To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The Guyton
Collection event, 4 - 5 May 2019.
$150,000 - $200,000
- Originally delivered to the famed "Bentley Boy" Sir Ronald
- An unusually sporting and attractive formal Phantom II
- Documented with copies of its factory build information
- Featured in Andre Blaize's The Rolls-Royce Phantom II
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
The Phantom II Continental was designed as an "owner/driver" car,
and not unsurprisingly, the majority of these performance-oriented
Rolls-Royces were coupes, cabriolets, and close-coupled saloons of
a sporting mien. Very occasionally, however, a formal body would be
mounted, and few efforts were more successful than Thrupp &
Maberly's Fixed Cabriolet de Ville on chassis 4JS. It was built to
the order of Sir Ronald Gunter, 3rd Baronet, one of the famed
"Bentley Boys" who had kept that company financially afloat a
decade earlier, and who raced at Le Mans in 1935. Not strictly
faithful to Bentley, this was one of two Phantom II Continentals
that Sir Ronald ordered.
Thrupp & Maberly created a chauffeur-driven sedanca de ville or
town car that actually looked quite rakish, with a hoodline with
hidden hinges, an extended scuttle line, extremely low roofline,
and very close-coupled bodywork, including a small rear compartment
sized for only two passengers. Long, curving "helmet" fenders, with
a crease at their crest and subtle skirting ending at the running
board, accentuated the design. In an era when even the most
dramatic formal bodies were usually black or at least a very dark
shade, this car was finished entirely in white - guaranteeing to
draw notice! Delivery photographs confirm the original presence of
dual rear-mounted spare and indicate that the headlamps may have
first been Marchal units or similar.
This body was mounted on a chassis which, specified its buyer,
should be "as that exhibited at the Olympia Show 1931" - which
actually took place after the car was ordered. As historian Andre
Blaize noted, "Sir Ronald was certainly anxious to have a chassis
which included the latest improvements."
Subsequent owners of the Gunter Continental included T.C. Coombs of
England in 1958, after which the car moved to the U.S. in 1959,
with owner Joseph Berlin; it was restored and remained in the
Berlin family for over four decades, achieving a CCCA First Prize
along the way. It was then acquired by Robert Penenburgh and
restored to a modern concours standard in its present appearance,
an elegant and rich black and silver livery, by the respected John
Sanders of Rockford, Illinois. The simple original woodwork of the
interior was retained, though black leather upholstery was fitted,
while the Lucas P100 headlamps mounted since at least the early
Fred Guyton, a lifelong Rolls-Royce admirer, acquired the
Continental in 2009, and it has remained a favorite in the
collection ever since for its dramatic and rakish appearance.
Inspection shows that the Sanders restoration is well-preserved,
and after mechanical recommissioning the car could still be shown
with considerable pride.
Every significant Rolls-Royce collection demands a Phantom II
Continental, and this example boasts a particularly fabulous
history, including one of the most famous British sportsmen of his
day, Sir Ronald Gunter, "The Bentley Boy."To view this car and
others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM
website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/gc19.