- One of 13 left-hand-drive examples built to this design
- Known ownership history since new
- Factory air conditioning, tinted glass, and cocktail accoutrements
- Beautiful color scheme and presentation
- Surely one of the finest Phantom Vs presently available
THE MOST LAVISH AUTOMOBILE IN THE WORLD
From the time in its introduction in 1959, there was, simply put, no other automobile quite like the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. While other luxury manufacturers continued to produce limousines, the Phantom V was a last vestige of old-world craftsmanship, including its availability as a bare chassis for custom coachwork—provided that one could find a custom coachbuilder.
Numerous styles were available, both from H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward, soon to merge into a single unit under Rolls-Royce auspices, and from the surviving independent firms of James Young and Chapron. James Young in particular crafted some truly exquisite designs, known for their exceptional balance of proportion, with artful touches to the windows and, frequently, a swept rear of beautiful line. The fit and finish throughout was exceptional, and the list of options limited only to the depth of one’s pocketbook.
As with almost all Rolls-Royce models, the Phantom V was continuously evolved and improved over production, and thus it is the final-series examples built late in 1966 and early 1967 that are the most desirable with collectors today.
CHASSIS NUMBER 5LVF45
According to its build information, copies of which are on file, chassis number 5LVF45 was a very late-production Phantom V, outfitted with engine number F22PV, still present today. The chassis was delivered to James Young and bodied as a capacious Touring Limousine, style number PV23, with swept rear decklid and gracefully curved rear quarter windows. This was one of only 13 of this design mounted to left-hand-drive chassis. Finished in Midnight Blue and Tudor Grey with blue leather in the driver’s compartment and blue cloth to the rear, it boasted air conditioning, radio with Hirschmann electric aerial, and Sundym glass throughout with electric side windows. The rear compartment was outfitted with reading lamps, a cocktail cabinet containing fitted decanters, folding picnic tables concealing a set of glassware, and an armrest that was fitted with mirror, brush, notebook, and pencil.
The Phantom V was completed on 13 September 1966, and it was shipped the following month to the United States for its original owner, architect Joseph E. Morgenthaler of 71 Park Avenue in New York City. Remarkably, the history file includes a photocopy of the original bill of sale from dealers Peter Zage & Company of Millburn, New Jersey, to Mr. Morgenthaler on 2 October 1967 for $34,560 US.
Rolls-Royce Foundation records show that Mr. Morgenthaler still owned his Rolls-Royce as of November 1970; in fact, he held on to the car until his passing in the 1980s. In 1987 the Phantom V was sold from its original owner’s estate, with 37,525 miles, through a well-known marque specialist who dealt the car to noted California collector Herbert Boyer. In 1995, chassis number 5LVF45 was resold to a Dr. Gunther in North Carolina, next passing in 2001 to longtime Phantom V enthusiast Ken Smith and in 2003 to Lukas Hüni, in whose ownership it was refinished to the present Steel Blue over Midnight Blue, and nicely detailed.
The present owner acquired the Phantom V from Mr. Hüni, and in 2013 exhibited it at the 23rd British Car Meeting at St. Moritz. Today it is in superb condition, described as virtually like-new aside from a small chip on the left front wing, with 46,509 miles recorded at the time of cataloguing. It has continued to enjoy the excellent maintenance typical of the collection, including the fitment of halogen headlights. Further, it is accompanied by, in addition to the aforementioned build and ownership documentation, a FIVA Identity Card issued 2019 and an original Phantom V brochure, and five pieces of accessory Antler luggage, as well as the original cocktail glasses and decanters.
Few Phantom Vs available are so beautifully designed, immaculately kept, and thoroughly documented as this outstanding example.