Offered for the first time in 37 years, this 1927 Phantom 1 Salamanca has an impressive history and is one of the grandest designs produced by the marque in the late 1920s.
The car was sold new in 1927 to Hollywood heavyweight Joseph M Schenck. Joseph had purchased the Rolls for his then wife, Norma Talmadge, one of the most popular US idols of the 1920s as a “silent film” actor and producer. A copy of the original sales receipt dated 14 May 1927 is included with the vehicle’s extensive records, confirming all original specifications and delivery details.
Although this Phantom was sold new in the US, it was not built in the US plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rather, the chassis and mechanicals were produced in the Derby factory in the UK, and the car was shipped to the US to have its body fitted by Brewster & Co – which by 1927 was a Rolls-Royce owned coach builder. This makes the car particularly unique, as the Brewster bodies were mostly fitted to the Springfield built cars. This would be one of very few Derby built Phantoms designated with a Brewster & Co body from new. Most notably, the British built vehicles had a longer wheel base than the US built cars (US being 146½ in (3721.1 mm) vs UK 150½ (3822.7 mm). The car’s body remains unmodified in its original design other than the addition of a second matching tail lamp (originally, only one lamp was fitted to the left side of the vehicle per US requirements). The tail lamps are the same as those fitted to the Pierce Arrow vehicles of the era. The car retains its original correct numbered engine (AA65) as noted in its order documentation held by the seller, and other than regular maintenance remains mechanically original.
After ownership by Talmage and Schenck, the car remained in the Hollywood area and began a career of its own. It appeared prominently in three major films during 1964, including Bikini Beach Party, Shock Treatment, and Robin and the Seven Hoods. The car also featured in print throughout the 1960s and 70s. In particular, the car is featured in Raymond Lee’s 1969 book “Fit for the Chase: Cars and the Movies”, and “Cars of the Stars” published in 1974 by George Barris and Jack Scagnetti – both books celebrating prominent vehicles in the film industry. It also appeared in the May 1973 edition of Playboy Magazine. In May 1979, the car was sold at the “Movie World Celebrity Car Auction”. Copies of those books, the issue of Playboy Magazine and the original celebrity auction card are held by the current owner and will accompany the vehicle in the sale. At the auction of May 1979, the car was purchased by an Australian collector who exported it to Sydney, before selling the car to the current owner in 1982.
From 1982 and throughout the 1990s the car was mainly used at shows or for wedding events. However, the car again played a role in the 1987 Australian film “I’ve come about the Suicide”, and appeared in a Toyota advertisement during the 1990s. In 2008, the car was used as Lady Sarah Ashley's chauffeured transport in a scene of the “Australia” movie. The car then appeared in the 2013 film The Great Gatsby, as Daisy Buchanan’s (Gatsby’s girlfriend’s) car. It would be difficult to find another Phantom with such a long and prominent film career as this example, with plenty of potential to build on its CV into the future.
The car was last repainted in 1990 with the upper body finished in “Shell Grey”, a factory Rolls Royce colour from the 1950s. This colour is close to the colour of the car in much of its film work in the 1960s. The original order/specification sheet does not specify what colour the car was originally painted. However, the current owner notes there was evidence of black paint under the existing silver paint when the 1990 paint job was being completed. The vinyl roof on the car is still in good condition, and was refurbished whilst the car was in the US (possibly as early as the 1960s).
The front bench seat was reupholstered in black leather in 1990 when the paint was done, and prior to that was trimmed in a beige leather (which can be seen in its 1960s film roles”). Inside the rear cabin, the timber work is in good condition, and the beige cloth trim is presentable.
Mechanically, the car runs and drives well, and a short film clip includes the car starting and running. The car has always been well serviced, with the current owner being a mechanic and Rolls-Royce enthusiast.
Included in the sale is a copy of the car’s original order sheet and extensive documentation collected over the years by the seller. Also included are the car’s Californian registration plates (9V 89), and the New York plates (856) which were fitted for the Great Gatsby film.
For more information or to arrange an inspection please contact Peter by signing in and clicking the contact author button at the top of this page.
This Mark VI Bentley is one of only 5,202 built, and would make an excellent hire car or club car, with the paint and trim both in outstanding condition. This particular car has been owned by a Rolls-Royce / Bentley enthusiast in the Southern Highlands, NSW for the last couple of years, and has been used occasionally as a wedding hire car.
As the pictures demonstrate, the body is in excellent condition, and the paint polishes up very well. The leather interior has been recently refurbished, and presents in immaculate condition. The woodgrain trim throughout the car is excellent, with only the dash-top needing a polish, although it's still in good presentable condition.
All panels align very well on the car, and we've included a number of images showing the condition of the sills and undercarriage. The car has been fitted with a Rolls Royce engine (details will be confirmed shortly), and runs very well. We will soon be uploading a video showing the car running.
Registered until September 2019, the car is ready to be enjoyed by the next enthusiast. More details and images are coming soon. To arrange an inspection, please contact Peter by logging in and clicking the contact seller button above.
Spotted for sale in April 2019, this is number 75 of 500 Ralliart Magna vehicles sold in the Australian market. Looks to be in excellent condition for its age, and is among several currently advertised online. If you've got one, sign up and add yours to the register so we can preserve the records of these rare Magnas. Check out the others on the register below.
An Australian delivered example of the C36 AMG, this one with decent mileage at 330,000km. We spotted this car advertised on carsales.com.au in April 2019, asking $15,000. At the time. there were a couple of other examples on sale at around the same value, indicating these early C class AMG cars are starting to get into the affordable classic category. If you've got an early AMG, sign up and add yours to the register so we can track the history of these rare early AMG cars.
The 5th on our small register of XR8 Sprints. This one looks to have been kept in very original condition, with reasonably low mileage for its age (215,000km). Unfortunately, however, the car no longer has its original engine.
AT the time we spotted this car online (Ebay AU), the seller made the following points:
-Feb 1994 Cobalt Auto A/C. No other options.
Spotted on Ebay in April 2019, this EA claims to be an SVO enhanced vehicle, and one of the 600 odd cars enhanced by SVO in 1989 when SVO was trying to establish a contract with Ford, as Tickford successfully did. This one has what looks to be a kit similar to the EB GT fitted, and does not have the grey lower panneling as normally applied to the SVOs - likely modified at some point in its life.
A nice R8 spotted online in 2019 (advertised as a Gordini, but we have since been told it's not a genuine Gordini). Looks to be modified slightly for racing, but overall in excellent condition. This is the R1135 model, with the quad lamps at the front.
This is the first on the register here. If you have one, please sign-up and add yours.
This example was advertised in April 2019, looks to have a bit of rust, but hopefully can be saved by an enthusiast. Located in Melbourne, this one is finished in Monza red, and looks to be mostly complete.
If you have an RS2000, sign-up and add yours to the register!