Portola Hotel & Spa
18 - 19 August 2017
Lot 228

1971 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI All-Weather Cabriolet by Frua


$385,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
  • The final Rolls-Royce Phantom VI completed
  • The 1993 Geneva Motor Show car
  • One of two Frua-bodied Phantom VIs built, and a unique one-off design
  • Virtually new condition; 133 actual miles
  • Documented with factory build correspondence
Addendum: Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue, this car has only 133 original miles. Please also note that the title is in transit. Additionally, due to California emissions, this vehicle must be sold to a dealer or out-of-state resident.


Of the 374 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI chassis produced between 1968 and 1991, only two were produced with truly bespoke coachwork, both to very modern designs by the renowned Pietro Frua of Turin. The story of these cars’ construction is full of fascinating characters and high drama, largely related to Frua not speaking English, and no one at Rolls-Royce speaking Italian, and neither bothering to hire an interpreter. Work on the first car, a two-door cabriolet, took three full years!

Frua then began work on the second, this car, chassis number PRH4643, for the British real estate developer Robert “Bobby” Buchanan-Michaelson. The car was still in-process four years later, in 1977, when it was sold to the passionate American Rolls-Royce collector, James Leake, for whom work was continued, assisted by Rolls-Royce and with new drawings by Frua. Frua’s retirement shortly thereafter and death in 1983 seemed likely to doom continued work, but thanks to the perseverance and patience of its owners, the spectacular Frua Phantom VI was finally completed in 1993. It was then displayed at that year’s Geneva Motor Show, marking the debut of what was the final Phantom VI completed for a customer.


Preserved by collectors ever since, the unique Frua Phantom VI remains remarkably original and in fact is still in virtually “new” condition, with 133 actual miles at the time of cataloguing. It is filled with elaborate fine detail throughout, including an elaborate multi-position convertible top allowing the car to be configured as a sedanca de ville, landaulet, or fully open convertible. The rear compartment is trimmed in burled walnut with intricate sterling silver inlays, and features a silk-lined lady’s vanity, a portable Davidoff cigar humidor, television, VCR, radio, and cocktail cabinet.

The last word in modern opulence, this is a remarkably significant Rolls, as a “brand new” Phantom VI of bespoke design by one of Italy’s greatest stylists, and a bookend to nine decades of unique coachbuilt Rolls-Royces.