Rolls-Royce Phantom IV
|Rolls-Royce Phantom IV|
|Engine||5.7 L I8|
|Transmission||4-speed gearbox (from 1954, 4-speed automatic gearbox standard)|
|Wheelbase||3.683 m (145 in)|
|Length||5.77 m (227 in)|
|Width||1.95 m (77 in)|
The Phantom IV was the most exclusive Rolls-Royce model ever built and one of the most elite cars in the history of motoring. Only eighteen were made between 1950 and 1956, seventeen of which were sold exclusively to royalty and heads of state. Sixteen are preserved in museums, public and private collections.
By creating the mythical Phantom IV the manufacturer broke with their earlier decision to cease production of the series of "big" Rolls-Royce Phantoms after the end of the Second World War. The chassis was developed from that of the Silver Wraith, strengthened and lengthened considerably to a wheelbase of 145 inches and an overall length of 229 inches.
The engine for this automobile was a derivative of the 8-cylinder B range engine (specifically a B80), used in military and commercial vehicles. It is the only Rolls-Royce motorcar to be fitted with a straight-8 engine, which was powerful but could also run long distances at a very low speed, an important feature for ceremonial and parade cars.
All examples of this unique model were bodied by independent coachbuilders and most of their bonnets surmounted by the kneeling version of the Spirit of Ecstasy, which had been unveiled in 1934 and used in various other models, among them the P. IV.
Indeed, in 1948 the Duke heard about a Mark V Bentley nicknamed Scalded Cat fitted with a straight-eight engine and asked if he might test it out. He enjoyed this experimental car immensely and drove it for considerable distances. When he returned it, he apparently murmured about how nice it would be to have a car with performance in the Royal Mews.
On November 15, 1948, not long after Prince Philip had driven the aforementioned automobile, an order came through for a Rolls-Royce motor car for Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. They placed the order through The Car Mart, Ltd., RR official retailers. Such a vehicle would have to meet their official needs which meant it must be a limousine. Likewise, it would have to have good performance since the Prince wished to drive it himself. The car would be the first RR in the stables. It was originally planned to be the only Phantom IV, a strictly one-off piece.
Rolls-Royce, aware that Daimler had held the Royal warrant to provide motor cars since 1900, intended to ensure that they made the best car they could. The directors had earlier considered making a replacement for the pre-war Phantom III, but were wary that such a large and expensive motor car might not have a market in the weak post-war economy. Production of the new model was not at Crewe but at the experimental Clan Foundry at Belper which had been the home of the motor car branch during the Second World War.
Mulliner was selected as the coachbuilder, and they prepared drawings for approval. The chassis, 4AF2, was delivered to them in July 1949 for erection of the body, which was given the codename of Nabha. Prince Philip visited the workshops more than once while it was being built. When the automobile was completed in July 1950 its delivery was accompanied by a public announcement stating the Phantom IV had been "designed to the special order of Their Royal Highnesses, the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh".
As the car was privately owned when delivered to the couple, and was not an official state car, it was painted Valentine green (deep green with a slight blue secondary hue) with red belt-line striping. The limousine became an official state car upon Princess Elizabeth's accession to the British throne in 1952; as such, it was repainted in claret and black. It remains in the Royal Mews and is still occasionally used for royal and State occasions. For example, the automobile was used at the Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton to carry Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey.
On October 18, 1948, Crewe received an order for three cars for Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain: two armored limousines and a convertible sedan. These heavy cars would have overburdened the Silver Wraith chassis, so the factory decided to build them as Phantom IVs - especially since the Foreign Office suggested that Crewe could not turn down the order.
Without intending it, Franco's triple order (along with the Duke's first commission) probably helped to give a decisive impulse to the existence of this model, as suggested by Martin Bennett in his book Rolls-Royce & Bentley: The Crewe Years and the number 9 September 1990 of the British magazine Classic Cars. All these three historical vehicles are property of the Spanish Army and are still in ceremonial use for the Spanish head of state.
The firm decided, apparently unofficially, that the Phantom IV would be reserved for the royalty and heads of state. There was discussion of building Phantom IVs for private customers and coachbuilders' drawings exist, but those orders never came about.
The Phantom IV ceased production in 1956, by this time the model was not consider necessary for state use: Appropriate bodies had been built on Silver Wraiths. So, it was possible to buy a Silver Wraith for state occasions, which worked well for the factory. On the contrary, the hand-built P. IV with each unit customized for demanding customers, was not very profitable. However, contributed to reinforce the image of prestige the British firm was looking for.
Table of the 18 units
|Chassis||First owner/user||Coachbuilder||Type of coachwork||Coachwork number/design||Original colour||Upholstery||Delivery date||Other data|
|4AF2||HRH The Princess Elizabeth, The Duchess of Edinburgh||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 7-seater||5034 / 7162||First Valentine green with a red stripe down either side; repainted claret and black in 1952||Front: blue leather, later redone in darl blue cloth. Rear: grey cloth||6 July 1950||Mascot of Saint George and dragon, designed by artist Edward Seago, it is made of silver and can be transferred from car to car—whichever the Queen is riding in. Fitted with a specially modified driver's seat in case the Duke of Edinburgh wished to drive himself. It is fitted with a Lion as the mascot when used in Scotland
On April 10, 1952 the Queen was driven in this car to her first Royal Engagement, the presentation of Maundy Money at the Westminster Abbey. It carried the Queen to the opening of the Parliament in 1954. Fitted with an automatic gearbox in 1955.
|4AF4||Rolls-Royce||Park Ward||Pick-up truck||~||Grey||~||1 October 1950||Experimental truck used for the factory. Dismantled in 1963.|
|4AF6||HM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran||H. J. Mulliner||Cabriolet||5077 / 7205||Blue silver||White||3 December 1951||According to Martin Bennett's book "Rolls-Royce & Bentley: The Crewe Years" (3rd edition, 2011), chassis 4AF6, a 2-door convertible, was returned to Rolls-Royce: The third PIV built, and the second delivered to a customer, was 4AF6 for the Shah of Iran. The coachwork was again by H.J. Mulliner, but the huge drophead coupe body, which was finished in a light metallic blue with white leather upholstery, was by no means characteristic of this coachbuilder. It was the only Phantom IV to have built-in Silver Dawn type headlamps. The car was returned to Rolls-Royce Ltd in 1959, it is believed because it had proved insufficiently stiff, flexing severely on Iranian roads. The outcome was that the company scrapped it, though the body survives on a Phantom III chassis, which perhaps suggests that the fault lay with the chassis. The car made its way to the United States in 1982, apparently from Switzerland, still with its metallic blue paint. Recent photos of it (2000s) exist online, but its current whereabouts are unknown.|
|4AF8||HH Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Hakim of Kuwait||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 6 light saloon||5153 / 7206||Beige and royal midnight blue||Biscuit||July 1951|
|4AF10||HRH The Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester||Hooper||Limousine||9663 / 8292||Black||Fawn||1 September 1951||According to Philip C. Brook's article "Phantoms in a Postwar World": "(...) The car was very imposing. It was also huge, and the late HRH Prince William of Gloucester told me that the family sold the car because it was too big. Delivered in 1951, it was sold in October 1960 (...)." It was later featured in the 1966 films Arabesque and Fumo di Londra (Smoke over London).|
|4AF12||Ernest Hives, director of RR, then sold to HRH The Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent||Hooper||Limousine 7-seater||9719 / 8307||Blue, later repainted black||Beige||1 July 1951||According to Martin Bennett's book "Rolls-Royce & Bentley: The Crewe Years" (3rd edition, 2011), Ernest Hives is said to have used the car only infrequently, preferring his Bentley R-Type B226WH. The car was built with a manual transmission but was converted to automatic before being sold to Princess Marina.|
|4AF14||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 5-seater||5035 / 7181||Black||West of England beige||13 June 1952||Armored.|
|4AF16||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H.J. Mulliner||Limousine 7-seater||5036 / 7181||Black||West of England beige||4 July 1952||Armored. Used by H.M. King Felipe VI of Spain for his ceremonial progress from the Zarzuela Palace to Congress, Madrid, for his Coronation on 19 June 2014.|
|4AF18||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H. J. Mulliner||Cabriolet||4945 / 7183||Black||Green leather||28 March 1952||Armored. Also used by H.M. King Felipe VI of Spain after his Coronation on 19 June 2014 for ceremonial procession from Congress to Royal Palace in Madrid.|
|4AF20||HH Aga Khan III||Hooper||Limousine sedanca de ville||9750 / 8293||Dark green with a sideline in light green; later repainted entirely red||Red leather||May 1952||When R. R. sold the car to the Aga Khan they included a clause which said he could not sell the car. However after his death his widow sold it to the Mayfair-Lennox hotel (Missouri, USA), where it was used to pick up guests at the airport but due to the boot short capacity it was resold in 1962. The car was later repainted red. In August 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California. It was estimated to sell for $850,000-1,100,000. Bidding failed to satisfy the vehicle's reserve and it left the auction unsold. Its now available on show at the Rolls-Royce gallery in the BMW museum in Munich|
|4AF22||HH The Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia||Franay||Cabriolet||- / 7183||Cream and green; later repainted black||Green leather||June 1952||The only Phantom IV with a French-made coachwork. This one was listed in their works description as a sedanca de ville, but a four-door cabriolet was erected on the chassis instead.|
|4BP1||HM King Faisal II of Iraq||Hooper||Limousine||9890 / 8361||Black||Red leather||26 March 1953||Made for his coronation.|
|4BP3||HRH 'Abd al-Ilah, Prince Regent of Iraq||Hooper||Touring limousine 7-seater||9891 / 8370||Delivered all-black; later black over white, with black fenders, and then finally the white segments painted dark blue.||Light blue leather||26 March 1953||Built for the coronation of his nephew, King Faisal II. Years later all the royal family members were assassinated in the 1958 coup d'état. At the time of the uprising, the car was at Hooper's in London for servicing and was saved as a result.|
|4BP5||HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom||Hooper||Landaulet||9941 / 8399||Claret and black||Front: blue leather, rear: grey cloth||1 May 1954||Rolls-Royce retained this car for the exclusive use of the British Royal Family. Finally in 1959 it was purchased by the Queen. This car was built to celebrate RR Golden Jubilee, 1904 - 1954. On display at the Royal Sandringham Estate's museum, Norfolk, U.K.|
|4BP7||HRH The Princess Margaret, The Countess of Snowdon||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 7-seater||5686 / 7368||Black||Beige cloth||16 July 1954||Purchased by Princess Margaret, she chose Pegasus designed by Edward Seago and made (by Louis Lejeune Ltd., London) as her mascot. Fitted with an adjustable seat in case the Princess wished to drive herself. The car, still in its original black color and featuring its Pegasus hood ornament, was offered for sale by The Real Car Company of Bethesda, Gwynedd, North Wales in 2008. No selling price was published but the company states that it sold for "somewhere around $750,000."|
|4CS2||HH Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Hakim of Kuwait||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 6 light saloon||5724 / 7376||Two-tone green||Olive green leather||1 February 1955||On display at the Nethercutt Museum, 15151 Bledsoe Street, Sylmar, CA 91342 (USA). The series C, to which belong only the last three P. IVs had a powered version of the engine with 197hp compared to 160hp of the rest. According to a plaque at the Nethercutt Museum, the car cost $25,000 when purchased new.|
|4CS4||HH Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Hakim of Kuwait||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine||5725 / 7376||Golden copper and silver||Beige||August 1955||On display at Castillo Concejuelo in Torre Loizaga, Biscay, Spain|
|4CS6||HM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran||Hooper||Limousine||10177 / 8425||Black then repainted in bordeaux||Grey leather||October 1956||In 1977 the car was in London for "major repairs and refurbishing". After three years and a reported $25,000 worth of repairs, the car was still in the UK. There was a dispute over who owned the car; the ousted Shah or representatives of the Iranian Embassy who said it belonged to their country. Finally the exiled Pahlavi family lost their claim to ownership in the British courts. Displayed at the National Car Museum of Iran.|
- (c) 1997-99 K.-J. Rossfeldt, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. "Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Photos, Reports and Books from the archives of K. J. Roßfeldt". Rrab.com. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- James Carrington. "Rolls-Royce Phantom IV". Darkforce. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- Pigott, Peter (2005). Royal Transport: An Inside Look at the History of Royal Travel. Dundum Press. pp. 125–126. ISBN 978-1-55002-572-9. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
- Brooks, Philip C. (2011). "Phantoms in a Postwar World". In Oldham, Charles. The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners Desk Diary (Tampa, FL US: Faircount Media): 35. Retrieved 2014-08-10. (registration required (. ))
- Ramón Roca, "Las Carrozas del Estado Español, Los Rolls Royce Phantom IV", (2014)
- Brooks, Philip C. (2011). "Phantoms in a Postwar World". In Oldham, Charles. The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners Desk Diary (Tampa, FL US: Faircount Media): 36. Retrieved 2014-08-10. (registration required (. ))
- Buckley, Martin (2004). "1 Pomp & circumstance". Cars of the Super Rich: The Opulent, the Original and the Outrageous. St. Paul, MN USA: Motorbooks International. p. 24. ISBN 0-7603-1953-7. Retrieved 2012-10-05. "The Phantom IV was the royal family's official state limousine and carried the Queen to the opening of Parliament in 1954."
- Trenk, Dick (2010-04-06). "Comes with an armed guard". In Bergsma, Joris; Booy, Rutger. http://www.prewarcar.com/postwarclassic/. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Pre-War Post-War Publishing. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-25. "One chassis was rebodied with a six seat convertible body for the Shah and because it had been at the Mulliner Park Ward body works during the overthrow, it survived. It was smuggled into Switzerland and kept hidden."
- http://www.flickr.com/photos/11040070@N07/4241174749/in/set-72157622995782389%7Ctitle=Rolls Royce Phantom IV 4AF6 at auto show
- "Internet Movie Cars Database: 1951 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV Limousine Hooper [4AF10]". Imcdb.org. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- New York Magazine: 17 March 1980. Books.google.es. 1980-03-17. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rolls-Royce Phantom IV.|
- Pictures of the 18 P. IV made Idem
- Scaled down replicas of all Rolls-Royces Phantom IV
- Article on the 4BP3 (1953), R. R. and Bentley, Photos, Reports and Books from the archives of K. J Roßfeldt Impressions of a P. IV
- The model in Movies and TV series
- Interior and exterior of the first P. IV crafted (4AF2), filmed at the Royal Mews
- 4AF10 in the film Arabesque
- Two of the three P. IV owned by the Spanish Army. Chassis 4AF16 and 4AF18
- 4BP7, first owner Princess Margaret and Idem
- 4CS4, at the museum Torre Loizaga
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