The Guyton Collection | Lot 394
1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine de Ville by Hooper
$123,200 USD | Sold
| St. Louis, Missouri
4 May 2019
- One of the most significant examples of formal coachwork on the Phantom III
- Coachwork shown at Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair
- Formerly owned by Dr. Samuel Scher and Morton Bullock
- Documented by noted Phantom III historian Steve Stuckey
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Among the most widely shown Phantom IIIs in period was chassis no. 3DL120, a handsome limousine de ville by Hooper & Company of London. It featured a distinctive long roofline, streamlined fenders with “spats” over the rear wheels, and an interior trimmed in fawn cloth and curl walnut. Beautiful touches included overstuffed swiveling rear jump seats (among the most comfortable ever seen), Hooper’s complexly engineered disappearing metal roof over the chauffeur’s seat, and sliding window shades in the rear compartment. This was Rolls-Royce’s main European show car in 1939, exhibited on the factory stand at Brussels, Amsterdam, and Geneva, then in the British Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair between September and November 1939.
In the early post-war years, chassis no. 3DL120 was famously rebodied by Jean-Henri Labourdette with a wild and distinctive drophead coupe body for flamboyant furrier, Louis Ritter; this body remains on the car to this day. The “World’s Fair” Hooper body was sold to Dr. Samuel Scher, a pioneering New York plastic surgeon and avid early automobile collector, as well as one of the founding members of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club. In 1947, he mounted the body on its present chassis, no. 3DL180, a U.S.-delivery car originally fitted with an Inskip limousine body for Mrs. Edith Haggin deLong, and acquired by Dr. Scher from her family.
Dr. Scher kept the Phantom III for an unusually long period of time, until May 1969, when he sold it to Paul Lutey of Freeland, Wisconsin. Mr. Lutey kept the car for two years, after which it was acquired by Herb A. Schoenfeld of Washington. Mr. Schoenfeld, in turn, sold the Rolls to respected longtime Classic Car Club of America member, Morton Y. Bullock III of Baltimore, in 1978. It would remain in Mr. Bullock’s ownership for the next 18 years.
On a snowy winter day in 1996, Fred Guyton visited Mr. Bullock to acquire the Hispano-Suiza H6B also offered from the Guyton Collection. In Mrs. Beverly Guyton’s apt phrasing, “In typical fashion, he went to buy one car, and returned with two.” The Phantom III has been part of the collection since, alongside several other significant examples of the best coachwork on this chassis.
Largely maintained in static storage, the car’s finishes likely date to the 1970s, with the paint bearing much patina; the driver’s area was reupholstered many years ago but the broadcloth in the rear compartment appears original, and may well be worth preserving. Much of the chrome work is older and may be original, as well. Importantly the body is very solid, with the original woodwork, stamped with the body number on the front floorboards. It is offered with its sets of road and hand tools, copies of its build documents from the Rolls-Royce Foundation and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, and an excellent history report compiled by the noted Phantom III historian, Steve Stuckey.
This is among the most significant surviving Phantom IIIs, offered from the estate of one of the foremost American “PIII” enthusiasts.