Coachbuilders, Special Cars...
Car of the Month Selection
of the Month - September 99
Rolls-Royce Phantom V, 1960, #5AS49,
James Young Touring Limousine
No less an authority than Lawrence Dalton in his book
"Rolls-Royce, The Classic Elegance" stated: "The James
Young design elegance peaked with the Phantom V chassis" and the
highly respected connoisseur's compliment "what a look - pure
uncluttered elegance" doesn't leave any doubt - the PV22 design by
James Young was perfect. It had been no mean feat to arrange for well
balanced lines on a car measuring an overall length of 19'10" (6.045
m), a width of 6'7" (2.007 m) and a height of 5'8" (1.727 m).
James Young succeded in an extemely well balanced body neither bulky nor
massive and that was considered to be quite different from the creation by
H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward - the wholly owned
Rolls-Royce subsidiary. H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward didn't offer an inelegant
body, but there was a certain charme like that of a Silver
Cloud on steroids.
MacNeil, who designed some of the most impressive coachwork produced over
several decades, had been brought in to James Young from de Havillands,
where he had spent the war years. Previously he had been stylist and chief
designer with J. Gurney Nutting. During the early 60ties production
at James Young was running at about 50 to 60 bodies a year. This company
in fact was the last independent coachbuilder producing a considerable
number of bodies anyway, other famous names like Hooper or Freestone &
Webb etc. had been forced to close their premises years ago. With
Rolls-Royce offering factory bodywork of almost impeccable quality for
their Rolls-Royce and Bentley models the work of coachbuilders had been
limited after the war. When Rolls-Royce confidentially informed
coachbuilders in 1959 that the next model generation (i.e. Silver
Shadow/T-Series) would be of monocoque
construction it was concluded correctly that bespoke coachwork would
become incredibly expensive.
the car shown here with a body to design PV22 is something of a "Swansong"
of a coachbuilder and it marks more or less the beginning of an end of a
period. James Young ceased coachbuilding in 1967 and the bodies on Rolls-Royce
Phantom V built until then were but variations of the basic lines