Rolls Royce Phantom 11 Continental
Coachwork by Barker & Co.
Registration no. BYU 155
Chassis no. 36 UK
Engine no. SW35
All matching numbers and original bodywork.
The Phantom 11 Continental was the last Rolls Royce to be designed by Henry Royce.
The Continental was designed for fast continental touring as there were few roads in Britain where the top speed of 100mph could be exploited to the full. The Phantom 11, on which the Continental was based, was launched in September 1929.
The Phantom 11 employed an entirely new chassis in two wheelbase lengths-12 feet and 12 feet 6 inches.
The engine also had some extensive revision. The two blocks of three cylinders, with an aluminium cylinder head common to both blocks, were retained but the combustion chambers had been redesigned and the head was now of the cross-flow type, with the inlet and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides.
The magneto/coil dual ignition system remained the same as on the P1. The result of these changes was considerably enhanced performance particularly on the Continental which was conceived as an enthusiastic owner driver’s car.
Introduced in 1930 the Continental had revised rear suspension, higher axle ratio, lowered steering column and a high compression cylinder head.
“Powerful, docile, delightfully easy to control and a thoroughbred. It behaves in a manner which is difficult to convey without seeming to over praise” declared The Motor magazine after testing a P11 Continental in March 1934.
The Phantom 11 chassis provided the platform for some truly outstanding designs and the first car made by Barker, Mr Royces favourite coachbuilder, won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at the Biarritz Concours d’Elegance in September 1930,
The Continental was produced until 1935 and only 281 examples were completed. The Phantom 11 typically sold for around £2,500 which was a staggering amount of money and equivalent to seven average priced houses at the time!
The Continental’s necessarily wealthy owners included such famous names as the racing drivers Sir Malcolm Campbell and Woolf Barnato, Prince Ali Khan, Prince of Nepal, Lord Londesborough, Earl of Warwick, Earl of Roseberry, Lionel de Rothchild, Maharaja of Bahawalpur, Maharaja of Jodpur and Noel Coward.
Belonging to the final batch of Phantom 11 production, chassis number 36 UK was ordered new by Sir George Macpherson-Grant of Ballindalloch, Elgin, owner of Grants whiskey and the finest herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle in Scotland.
The Phantom 11 Continental was bodied by Barker and is one of only 10 which were built on the long wheel base chassis which was more expensive than the short-wheelbase version.
- The P11 incorporates all of the Continental features:
- 12×41 high-ratio rear axle
- Five plate road springs
- F-Type steering column
- Steering column control Hartford shock absorbers
- High compression cylinder head
- Extras included a second spare wheel fitted to the nearside front wing and six Ace wheel discs.
As a late P11 there was synchromesh on the top three gears and a twenty-eight gallon petrol tank which is very useful at an average of 10 mpg!
The P 11 was imported back to the UK in 2012 from a museum in Indiana and has now been restored back to her former glory with the restoration costing in excess of £130,000.