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Car of the Month Selection

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 Rolls-Royce and Bentley

Wood: Rolls-Royce and Bentley: Spirit of Excellence

Car of the Month - September 2006
Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, 1971, #PRH4640,
Limousine by Mulliner Park Ward

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

Within a few years after H.J. Mulliner had been taken over by Rolls-Royce this coachbuilder and Park Ward (which had been acquired by Rolls-Royce just before the outbreak of WWII) were amalgamated into one company. One result was that the seven passenger limousine design, that originally had been introduced by Park Ward as design number 980 on Phantom V chassis in 1959, lived on in its basic structure and wings but with slightly modified window frames and roof-line. This shape met with such acclaim that there were no major alterations when some ten years later the Phantom VI made its debut.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

There had been considerable development, of course, but at a quick glance it was only possible to identify the new model by the air inlet grill on top of the scuttle (there was no such device on the Phantom V) and by the dashboard. The latter showed the instruments arranged directly in front of the driver whereas on the previous model these had been positioned centrally. This was the last car made in the true tradition of coachbuilding with all panels handmade over wooden panel bucks; e.g. from starting with a flat alloy sheet it took a skilled panelbeater two weeks to finish one front wing. Any component of the interior was handmade, too, exactly complying with a client's wish. The huge body (wheelbase 145in/3.68m) was set upon a traditional hand-built frame, supplied by Rockwell-Thompson. The "old" 4-speed automatic gearbox that had been made under license from General Motors since 1952 was to be found; from 1978 onward the "old" automatic gearbox was substituted by a GM400 automatic gearbox. Powered by the well-proven 6,75-litre V8-engine the car reached a top speed of some 115mph (185km/h) and - should ever there be need – was capable to accelerate from rest to 60mph in 11.5 seconds. Drum brakes all-round and a live rear axle made it clearly evident this car was no spearhead of automotive progress.

There was no statement as regards a 'standard' time needed to finish work on a car. The manufacturer advised that work could be done within a period of one year – however to build a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI could take up to two years depending on tailoring special features and equipment to the individual requirements of the customer. Each car was unique and each car was very, very expensive. The overall production figure of the Phantom VI was limited to 374 from the launch of the model at the 1968 Earl’s Court Motor Show till delivery of the very last one in 1992 to H.S.H. The Sultan of Brunei.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

The car shown here is a right-hand drive version from 1971 with those most desirable "rear hinged rear doors" that guarantee particularly easy access and degress (to meet stringent EC regulations on later models the rear doors were front-hinged). With a recorded mileage of only 14,000 miles this car is for sale by a vendor resident in Northern Italy. Should you consider to add this Rolls-Royce Phantom VI to your collection you might contact

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

(Photos: Courtesy of Giuseppe Agostini, Villafranca nr. Verona, Italy)

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