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Car of the Month

More Books:

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




Car of the Month - November 2021
Rolls-Royce Phantom II, 1930, #42GN
3-Pos-Drophead Coupé by Ranalah


Rolls-Royce Phantom II

This Rolls-Royce Phantom II is bodied with impressively fine and excellently proportioned coachwork  by Ranalah in that from described in the United Kingdom as a "3-Position Drop Head Coupe". The new body was erected in 1938 as a replacement for the original Barker body mounted on this chassis that had been an open touring car. It wasn't uncommon to replace or swap bodies when old coachwork had suffered damage e.g. in an accident or was considered 'out of fashion' because of conservative design. In the case of #42GN, the decision to replace the original body probably had been ignited because that had been significantly damaged by a fire. Such a conclusion is permitted because in an extensive restoration during the late 1980s several of the original floorboards in the passenger compartment wer found to show clear traces of fire damage.

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

Ranalah occupies a special position as a coachbuilder. The company was known for the production of so-called replica bodies during the 1930s, i.e. elegant new creations in a 'de rigeur' style primarily for Rolls-Royces of the smaller displacement class. Numerous vehicles from the twenties and early thirties did perform perfectly well as regards all and any technical components but were concidered to be de-valued due to their hopelessly old-fashioned outward appearance. - As pre-owned cars such were almost unsaleable in the second-hand market. With a new body from Ranalah, either  as a sports saloon, a coupe or a convertible, chances were much better such could expect a lengthy second lease of life.

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

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The category of motor cars of that class where Rolls-Royce Phantom did rank had been no exception from such up-grades. The craftmanship by Ranalah's staff shows excellent quality in any details of the convertible presented here. The structure is torsionally stiff with doors that close with an exact fit, there are no rattling noises and the tailor-made hood fits incredibly well. There might be speculation, of course, these  advantages have been the result of a meticulously executed restoration. However if the existing substance is not solid as an appropriate basis that means an almost insurmountable barrier in any overhaul.

The interior of this Rolls-Royce Phantom II is without any doubt one of its pleasant assets. Individual seats with a considerable range of adjustment offer comfortable space for driver and passenger. The rear seat consists of a bench seat with a high backrest and a fold-out center armrest. Wide side armrests conceal the wheel arches of the rear wheels and camouflage such slightly extend into the passenger compartment. The windshield can be opened. In the dashboard, the group of  instruments is centrally arranged under a central oval glass. By means of a lever under the dashboard, the radiator shutters can be adjusted manually to suit the engine's thermal health (only in later series a thermostatically controlled system of shutter-adjustment was pased into the production of the Rolls-Royce Phantom II).

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

The car, created for an owner-driver, sports has a searchlight with an integrated rearview mirror on the A-post of the driver's side. This means that when the roof is closed at least a minimum of rearward vision is provided. The tiny rear light in the convertible top serves at best an alibi function.

Rolls-Royce Phantom II

No expenses were spared during the extensive overhaul at the end of the 1980s. A complete engine overhaul included the renewal of the cylinder head as well as new valves, valve guides, pistons, etc.; in addition, the old radiator matrix was replaced by a high-performance net. The engine's smoothness and the silky operation when handling the powerful 8-litre car is impressive. Thanks to careful operation in combination with meticulous maintenance, the car has is running perfectly well. 

Rolls-Royce Phantom II