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Car of the Month

More Books:

Rolls-Royce - The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI

Rossfeldt: Rolls-Royce and Bentley / From the Dawn of the 20th Century into the new Millennium



Car of the Month - November 2018
Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, 1977, #PRH482224
Limousine by Mulliner Park Ward


Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

Obviously somehow it has been neglected that this year the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI was celebrating its 50th Anniversary? Hard to fathom although a fact is neither reports nor even some tiny notes were to be found e.g. in publications of the clubs devoted to the marque. Perhaps that is a reflection of the Phantom VI not being taken very much notice of in general? However many do believe the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI is still the ultimate luxury transport and consider none of the modern pretenders come close!

Production did begin in 1968 though only two cars of the successor to Rolls-Royce Phantom V were delivered that year; these were #PRH4180 in November 1968 and #PRH4818 in December 1968. The factory themselves didn't have their demonstrator #PRH1500 finished prior to November 1968; the Prototype Phantom VI had been rebuilt from Phantom V #5VF83 and somewhat confusingly was listed with "Delivery Date May 1969". Built by exceptionally experienced craftsmen at  Rolls-Royce’s Hythe Road factory in London each of these cars – hallmarked as "the last real coachbuilt cars" – was produced in a very time consuming process. From 1968 to 1991 merely 374 have been made.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

The manufacturer's mainstream model from 1965 onward had been the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow featuring a modern monocoque chassis, hydro-pneumatically operated disc brakes, independent suspension front and rear etc. Compared to that the box-section chassis, all-drum brakes with a gearbox-driven servo and leaf spring rear suspension of the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI where relics from the era of the Silver Cloud. That could be said of the coachwork's design, too. The Phantom VI was a product for the exclusive niche of chauffeur-driven large cars fitted with specialist coachbuilder bodies that had almost no limit as regards a client's individual specifications.

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Rolls-Royce Phantom VI

A quick calculation shows that a production figure of 309 cars built from 1968 to 1976 made for an average of less than 40 per year. A 1977 up-grade with an increase of the V8-engine’s capacity from 6,230cc to 6,750cc and substitution of the 'old' Hydramatic by a GM-400 automatic gearbox plus a multitude of minor modifications was an enormous investment. Certainly that was never recouped because demand for cars from the latter series dwindled and only 65 were produced between 1977 and 1991.

On its 50th Anniversary it cannot be denied the magnificent Rolls-Royce Phantom VI – and that is epitomised by #PRH4859 shown here – is an echo of grandeur and splendour from a bygone era (of halcyon days?).

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI