- Among the most desirable bodies on the Springfield Phantom I chassis
- One of only 28 Ascot tourers built; original chassis, engine, and body
- Well-known ownership history, including Henry Wing, Paul Stern, and Wallace Rank
- Historically documented in multiple publications
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
The Rolls-Royce New Phantom, known as the Phantom I following the introduction of the Phantom II, was the successor to the legendary Silver Ghost. Featuring a massive 7.7-liter six-cylinder engine with pushrod overhead valves, the model was well received by contemporaries. Those models intended for sale in the United States were produced in Springfield, Massachusetts, to the exacting standards of the famous Derby facility. Uniquely, these Springfield-produced examples were offered with a striking catalogue of custom bodies produced under the Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work label. Few were more beautiful than the sporting Ascot Tourer, of which only 28 examples were made between Merrimac and Brewster of Long Island City, New York.
This Ascot Tourer, chassis number S178FR, was originally delivered in August 1929 to a successful industrialist, Robert Griffin of Jersey City, New Jersey. After being traded by Mr. Griffin for a Phantom II, it was acquired by Bernard Heaton, who kept it until 1946. Its history is well known and includes numerous prominent early collectors, including Henry Wing, who restored the car between 1953 and 1956; William O’Connor, a prominent VMCCA member, who wrote many articles on the car for The Bulb Horn; and legendary enthusiasts Paul Stern, under whose care the car was featured in John de Campi’s book, Rolls-Royce in America, and Wallace Rank.
In 2010 the car, still very original, was commissioned for an extensive concours restoration that was completed by well-known UK specialists A.J. Glew and Haslams. Today the car presents superbly, with the body’s finish being described as exceptional. The stunning interior features beige leather and gorgeous woodwork. Chassis S178FR has never been shown in a judged event, giving the opportunity for a new owner to make its debut to the world.
This is a superb example of the Springfield Phantom I, retaining its original chassis, engine, and bodywork, as delivered in 1929. Presented in concours condition, featuring style, elegance, and beauty not seen in the modern era, it is a splendid monument to Rolls-Royce during the Classic Era.