- A unique design by James Young on the Phantom V chassis
- Reportedly shown at the 1965 Earls Court Motor Show
- Formerly owned by renowned enthusiasts Dr. Erle Heath and Dr. Samuel Scher
- Elaborately detailed and lavishly equipped
- A fascinating, sumptuous Rolls-Royce; the ultimate luxury statement of its era
James Young produced 11 “open-drive” sedanca de ville bodies for Phantom V chassis, the vast majority of them variants of the coachbuilder’s PV22 or PV23 touring limousines. The example shown here, chassis number 5VE21, was the only car built to the sedanca de ville version of design number PV15, a limousine with a somewhat more formal roofline and a true seven-passenger interior. As the car has a rather early body, number 9053, on a later Phantom V chassis, it is believed that the coachwork may have been built as a standard limousine and then converted by James Young to a limousine de ville for mounting on chassis number 5VE21. Lavish appointments included a leather-upholstered rear compartment with power-adjustable seat, facing a lighted bar, Mazal clock, and Motorola tape deck, as well as dual front and rear air conditioning systems.
The body was liveried for Swinging London, in ivory white and royal blue with panels of decorative “sham cane.” In this form it surely turned heads at the 1965 Earls Court Motor Show, as is noted on both its build sheet and in Rolls-Royce Foundation records; a book published by its later home, California’s Behring Collection, notes it received a bronze medal at the show. Afterward it was delivered to original owner B.P. Jenks, of Astbury Hall in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. At one point it was used as the basis for a Top Marques 1/43-scale model.
The records of the Rolls-Royce Foundation indicate that the car made its way Stateside when relatively new; in July 1972 it was advertised in the New York Times. Not long thereafter it was purchased by the colorful collector Dr. Erle M. Heath of Pittsburgh. The car passed from Dr. Heath to Dr. Samuel Scher, once a pioneering American enthusiast of Brass Era automobiles, by now living in Palm Beach and more often seen in modern coachbuilt Rolls-Royces; Dr. Scher advertised the car in 1981.
In 1987 it was acquired by the Behring Collection, and several years later joined the current owner’s private museum, where it has remained largely secluded since. Its paintwork and interior are both patinaed but attractive, while the engine compartment and undercarriage appear largely original. Both call out for regular use in the manner once enjoyed by Dr. Heath—the chauffeuring of family and friends, in regal comfort.
There is no Phantom V like this one, a most unique automobile with a personality all its own.