To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The Guyton
Collection event, 4 - 5 May 2019.
$100,000 - $150,000
- An unusually attractive, well-proportioned design on the Wraith
- Formerly owned by legendary enthusiast William Maxwell
- A very well-known example in Rolls-Royce and Classic Car
- Immaculate, well-preserved concours restoration
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
The Wraith was, in the opinion of some authorities, probably the
best-balanced, easiest-driving, and more enjoyable pre-war
Rolls-Royce model. What it was often not was attractive, as British
coachbuilders seemed baffled by attempts to build well-proportioned
bodies on this shorter chassis. There were a few notable
exceptions, perhaps the most striking being Kent coachbuilder James
Young's saloon coupe, design no. 4564. Similar to their work on the
Phantom III chassis, the design incorporated a semi-fastback
roofline with a flowing and subtly upturned tail, deeply curved
"crowned" fenders with deep skirts, and long doors with delicate
chrome hardware and very narrow window frames to excellent effect.
The result had a powerful, sporting appearance.
Only three examples of design no. 4564 were produced. The car
offered here, chassis no. WCH47, was marked "off test" on 3 June
1939, but was not delivered until May of 1941, likely due to the
interruptions of World War II. Built to specification for London
dealers Jack Barclay, its original owner was one Samuel Coxhill,
succeeded by F.E. Roberts and Clifford Whatmough of Manchester,
L.H. Brown and J. Salem of Cheshire, and the Barleymow Engineering
Company of Surrey.
In 1963, the car was sold via London dealer Harry Martin to David
Stockwell of Wilmington, Delaware, in whose hands it was
mechanically sorted and used on occasional tours, including at
least one return to England in 1967. It was then acquired from Mr.
Stockwell in 1977 by William Maxwell Davis of Charleston, West
Virginia, a renowned RROC and CCCA member for decades, and longtime
chief Rolls-Royce class judge at the Pebble Beach Concours
d'Elegance. Mr. Davis has over the years owned many of the most
superb pre-war Rolls-Royce automobiles in this country, including
outstanding examples of the Springfield Phantom I, Phantom II
Continental, and Phantom III. In Mr. Davis's excellent care, the
car was mechanically and cosmetically sorted by Dennison Motors of
West Chester, Pennsylvania, a highly noted specialist in
Rolls-Royces of this era.
Following eight years in the Davis collection, the Wraith was sold
to Herbert B. Conner of Pittsburgh, in whose care a fresh and
concours-quality restoration was undertaken between 1989 and 1990.
Fred Guyton made its purchase in 1996, and the beautiful car has
been a much-loved part of the collection ever since. Its
restoration is remarkably well-preserved and, in fact, still
national show-worthy, with nary a flaw seen in the beautiful
lacquer paint, and the interior still tight, fresh, and clean
throughout. Even the complete original tool set is still intact and
in beautiful condition. Accompanying the car is a fascinating
history file, including copies of its build and subsequent
ownership records, extensive correspondence between former owners,
and documentation of its excellent maintenance, restoration, and
care by Messrs. Davis, Conner, and Guyton.
This is, without question, one of the world's very finest
Wraiths.To view this car and others currently consigned to this
auction, please visit the RM website at