One of only 113 Left-Hand-Drive British Phantom IIs
One of just Seven Sport Sedans Fitted to an American-Series Chassis (AJS-AMS) This car is no. 295 AJS .
Professionally Maintained Driveline and Chassis
Matching-Numbers with Original Body, Engine, and Gearbox
Sleek, Subtle, Stylish, Desirable, and Rare
Eligible for Concours, CCCA, and RROC Tours and Events
This Rolls-Royce is one of only 113 left-hand-drive, British-built, American-bodied Phantom IIs, and one of only seven Brewster Sport Sedans. The close-coupled, balanced body design is almost coupe-like, yet offers passengers the convenience of a four-door sedan.
Brewster & Co. was located on Long Island, New York. They were the favored body supplier for the American Rolls-Royce Works in Springfield, Massachusetts. Design cues include its rear-hinged front doors, raked windshields, 'Trilin' taillamps, mahogany running boards, double-flat bar bumpers, and straightforward instrument panels (Brewster hallmarks that were widely copied by coachbuilders in the 1930s).
Mr. Ruger purchased this 4-door Sport Saloon in the early-2000s. A previous owner was Mr. Paul Zimmer cira 1948-52 and later went to Jack Frost of Detroit, who owned it for nearly 30 years and won a class award at an RROC meet in 1976, along with a series of Best in Class and Best in Show trophies. It then went to the Atwell Collection in Texas before joining the Ruger Collection. As-acquired, it had modernized front fenders with side-mounted spare tires. While in Mr. Ruger's care, John Abrahamson of Enfield Auto Restorations was commissioned to return the fenders to their prewar specification, which eliminated the spares. The work included the development of a rear spare tire mount in accordance with Rolls-Royce practice of the era.
About Brewster Coachworks :
The Brewster Phantoms
The early history of Rolls-Royce in America is inextricably intertwined with that of the Brewster & Co. coachworks, which contributed some of the most elegant, sporting and attractively proportioned bodies fitted to any Rolls-Royce chassis. At the turn of the 20th Century, Willie Brewster was the pre-eminent American coachbuilder, and by 1914, he became a Rolls-Royce agent, importing chassis from England and building bodies for his well-established and discerning clientele.
Then in 1925, Rolls-Royce bought the company, making Brewster its primary supplier of coachwork in America. Eventually, well over 400 Springfield-built Rolls-Royces were Brewster-bodied. Phantom I production continued in Springfield, Massachusetts after the Phantom II was introduced in England in 1929, but the Springfield Phantom I was then phased out in 1931 in favor of the Derby-built, left-hand drive Phantom II. The Phantom II offered a more refined, updated chassis and an improved engine with an improved cross-flow cylinder head, with the engine now mounted in unit with the transmission. Chassis improvements included hydraulic shock absorbers and semi-elliptic springs front and rear. A considerable reduction in ride-height resulted, lending itself to sleeker and more modern body designs.
In 1930, the Rolls-Royce of America operation in Springfield knew it was in trouble. The magnitude of the Depression was becoming obvious, and the Springfield manufacturing operation was closed, with Brewster now becoming an importer-distributor for Rolls-Royce in the US. The problem was that the new Phantom II, as introduced in Britain, was not considered suitable for the US market, because it lacked many of the advanced features of the final Springfield-built Phantom Is. For example, the Springfield Phantom I was left-hand drive, had thermostatic radiator shutters, a complete one-shot chassis lubrication system, easier to maintain chrome brightwork, smaller and more stylish 20-inch wheels, a carburetor air cleaner and a silenced intake system.
Springfield agreed to buy 200 left-drive Phantom IIs if the British factory would make all the improvements considered necessary for the US market. Derby agreed and went through a full experimental program to develop the improved Phantom II for the American market. Two experimental chassis were built at Derby 24EX and 25EX. Both were first tested in France, and then Ernest Hives, head of the Experimental Department, took 25EX to the US for evaluation, arriving there in October 1930.
The result of the development program was a delightful car with an improved top speed, a lower chassis and quieter operation than the sophisticated Springfield-built Phantom I. In fact, the improvements inspired Derby to incorporate all of them (except left-hand drive) into all Phantom IIs, commencing with chassis JS1. The first deliveries of the left-hand drive Phantom II chassis began in the spring of 1931.
The Brewster coachworks was ready with its designs for the new Phantom II chassis when it arrived. While some of the designs were warmed-over Phantom I body styles, some were indeed fresh. The Newport Town Car for traditional chauffeur-driven use and the Henley Roadster for the owner-driver represented the first of the new designs. Ultimately, the contract for 200 left-drive cars from Derby was never fulfilled, but 116 were sold in North America and six more in Europe. While sales were limited, this group of cars is recognized nonetheless among the most desirable of all Classic Era Rolls-Royces.
Priced attractively , but please call me for more info , thank you very much.
JP van de Bundt , + 1 954 232 9494