Lot 214

Amelia Island 2017

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Newport Town Car by Brewster


$220,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
  • Formerly owned by John McMullen; believed to have six owners from new
  • A highly desirable, original U.S.-delivery “AJS” chassis
  • The most handsome formal body style, immaculately restored
  • Numerous awards, including Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Est. 120 bhp, 7,668 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf springs with live rear axle, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with power assist. Wheelbase: 150 in.

Records of the Rolls-Royce Foundation indicate that this original American-delivery Phantom II was originally ordered as a St. Martin town car. However, the body style was changed to the more modern and attractive Newport, with its distinctive angled windshield and “swept cowl,” prior to delivery, as John Webb de Campi’s Rolls-Royce in America notes the current coachwork to be the original body for this chassis.

The Foundation’s records note the earliest known owner of chassis number 253AJS as Mrs. John M. Sturgeon III, ex-wife of New York financier and railroad heir, Edwin Gould II, and mother of his son, banker Edwin Jay Gould. With her husband she resided on the restored Rose Hill Plantation, a historic antebellum estate in Bluffton, South Carolina. Interestingly, the Bentley S1 Continental drophead coupe also offered this weekend was delivered to Edwin Jay Gould at Rose Hill, and thus we have the pleasure of offering two Rolls-Royce products that were delivered to the same family at the same palatial home. While no documentation exists to prove the fact, it is believed that Mrs. Gould or her former husband had indeed been the Phantom II’s original owner.

In 1946, the Phantom II was sold by Mrs. Gould to Elmo L. Joseph, a longtime Chrysler divisional sales manager, whom it accompanied as he moved all over the United States during the next four decades. After finally settling in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Mr. Joseph had the restoration of the car begun, but passed away in 1994 before much work had been completed. Longtime Classic Car Club of America member Richard Sahlin then purchased the car from the estate and sent it to Brian Joseph’s Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan, for a complete restoration.

In a recent conversation with RM Sotheby’s Research & Editorial staff, Brian Joseph noted that the car remained in very solid condition and required no major mechanical work during the restoration, as it ran and shifted well with only minor sorting. The body was stripped and properly refinished in a beautiful, subtle two-tone grey, with complementary broadcloth upholstery. Such wonderful, charming correct original features as a “hidey hole” for an umbrella, under the chauffeur’s seat, were preserved.

The freshly completed car was sold by Mr. Sahlin’s estate in 1999 to the renowned collector John McMullen and spent the next eight years in his wonderful Michigan stable. It was then acquired by Greg Aarssen of Chatham, Ontario, before passing into the hands of its current owner, a longtime Rolls-Royce enthusiast here in Florida. The restoration has been beautifully maintained and is still show-worthy, as evidenced by the class awards it received this past year at the Amelia Island, Hilton Head, and Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, as well as Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic.

A superb Phantom II with an excellent restoration and outstanding known history, this car will undoubtedly continue to have a starring role at concours d’elegance for its next proud owners.