Although the Rolls-Royce Phantom II was without doubt an outstanding automobile, by the early Thirties its six cylinder prowess was being challenged by multi-cylinder cars such as the V12 Hispano Suiza and V16 Cadillac. It was thus that Rolls-Royce introduced the all new Phantom III in late 1935. Visually, the model was distinguishable from the Phantom II in having its radiator mounted forward rather than above the front axle, but beneath, the differences were manifold.
At its heart was a superb new and complex, overhead valve V12 alloy engine, of 7,338cc, with cast-iron liners, seven main bearings, hydraulic tappets, triple pressure lubrication system and twin coil ignition. Technically advanced and highly refined, it produced 165bhp at 3,000rpm with such ample torque that it was hardly necessary to use the four speed gearbox. The new and immensely strong, box section chassis – with eight inch shorter wheelbase than the Phantom II and with built-in hydraulic jacks – also featured independent front suspension using coil springs immersed in an oil bath, while at the rear there were semi-elliptic leaf springs and an anti-roll bar. The combination provided an unequalled level of road-holding and ride comfort for such a large luxury car, once again putting Rolls-Royce ahead of its few competitors.
Barker & Co ordered the chassis on 17 October 1936 (at the time of the London Motor Show) for their customer Norman McCallum (born 1872, died 8 March 1952). He lived at Braeriach, Vyner Road South, Bidston, in the county of Cheshire. He was a chartered ship broker, and this is the only Rolls-Royce he ever bought new.
Chassis 3BU110 was sent off to test at the Rolls-Royce Derby factory on 30th January 1937. It was fitted with engine number J18R, and according to the build sheets was suited for town work and touring and subsequently on the 8th February the chassis was sent to Barker & Co.
The body built on the chassis was a limousine and included the optional, yet desirable division, rear luggage rack and even two occasional seats in the rear allowing for 7 passengers. It was Barker body number 7207, finished in black cellulose, with black leather to the front seat and fawn cloth to the rear compartment; the woodwork was in walnut. On 14th May 1937, the car was finished, and registered DUU 628.
In 1953 the car was owned by a Mr A Steinberg, and on 15th June 1954 was traded in to Jack Barclay Ltd., for £650. On the 8th September 1954 Jack Barclay Ltd. sold the car for £575 to Parr & Son, of 33 Bedford Street, Belgrave Gate in the city of Leicester. In 1972 Rolls-Royce records the car as owned by a Mr A Griffiths of Middlesex. In the 1970s the Phantom III was sold to a French owner.
This charming limousine is supplied with copies of build sheets and EU registration documents. A supremely rare and authentic motorcar in every way, this fine example if of one of Barkers best-loved limousine designs.