In the 1930s, Rolls-Royce set new standards with its Phantom series. It was achieved not by making great technical breakthroughs, but by using the very best of proven technology. One could argue that various Hispano Suizas had more advanced specifications, but one has to note that many of them are now fitted with Rolls-Royce gearboxes. There were no weaknesses in the cars which Rolls-Royce made which is why, when the company began to use the slogan, ‘The Best Car in the World’ it was regarded as measured opinion backed by solid collateral.
The Phantom II, introduced in 1929, was said to have been the last model that Royce designed himself, working from his villa in the South of France. Between 1929 and 1935 around 1,770 of these chassis were built, being available in 144″ and 150″ wheelbase lengths, the former being used for the Continental models. These chassis were very popular with the major coachbuilders of the day, and some truly glorious cars were made.
First sold on 13th august 1934 to Barker and Company of 66-68 South Audley Street, London and fitted with enclosed limousine body work and delivered to Lord Leverhulme of 39 Brook Street, London.
William Hesketh Lever was born on 19th September 1851 and in 1885, the Lever brothers enter the soap business by buying a small soap and cleaning product works in Warrington. Lever Brothers is born. William Lever as he was known prior to Lord Leverhulme built Britain’s largest company and in so doing, made the first modern multinational and thanks to William’s marketing acumen, within a decade of its launch it is on sale in 134 countries.
In 1906 William stands for and is elected as a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party in the Wirral constituency. He will go onto become a baronet, a Lord and even a High Sheriff. The ‘Hulme’ part of his name is added in honour of his wife. Combining his family name with that of his wife’s is at his insistence and is against all precedents.
Finished in ivory and light brown coachwork this fine Barker Limousine was restored in 2002 and retains its original engine, YP35. The interior, finished in brown is described as being in excellent order with the engine, chassis and transmission all noted as being in good condition. This powerful pre-war Limousine with all the trappings of luxury one would expect from one of Britain’s greatest manufacturers has a wonderful history and a very fine example of the marque.