1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Newport Town Car by Brewster
Sold For $106,400Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
- Offered from a prominent private collection
- Formerly owned by John McMullen; known history since new
- A highly desirable, original U.S.-delivery “AJS” chassis
- The handsomest formal body style, immaculately restored
- Numerous awards, including Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Records of the Rolls-Royce Foundation indicate that this original American-delivery Phantom II was initially 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 no. 253AJS as Mrs. John M. Sturgeon III, ex-wife of New York financier and railroad heir Edwin Gould II. While no documentation exists to prove the fact, it is believed that Mrs. Sturgeon or her former husband had indeed been the Phantom II’s original owner.
In 1946 the Phantom II was sold by Mrs. Sturgeon to Elmo L. Joseph. After settling in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Mr. Joseph had the restoration of the car begun, but he 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 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, and correct original features as a “hidey hole” for an umbrella under the chauffeur’s seat and attractive Brewster cowl work 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. Subsequent owners followed in Ontario and Florida. The restoration has been beautifully maintained and is still show-worthy, as evidenced by the class awards it received in 2016 at the Amelia Island, Hilton Head, and Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, as well as Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic. It was also driven on an extended, nearly 1,000-mile tour two years ago, where it performed without issue.
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.