HomeThe MarketRolls-Royce Phantom belonged to famed speed-record holder

Rolls-Royce Phantom belonged to famed speed-record holder


A 1933 Phantom once owned by Malcolm Campbell was named by Rolls-Royce for the exhibit | Rolls-Royce
A 1933 Phantom once owned by Malcolm Campbell was named by Rolls-Royce for the exhibit | Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has revealed the third car in its exhibition of The Eight Great Phantoms, which will be shown July 29 through August 2 at Bonhams’ salesroom in London. Seven of the cars are vintage models representing each of Phantoms’ seven generations, while the eighth is the upcoming 2018 Phantom that will debut at the show.

So far, the British luxury automaker has identified the earliest car in the exhibit, the ex-Fred Astaire 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Towncar with coachwork by Hooper of London, which the dancer, singer and film actor used frequently.

The second car revealed is a 1936 Phantom III owned through 1962 by British World War II icon Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery; the unique car is known as The Butler, named for the bodywork originally commissioned by aeronautical industrialist Alan Samuel Butler.

Malcolm Campbell with his Blue Bird speed-record car in 1933 | Rolls-Royce archive
Malcolm Campbell with his Bluebird speed-record car in 1933 | Rolls-Royce archive

The third vehicle announced for the exhibit is a 1933 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Continental Touring Saloon originally owned by one of Britain’s greatest motorsports heroes, Captain Sir Malcolm Campbell, who broke the World Land Speed Record nine different times between 1929 and 1935.

Campbell set the speed records several times at the wheel of the famous Bluebird streamliner that was powered by a mammoth 36.5-liter Rolls-Royce Aero engine that generated a remarkable 2,300 horsepower.

The Phantom II is fitted with a pale-blue body by Barker coachbuilders of London, which included such additions ordered by Campbell as a wireless radio, spotlight, klaxon horn, Bosch horn and a siren.

In announcing the eight-generations of Phantom exhibit, Rolls-Royce noted that, “Its standing as the longest existing nameplate in the world of motoring is testament to Phantom’s enduring importance to every generation’s leaders, from heads of state to generals, royalty to rock stars, stars of the silver screen to titans of industry.”

The countdown of the remaining four of The Eight Great Phantoms will be rolled out prior to the exhibition. Watch for updates.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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