls-Royce Phantom I
1926 R-R Phantom I exhibited at Techno Classica in Essen on the stand of BMW Classic with their description 'Windovers Tourer'. – On a re-creation such information would not be correct.

In Hall No. 14 at 'Techno Classica', Essen (Germany) on exhibit by BMW Group was a 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I. The description provided by "BMW Classic" informed that was a Rolls-Royce Phantom I with Tourer coachwork by Windover. The manufacturer had decided to show one single Rolls-Royce classic car at what is marketed as "the world’s biggest classic car fair". It might cause certain consternation if indeed the exhibition car has been the Rolls-Royce Phantom I, chassis-no. #132LC. Fact is, the Rolls-Royce Phantom I, #132LC, does not sport a body by Windover!

Rolls-Royce Phantom I
1926 R-R Phantom I, #132LC, Tourer by Windover. The original body showed front and rear doors rear-hinged and a three-piece windshield with adjustable top-portion.

When in 1926 the car had been delivered to its 1st owner it had been a Tourer by Windover. That is documented in the literature on the marque's history and in that, too, on production by that particular coachbuilder. Additional information from the literature is a clear hint the chassis had been erected with a different number – and at some later stage by the manufacturer became "re-numbered".

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However there exists "smoking gun evidence" that the original body during World War had been substituted by an ambulance. Over the post-war years #132LC suffered permanent decline by neglection and what remained in the 1960s was merely a desolate wreck. That was restored then with a re-creation body by a certain Ted Woolley from Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK. It must be said pointed out though that not a well-established coachbuilding company with skilled workmanship did produce a top-class body. This is obvious at a quick glance on several details: for example the windshield is but slightly modified that taken-over from the ambulance – which is just not what had been found on the original tourer (compare the lower edges of the screen). The hinges of the rear doors of the re-creation are in a different position as those on the original body by Windover (sometimes spelled Windovers).

Rolls-Royce Phantom I
1926 R-R Phantom I, #132LC. The original body was lost during 2nd World War when an ambulance was erected on this chassis – of which little was recognisable  in the 1960s.

It is perfectly OK that elderly vehicles sporting re-created coachwork occupy an important segment in the classic car scene. Thus such cars enjoy a second lease of life. However it is but fair not to provide 'fake information' which updates a recreation to an original. The border-line to that phoney area of attempted cheating is rather narrow. – And that might be true if BMW Classic for whatever reason had indeed  exhibited the Rolls-Royce Phantom I, chassis-number #132LC, as a Windover-bodied car at "Techno Classica" . The verdict of a French expert on coachbuilt Rolls-Royce cars as regards #132LC is: "There’s nothing to be proud of as regards this car…"

Rolls-Royce Phantom I
1926 R-R Phantom I exhibited at Techno Classica in Essen on the stand of BMW Classic with their description 'Windovers Tourer'. Doubts have been expressed whether or not this is an original body by that coachbuilder.