26th Jul, 2023 13:00

Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire

  Lot 108

1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Coachwork by Southern Motors

Sold for £68,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: BF 7958
Chassis No: 126LC
MOT: Exempt

  • Delivered to N.V. A.G.A.M. (Algemene Garage en Automobiel Maatschappij), the esteemed Dutch Rolls-Royce importer, for display purposes at the 1926 Amsterdam Motor Show
  • Thought to have been rebodied in the 1930s by the Southern Motor Company before being shipped to its new owner in India
  • In current ownership for the last 9 years and looked after by RR&B Garages Ltd and Fisher Restoration

After seven years of experiment and test, the 40/50hp six-cylinder Phantom chassis emerged, and is offered to the public as the most suitable type possible for a mechanically-propelled chassis under present-day conditions" (New Phantom launch brochure, May 1925).

By 1925, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost had been upstaged by a younger generation of more technically advanced luxury cars. The glory days of the 1913 Alpine Trials had long passed and both Henry Royce and Rolls-Royce sales manager Claude Johnson felt the need to produce a new claimant to the title 'best car in the world'. Just as the competition between car manufacturers was becoming increasingly fierce, so that between rival coachbuilders had intensified correspondingly. With the arrival of each faster, more powerful chassis came the opportunity to construct ever more lavish, sophisticated coachwork. To ensure that their cars could be fitted with the finest bodies in the world, Rolls-Royce introduced the 'New Phantom'.

While its tapered channel-section chassis, four-speed manual transmission, supple springing (semi-elliptic front, cantilever rear) and ingenious gearbox-driven servo assisted four-wheel brakes owed much to its predecessor, the Phantom's 7668cc engine was all new. Quoted as being an impressive 33 percent more powerful than the Ghost's unit. The engine featured overhead valves and remained exclusive to the UK until 1929, with 2,269 chassis delivered by that time.

This 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I carries a noteworthy historical background, with connections to prominent entities and individuals. Originally, it was delivered to N.V. A.G.A.M. (Algemene Garage en Automobiel Maatschappij), the esteemed Dutch Rolls-Royce importer, for display purposes at the 1926 Amsterdam Motor Show. N.V. A.G.A.M., located at No 9 Hofweg, Den Haag, held a significant position, opposite the entrance to the Dutch Houses of Parliament.

An advert from 1923 reveals that A.G.A.M. had a 40/50hp Landaulette Limousine by the Dutch coachbuilder Van Rijswijk in stock. This suggests a business relationship between the two companies at the time of 126 LC's delivery. Van Rijswijk was known for constructing only a handful of bodies on Rolls-Royce chassis, making the presence of a Phantom I in their 1929 advert highly likely to be 126 LC with its all-weather tourer body. It is improbable that they produced two similar bodies on different chassis.

The car found its first owner in 1926, Mr. Otto Frederik Weise. Born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1884 to German parents, Mr. Weise resided in the affluent Wassenaar area of Den Haag at Villa Meyland. Notably, Villa Meyland was later acquired by the government of India in 1953 and remains the ambassador's residence to this day. Mr. Weise was also a co-owner of Weise & Co., a prominent trading company with a sizable warehouse located at the docks in Rotterdam.

Based on historical records, it is likely that Mr. Weise retained ownership of the car until the late 1920s, as there are invoices indicating shipments of parts to Paris in his name. A black and white photograph from the late Bernard King's archives showcases the car in a light colour, featuring a royal crest on the door. Labeled as '1935 India,' it suggests that the car underwent rebodying in the 1930s by the Southern Motor Company before being shipped to its new owner in India. Eventually, it found its way to South Africa in 1945, adding another chapter to its storied journey.

Little is known of the car since, but some correspondence within the history file from a previous owner, Ian G Middleton of Parkwood, Johannesburg states the car was being restored in 1995. Invoices from Fiennes Restoration would suggest the carburettor air valve unit was sent to the UK for overhaul in 2003.

Purchased by the current owner in November 2014 and imported to the UK, ‘126 LC’ has remained part of a private collection and in current ownership has been looked after by RR&B Garages Ltd, with extensive mechanical fettling and bodywork adjustments between 2016-2017. More recently, the car has been in the care of Fisher Restoration; stored and serviced as required for the vendor.

Accompanied with the vehicle is a history file containing the Rolls-Royce build records, copies of clearance and import documentation, a small collection of invoices, various communications from previous owners and sundry documents. The V5C is included which displays zero previous keepers.

Please note: The hood of this vehicle came off in transit, causing a tear in the canvas and a dent.

For more information, please contact:
Andreas Hicks


Auction: Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire, 26th Jul, 2023

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held in the beautiful surrounds of the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire.  



Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking at the venue is available and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Get A Valuation button. All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tuesday 25th July 2023 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 26th July 2023 from 9am

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All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

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