On offer is a most compelling Rolls-Royce Phantom V. It came to us, as it appears here, refinished from the bare metal out. Splendidly sumptuous, the interior showcases gorgeously restored wood trim. The engine is reconditioned, the transmission rebuilt and the chassis gone over—all by a highly respected marque expert and at significant expense. Here indeed is an extraordinary Phantom V, poised to provide years and miles of pleasure to its next owner.
Between 1959 and 1968, the stately Phantom V represented the ultimate in spacious automotive transport for the world’s most discerning and demanding customers. Blending uncompromised traditions of quality and workmanship with a modernized powertrain, the majestic 144-inch wheelbase Phantom V was designed for formal use by royals, heads of state and dignitaries.
A Phantom V was for decades the official state car of Queen Elizabeth II. Other original owners included rock-and-roll “king” Elvis Presley, and the Beatles’ John Lennon—whose 1965 Phantom V was famously painted in a multi-color Romany gypsy wagon scheme. But it was those at the pinnacles of finance and industry who most widely favored its exclusive prestige and capacious size.
Delivered new in June 1964, our offered right-hand drive Phantom V is chassis number 5VPC17, and its engine number is C8PV. As a 1964 model, it features the lowered radiator and bonnet, four headlamps, and recessed front fender lamps introduced to the Phantom V the previous model year.
The esteemed independent coachbuilders James Young Ltd. crafted the limousine coachwork for 5VPC17. The boot treatment on the James Young design most pleasingly recalls the formal elegance of the famed “razor-edge” Rolls-Royces of the immediate Post-WWII era. Although several production totals are floating about, it seems most probable that 516 Phantom V chassis were produced—with fewer than 200 carrying the supremely elegant James Young coachwork offered in three variants. (All but a handful of the remainder were bodied by houses already absorbed into Rolls-Royce.)
Strengthened with massive reinforcements, the Phantom V chassis was an extended version of that used for contemporary Silver Cloud models. It also had a wider track front and rear. The Phantom V was the last Rolls-Royce with a full-frame chassis—hence it was also the last available with separately constructed coachbuilt bodywork.
A Rolls-Royce 6.2L V8 engine with four-speed automatic gearbox—an adaptation of the General Motors Hydra-Matic—powered the Phantom V. As a 1964 model, our offered example features the Silver Cloud III version of the engine. Introduced for 1963, its improved carburetion and increased compression ratio enhanced both performance and economy.
A special rear-axle ratio enabled the Phantom V to proceed at a near walking pace when used for ceremonial occasions such as parades and reviews. In other circumstances, the nearly three-ton car could reportedly exceed 100 mph if needed—rising to such high speed in near silence, of course.
The engine and chassis of our offered Phantom V were recently thoroughly gone through and put into top order. Marque expert E. F. “Butch” Murphy committed nearly a year to bringing the car to its present superb mechanical condition. The work—billed at over $90,000 (all invoices available)—included engine and head work, rebuilding of the carburetors, transmission overhaul, replacement of rubber seals, renewal of the brake system, wiring harness, air conditioning system, power steering system and more. Since completion, only test mileage and occasional drives have added to the 97,559 miles showing on the odometer.
Cosmetically, this is also an exceptional motorcar. Expertly applied, the deeply lustrous finish duplicates the Phantom V’s original Windsor Blue hue. The superb exterior bright work reflects restoration by D & D Classic Automobile Restorations.
A marvelously roomy interior awash in the traditional splendor and accouterments of the finest in coachbuilt luxury awaits the Phantom V owner—and up to six traveling companions (with pullout jump seats deployed). The sublimely elegant interior wood has been fully and beautifully refinished—at a cost of approx. $20,000—and remains in excellent condition. A fully functional dual air system assures occupant comfort. The gray leather in the front compartment is in excellent condition, and the complementing cloth upholstery in the rear shows well, albeit with minor signs of use.
Collectors of the world’s finest luxury marques covet the James Young Phantom V, for it combines still impressive performance and drivability with the grandest traditions of the coachbuilt era. Restored both cosmetically and for reliable operation, 5VPC17 provides an exceedingly uncommon opportunity to experience the pleasures of owning such an exquisite motorcar.