- Current owners late husband acquired the car in May 1969 from the 2nd owner, and recently lightly recommissioned it after 20 years storage
- Re-chromed in 1969, re-painted in 1970 and re-trimmed (by Roy Creech) in 1971, and a new cylinder head fitted in 1985
- An extraordinary history file with invoices from 1937 and onwards, and just 126,400 recorded miles from new
This truly delightful Phantom comes to market for the first time in 47 years, complete with impeccable provenance that confirms it has had just three keepers from new. Chassis No.20KR was first registered on April 17, 1929, having been equipped with innovative four-door 'All-weather' coachwork by Park Ward, complete with disappearing hood and wind-up windows - the original colour was Black. No less than 116,921 of the total mileage of 126,440 was accrued by the first owner before selling the car in August 1937 - it is understood he lived in Scotland and made repeated business trips to London! A copy of the log book shows he paid £5 in order to retain the original registration plate, 'US 65', which by coincidence has remained local to the car ever since and has frequently been espied in central London on a contemporary Rolls-Royce or Bentley. The replacement registration 'CYE 790' has remained with the car to this day.
The second keeper was retired engineer H Raymond Morgan, who lived in Westminster, London SW1, but retained the Rolls at his primary residence near Swanage, Dorset. The first of many invoices in the car's fascinating history file is one from The Marble Arch Car Service Depot, dated October 8, 1937 - a garage apparently recommended to him by Rolls-Royce. On October 31 1938 for the princely sum of £15 4s 1p, they refurbished the cylinder head, fitted a new rear hub bearing, and supplied and installed a selection of electrical items. There is also a copy of a cheque made out to the same firm in August 1963, that not only covered the fitting of a replacement exhaust downpipe but also a degree of garaging and fuel. Intriguing correspondence between Rolls-Royce and Mr Morgan of July 1968, reveals that in both August 1932 (with the speedometer reading 56,832 miles) and July 1935 the company fitted replacement standard-sized pistons for reasons that are not stated.
The third keeper has been the now late Sydney Creamer, who purchased the Rolls for £1,250 on May 1, 1969, at which time the odometer was showing 124,442 miles. He immediately set about a progressive programme of restoration that lasted until 1973 and included: having various items of brightwork rechromed (1969); the paintwork stripped and resprayed in Land Rover Bronze Green and Black, and the rear bumper modified and the tail lights moved there from the body (1970); the purchase of six fawn hides from Connolly in readiness for reupholstering (1971); the interior fully retrimmed, the flooring recarpeted with stock purchased direct from Wilton, and a new hood installed, all courtesy of Roy Creech of Fingringhoe, Essex (1972/1973). At a later date the radiator was fully refurbished by Serck Services (1977), a replacement alloy cylinder head sourced from the USA (1985), and the exhaust system replaced (1982). The keeper's notes confirm that he obtained from Mr Morgan the original handbook with detailed instructions on starting and driving the Rolls-Royce, and bonnet mascot, plus a substantial typed record of service and maintenance from the time the car was new. All these items are included with the Phantom today.
'CYE 790' was recently released from 20 years of dry storage and treated to a degree of light recommissioning. The vendor now grades the bodywork, interior trim, six-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission a 'very good' and the paintwork as 'good'. Though the car certainly looks remarkably pristine once more, it would clearly be prudent for the next keeper to carry out further checks before this amazingly original Rolls-Royce finally and triumphantly returns to the road.