1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine by Park Ward
Sold For $99,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 8 MARCH 2014 - Offered from the Pray Collection
- Offered from the Pray Collection
- Very rare early, U.S.-delivery, LHD model
- Originally owned by Josiah K. Lilly Jr.
- Two owners since new
- Accompanied by Rolls-Royce Foundation and Hunt House documentation
Body Design 980. Est. 220 bhp, 380 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and an anti-roll torsion bar, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 144 in.
Outside of the marques sold at his successful dealerships, Malcolm S. Pray Jr. was perhaps most faithful to Rolls-Royce. At one time, his collection included a Silver Ghost and every model Phantom produced, from I to V. Of that spirited fleet, none was as much “part of the family” as this Phantom V. It is known in the collection as “the wedding car,” as it has chauffeured the Pray children and many family friends to their nuptials, and for many years, it was an active part of the Greenwich social scene. When the blue Phantom V rolled up to the door, everyone knew that Malcolm Pray had arrived.
This Phantom V is no stranger to elegant occasions, as it had been originally delivered, in July 1960, to Josiah K. Lilly Jr. as one of the first of the model to be sold in the United States. Mr. Lilly was the grandson of the founder of Indianapolis pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly and Company, and he was the last member of the family to run the business. Over the years, the Lillys’ success had made them longstanding customers of the Rolls-Royce factory. Earlier, they had owned several Silver Wraiths, and Mr. Lilly himself would acquire a second Phantom V shortly before his passing in 1966.
Chassis number 5LAT12 was built to United States specification, with left-hand drive and a speedometer reading in miles per hour. Typical of formal limousines, the front seat was upholstered in grey leather and the rear compartment was in soft grey broadcloth. Mr. Lilly requested several special features for his Cadillac, including Windtone horns, Dunlop wide whitewall tires, electric windows, a Blue Spot “Kohn” radio with a separate speaker and controls for the rear compartment, and the deletion of the reverse button on the gearshift. Passengers were also supplied with a cocktail cabinet, outfitted with decanters and glasses, as well as a special compartment that held a leather-bound writing pad, a vanity mirror, and a cigarette case.
Mr. Pray acquired the Phantom V directly from Mr. Lilly’s estate in 1969, making him only its second owner. During his ownership, it received the regular professional services from East Coast specialists that were enjoyed by most of his automobiles. In the early 1980s, it underwent significant sorting, which included the rebuilding of the gearbox and brakes. The paint was also refinished some time ago, with some use since, while the engine bay, with engine V56A, which it was delivered with, and the undercarriage remain original. The leather in the chauffeur’s compartment remains in good original condition, while the passenger compartment had been reupholstered around the same time as the other work, and it remains immaculate. Overall, the appearance is of a machine that has been used and enjoyed for decades, as indeed it has. The notepad still contains various personal messages, and the decanters and glasses are still in the cocktail cabinet, where they are ready to toast a bride and groom.
Build information for the car, supplied by the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club at the Hunt House, is included in the file, along with additional documentation from the Rolls-Royce Foundation and titles and service records from Mr. Pray’s ownership.
For 45 years, whenever the Pray family came together to celebrate special occasions, this magnificent Rolls-Royce was there. It is now time for a new owner to continue that joyous tradition.
Titled as 1961.