Rolls-Royce Phantom IV
|Rolls-Royce Phantom IV|
|Engine||5.7 L and 6.5 L (final three vehicles only) I8|
|Transmission||4-speed gearbox (from 1954, 4-speed automatic gearbox standard)|
|Wheelbase||3683 mm (12ft 1in)|
|Length||5765.8 mm (18ft 11in)|
|Width||1955.8 mm (6ft 5in)|
|Height||1879.6 mm (6ft 2in) (Data corresponding to the first P. IV varies depending on each unit and/or type of coachwork)|
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 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 differed from those of the shorter, production post-War models, the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith and the Bentley Mark VI, apart from a larger size and an engine with increased capacity and power, in having an additional cross-member at the centre of the cruciform bracing and 10-stud road wheel mounting.
The engine was a derivative of the 8-cylinder rationalized B range of petrol engines (formed by four, six and straight eight). Specifically it was a refined version of a B80, the last three of a B81, both used in military and commercial vehicles. The P. IV 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 exclusive series were bodied by independent coachbuilders (in declining number after the war) 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.
In July 1938 Rolls Royce had to publish in the motoring press an announcement denying that the Phantom III fabrication would be interrupted. The following was published on 19 July 1938 in the British magazine The Motor:
THE COMPANY WISH TO DENY the rumour that the Phantom III is to be discontinued and replaced with another model having an 8-cylinder or other engine.
However, in 1937 a project was initiated to rein in the manufacturing costs of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley (acquired by RR in 1931) motor car chassis. This involved the development of a Rationalized Range of cars sharing as many common components of the chassis as possible.
As implementation of this rationalization plan, several prototypes were made. One of these, chassis 30-G-VII, was fitted with a large Park Ward seven-seater limousine body and was called Silver Wraith 80, then Silver Phantom, though it soon became known as Big Bertha. This was the genesis of the Phantom IV.
Likewise, in 1939 and before the starting of hostilities, another straight-eight powered experimental automobile tested during and after World War II was a special Bentley Mark V, chassis 11-B-V fitted with a bored-out 6.3 litre eight-cylinder engine.
Although the official Experimental Department name for this car was Comet, its scorching performance earned it the fond epithet Scalded Cat. This unit in particular would later play a key role in the decision of creating the Phantom IV.
Indeed, in 1948 the Duke heard about the Bentley nicknamed Scalded Cat 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 15 November 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, it would also 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, was very keen to ensure that the car was the best there had ever been, and a great deal of hand work was lavished on the construction of the chassis. The board 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.
The chassis 4AF2 was built under the code-name Nabha and Mulliner was selected as the coachbuilder, so they prepared drawings for approval. The chassis, was delivered to them on 20 July 1949 for erection of the body. 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 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 of the United Kingdom upon Princess Elizabeth's accession to that country's throne in 1952; as such, it was repainted in the sovereign's colour scheme of royal claret and black. It remains in the Royal Mews and is still occasionally used for royal and state occasions. For example, it 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 18 October 1948, Crewe received an order from the Government of Spain for three armored cars for the use of Generalissimo Francisco Franco: two limousines and a convertible sedan. While the Phantom IV was not specified in the order, or even known outside the company at that time, it was decided that the best way to cope with the huge additional weight would be to build the three cars as Phantom IVs, rather than over-burden the Silver Wraith chassis. Especially since the Foreign Office suggested that Crewe could not turn down the order.
Without intending it, the Government of Spain triple order (along with the later Duke's 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.
It is not known exactly when the "Royalty and Heads of State only" policy was decided, nor indeed whether in fact there was such an explicit company policy. It is known though, that a boardroom decision was reached that it would be impractical and disruptive to production of standard models to attempt to build more than three Phantom IVs per year. It is also clear that no private customer other than Royalty and Heads of State ever took delivery of a Phantom IV. Nevertheless, a considerable number of coachbuilder's drawings exist of proposed Phantom IVs that never were built.
A number of these are proposals by coachbuilders for chassis which in the event were bodied by other coachbuilders. Others were proposed but not built at all. Most are linked to a specific customer's name, such as the King Farouk, the Maharajas of Baroda and Mysore, as well as the Americans Briggs Cunningham and James Melton. It is evident that certain customers outside of the Royalty and Heads of State category believed that a Phantom IV would be available for purchase. Just how, or if, the news was broken to those customers that the firm would not supply a chassis for their proposed cars, or how they were talked around to other models, is open to conjecture.
The Phantom IV ceased production in 1956, by this time the model was not considered 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 coachwork customized for demanding customers, was not very profitable. Although contributed to reinforce the image of prestige the British firm was looking for.
Table of the 18 units
|Chassis||No. of engine||First owner/user||Coachbuilder||Type of coachwork||Coachwork number/design||Original colour||Upholstery||Delivery date||Picture of the unit|
|4AF2||P1A||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 dark 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 10 April 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 British parliament in 1954. Fitted with an automatic gearbox in 1955.
|4AF4||P2A||Rolls-Royce||Park Ward||Pick-up truck||~||Grey||~||1 October 1950|
|Experimental truck used for the factory. In 1952 was fitted with the B81 engine and automatic gear box. Dismantled in 1963.|
|4AF6||P3A||HM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran||H. J. Mulliner||Cabriolet||5077 / 7205||Blue silver||White leather||8 March 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 (2010) exist online, but its current whereabouts are unknown.|
|4AF8||P4A||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 leather||July 1951|
|It was not fitted with a division between the front and back seats.|
|4AF10||P5A||HRH The Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester||Hooper||Limousine||9663 / 8292||Black||Fawn leather||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||P6A||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 by the end of 1953 before being sold to Princess Marina in 1954. In the collection of Ion Țiriac, Romania.|
|4AF14||P7A||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine 5-seater||5035 / 7181||Black||West of England beige||23 June 1952|
|Armored. Center armrest. This is the one normally used by heads of states during state visits to Spain.|
|4AF16||P8A||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H.J. Mulliner||Limousine 7-seater||5036 / 7181||Black||West of England beige||11 July 1952|
|Armored. Center armrest. Usually used by the Spanish head of state for certain occasions, such as the parade of the national day of Spain.|
|4AF18||P9A||Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain||H. J. Mulliner||Cabriolet||4945 / 7183||Black||Green leather||28 March 1952|
|Armored. Center armrest. The only P. IV. to have all four doors hinged on their on their leading edges.|
|4AF20||P10A||HH Aga Khan III||Hooper||Limousine sedanca de ville||9750 / 8293||Dark green with a sideline in light green||Red leather||6 April 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 but restored to its original color in 2015. 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. It is now in the collection of Ion Țiriac and has been restored to its original two-tone green color scheme.|
|4AF22||P11A||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||P1B||HM King Faisal II of Iraq||Hooper||Limousine||9890 / 8361||Black||Red leather||31 March 1953|
|The series B difered in having wider eight-inch wheel rims. Made for his coronation.|
|4BP3||P2B||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||31 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 it was eventually sold in the USA. Displayed at The Royal Automobile Museum, Amman, Jordan.|
|4BP5||P3B||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 permanent loan at the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, Paulerspury, U.K.|
|4BP7||P4B||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||P1C||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||November 1955|
|The series C, to which belong only the last three P. IVs have wider front brake drums, the 33/4 in. bore, 6,515 cc version of the straight-eight engine, automatic transmission as standard and the same eight-inch wheel rims like the series B.
On display at the Nethercutt Collection, 15151 Bledsoe Street, Sylmar, CA 91342 (USA). According to a plaque in the museum, the car cost $25,000 when purchased new.
|4CS4||P2C||HH Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Hakim of Kuwait||H. J. Mulliner||Limousine||5725 / 7376||Golden copper and silver||Beige leather||January 1956|
|On display at Castillo Concejuelo, Biscay, Spain.|
|4CS6||P3C||HM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran||Hooper||Limousine||10177 / 8425||Black then repainted in bordeaux||Grey leather||11 December 1956|
|The figurine is standing, not kneeling. 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 5 October 2012.
- "Popular Science". google.es.
- James Carrington. "Rolls-Royce Phantom IV". Darkforce. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Postwar Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 18, (2008)
- "RREC - Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club - Clan Foundry Belper". rrec.org.uk.
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 204, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 171, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 15, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 172, (2008)
- "Bentley Continental". google.es.
- "RROC(A) Library: Bert Ward on The Straight 8 Bentley". rroc.org.au.
- "Bentley Continental". google.es.
- Faircount Media Group. "ISSUU - The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners Desk Diary by Faircount Media Group". Issuu.
- Royal Rolls Royce, The Autocar, p. 763, (7 julio 1950)
- Bowman, Hank Wieand. "Famous old cars.". HathiTrust.
- Brooks, Philip C. (2011). Oldham, Charles, ed. "Phantoms in a Postwar World". The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners Desk Diary (Tampa, FL US: Faircount Media): 35. Retrieved 10 August 2014. (registration required (. ))
- 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 25 June 2013.
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 21, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 23, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 32, (2008)
- "Las carrozas del Estado español, los Rolls Royce Phantom IV – 8000vueltas.com". 8000vueltas.com.
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Post-War Phantoms IV, V, VI", p. 48, (2008)
- Martin Bennett, "Rolls-Royce: The Postwar Phantoms IV, V, VI", pp. 48-51, (2008)
- Faircount Media Group. "ISSUU - The International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owners Desk Diary by Faircount Media Group". Issuu.
- 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 5 October 2012.
The Phantom IV was the royal family's official state limousine and carried the Queen to the opening of Parliament in 1954.
- Trenk, Dick (6 April 2010). Bergsma, Joris; Booy, Rutger, eds. "Comes with an armed guard". http://www.prewarcar.com/postwarclassic/. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Pre-War Post-War Publishing. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
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.
- https://secure.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 5 October 2012.
- "1952 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV - Conceptcarz.com". conceptcarz.com.
- http://blog.dupontregistry.com/events/rolls-royce-phantom-vantage-motorworks-wins-pebble-beach/ Rolls-Royce Phantom IV wins twice in Pebble Beach -- August 2015
- "1952 Convertible by Franay (chassis 4AF22, design 7183) for H.H. Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Pinterest. 5 January 2014.
- 2003 K.-J. Rossfeldt, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. "Car of the Month - November 2003 - Rolls-Royce Phantom IV". rrab.com.
- "Cars Sold 2009". realcar.co.uk.
- New York Magazine: 17 March 1980. Books.google.es. 17 March 1980. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rolls-Royce Phantom IV.|
- Pictures of the 18 P. IV made Idem
- Scaled-down replicas of all Rolls-Royce Phantom IV cars
- 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
- Vintage photos
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