St. John's

The Inn at St. John's
28 July 2012
Lot 139

1928 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I Tilbury Saloon

From the Collection of William Ruger Jr.


$60,500 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.

40/50 hp, 7,668 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, dual ignition with coil and magneto, three-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes. Wheelbase: 146.5"

• CCCA Tour ready

• Single family ownership since 1989

• Offered from the collection of William Ruger Jr.

The first year Phantom featured a new inline six-cylinder engine based on an aluminum crankcase with the cylinders cast in three pairs. A one-piece, detachable cylinder head featured a thoroughly modern, pushrod-actuated, overhead-valve arrangement. Chassis S123RP was purchased new by Edith Archibald, of New York City. William Ruger Sr. purchased this car as-restored in 1989 and enjoyed several long tours, most notably one from Prescott, Arizona to Pebble Beach, in which it performed admirably.

The body is finished in burgundy with black fenders and beltline, and the body color Buffalo wire wheels are shod in whitewall tires. It is also equipped with dual side-mounted spare tires and a trunk rack. The paint is very good with only a few blemishes from wear, and the German silver only requires a thorough polishing. The padded top remains excellent with only the wooden running boards requiring refinishing or recovering. Shutting any of the doors produces a satisfying double-click, thanks to the straight, solid body. Notable are the drum headlights, a hallmark of 1920s styling that would disappear on most marques after 1928.

The interior is upholstered in a lovely grey cloth with minor wear to the seats, although the door panels are excellent and virtually unworn. The wooden dash and trim are presentable, although they would benefit from new clearcoating. It is obvious from close inspection that the underside and engine bay were restored to a very high standard. Mr. Ruger reports that the car has always operated faithfully and that he has only needed to perform maintenance to the suspension and chassis lubrication system. As presented, this is a wonderful example of the American-built Rolls-Royce, which would make an excellent tourer that demonstrates the firm’s highly respected engineering.