1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom IEtoile Town Car
Year of manufacture1928
Amongst the most celebrated coachbuilders of their time, the Parisian firm of Hibbard & Darin built only thirty-five bodies for Rolls-Royce’s American-built “Springfield” Phantom I Chassis. Among them was this sumptuous and well-proportioned town car, known as the Étoile, built to their patented Silentlyte method with aluminum coachwork. Destined for New York City, it was delivered on November 10, 1928 to Miss Vivian Reilly.
The Rolls-Royce remained in New York city for many years, with a subsequent owner being Mrs. Selina E Summerfield, who resided in the Ritz Tower. The car’s first enthusiast owner appears to have been E.H. Stroh, in whose ownership it was featured in the 1956 film, The Eddy Duchin Story, with Tyrone Power. It was later acquired by E.M. McCarrell of Pennsylvania.
A well-known Midwestern collector purchased the well-preserved Phantom I in the early 2000’s and commissioned a thorough restoration to its original majesty by Glen and Randy Hatcher of Cambridge, Ohio, as well as marque specialists Steve Littin and Brian Joseph. This work included a new leather top and beautifully appointed interior, as original; correctly finished interior trim; and chrome wire wheels (as original, versus the nickel trim that had largely been discontinued by 1928).
Beautifully finished per the original specifications, including the fitment of a new clutch and radiator from Littin, it was awarded Most Elegant Car at the 2010 Glenmoor Gathering in Canton, Ohio. With the most recent previous owner, the clutch was replaced and the hydraulic pump for the clutch was rebuilt. Since then, the car has seen limited use following a recent service and remains in excellent condition throughout.
A truly elegant and attractive Phantom I, this would be an excellent addition to any collection of pre-war automobiles and would surely attract lots of attention at concours events around the country. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.