The Rolls Royce Phantom VIII has been revealed in London alongside the greatest Phantoms from Rolls Royce’s history. These are the top Phantoms – from I to VIII.
Rolls Royce has been teasing the arrival of the new Phantom VII for a while with the promise of an exhibition on London of the ‘Great Eight Phantoms’.
We know from RR’s teases what the first three great Phantoms are, but only now the Phantom 8 has been revealed do we get to see exactly what the Great 8 exhibition offers. And it’s an eclectic bunch of cars which define their period in history perfectly, not just the car, but the times.
For some reason RR hasn’t yet come up with photos from the exhibition, by we do have video (below) of the launch night, and a run through of the Phantoms by Katie Derham.
Fred Astaire’s Rolls Royce Phantom I
Before Fred Astaire became a Hollywood legend, he was a legend of the stage, and so successful he could already afford the best things in life.
So when his success in Funny Face in New York transferred to the West End (to what is now the Shaftsbury) Fred went out and ordered this Phantom I just a week after the show opened so he could travel in style in the UK.
Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Rolls Royce Phantom II
Sir Malcolm Campbell had a long relationship with Rolls Royce, and a week after setting a world land speed record in Bluebird he bought this, a Phantom II Continental, complete with registration AGO 1, which he declared was “The best Rolls-Royce yet produced”.
Field Marshall ‘Monty’ Montgomery’s Rolls Royce Phantom III
This Rolls Royce Phantom III comes with a history of WWII oozing from every pore, and is one of three Phantoms Field Marshall Montgomery used during, and after, the war.
This Phantom, Monty’ favourite, is the ‘Butler’ Phantom – originally commissioned by Alan Butler, Chairman of De Havilland – complete with bodywork by HJ Mulliner and used by Monty all the way until 1962.
The Aga Khan’s Rolls Royce Phantom IV
The Aga Khan managed to epitomise the jet-set lifestyle of the times, including many notable dalliances, with being the leader of the Nizari Ismaili Muslims, and the stunning Phantom IV was the perfect transport for the man.
Complete with Hooper Sedanca de Ville body, the Aga Khan’s Phantom IV came with many bespoke items including a dictaphone and silver grooming aids engraved with the Aga Khan’s crest.
John Lennon’s Rolls Royce Phantom V
For many, John Lennon’s Phantom V, with its yellow paint job and Romany artwork, is the most famous Phantom there has been.
Complete with a double bed in the back, blacked-out windows, telephone, television and record deck, it epitomises the Swinging 60s as no other car does.
Shipped to the USA in 1970, it’s now owned by the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada, but back at Bonhams for the exhibition.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Rolls Royce Phantom VI
Her Majesty’s Rolls Royce Phantom VI was gifted to her in 1977, her Silver Jubilee year, by the SMMT and is a custom Official State Limousine with raised roofline and a vast expanse of glass.
It is still in use, and was on show when it took the Duchess of Cambridge (to be) and her father to Westminster Abbey when she married Prince William.
The first BMW Rolls Royce Phantom VII
The Phantom VII was the first Rolls Royce to arrive when BMW bought Rolls Royce and moved production to the Goodwood Estate, home of Lord March and the setting for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Loaned to the exhibition by the man who has owned it from new in 2003, this is the Phantom which set the benchmark for RR’s new Phantom.
The new Rolls Royce Phantom VIII
The new Rolls Royce Phantom VIII is what the ‘Great Eight Phantoms’ exhibition is all about.
We took at look at the Phantom that’s all new, but still very much a Phantom, yesterday, and it looks to move the game on substantially for Rolls Royce, delivering a car which is worthy of the Phantom name. And that’s a big history, as this exhibition demonstrates.
The Great Eight Phantoms exhibition is on at Bonhams Mayfair base from today, 29 July, until Wednesday 2 August. It’s free, so if you’re in town it would be a shame to miss it.