18-19 August 2017

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Lot 228

1971 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI All-Weather Cabriolet by Frua

  • Chassis no. PRH4643

$400,000 - $600,000

To be auctioned on Saturday, August 19, 2017

  • The final Rolls-Royce Phantom VI completed
  • The 1993 Geneva Motor Show car
  • One of two Frua-bodied Phantom VIs built, and a unique one-off design
  • Virtually new condition; 133 actual miles
  • Documented with factory build correspondence


Of the 374 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI chassis produced between 1968 and 1991, only two were produced with truly bespoke coachwork, both to very modern designs by the renowned Pietro Frua of Turin. The story of these cars’ construction is full of fascinating characters and high drama, largely related to Frua not speaking English, and no one at Rolls-Royce speaking Italian, and neither bothering to hire an interpreter. Work on the first car, a two-door cabriolet, took three full years!

Frua then began work on the second, this car, chassis number PRH4643, for the British real estate developer Robert “Bobby” Buchanan-Michaelson. The car was still in-process four years later, in 1977, when it was sold to the passionate American Rolls-Royce collector, James Leake, for whom work was continued, assisted by Rolls-Royce and with new drawings by Frua. Frua’s retirement shortly thereafter and death in 1983 seemed likely to doom continued work, but thanks to the perseverance and patience of its owners, the spectacular Frua Phantom VI was finally completed in 1993. It was then displayed at that year’s Geneva Motor Show, marking the debut of what was the final Phantom VI completed for a customer.


Preserved by collectors ever since, the unique Frua Phantom VI remains remarkably original and in fact is still in virtually “new” condition, with 133 actual miles at the time of cataloguing. It is filled with elaborate fine detail throughout, including an elaborate multi-position convertible top allowing the car to be configured as a sedanca de ville, landaulet, or fully open convertible. The rear compartment is trimmed in burled walnut with intricate sterling silver inlays, and features a silk-lined lady’s vanity, a portable Davidoff cigar humidor, television, VCR, radio, and cocktail cabinet.

The last word in modern opulence, this is a remarkably significant Rolls, as a “brand new” Phantom VI of bespoke design by one of Italy’s greatest stylists, and a bookend to nine decades of unique coachbuilt Rolls-Royces.


Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue, this car has only 133 original miles. Please also note that the title is in transit. Additionally, due to California emissions, this vehicle must be sold to a dealer or out-of-state resident.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more