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LOT 46

The ex-Kathleen Dexter McCormick 1931 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II OPEN TOURER Coachwork by Barker & Co. Chassis no. 115GY Engine no. NV85

Estimate: DKK2,000,000 - DKK2,600,000
Lot 46
The ex-Kathleen Dexter McCormick
The Frederiksen Auction|26 September 2015, 14:00 CEST|Denmark - Ebeltoft

The ex-Kathleen Dexter McCormick
Coachwork by Barker & Co.

Chassis no. 115GY
Engine no. NV85

7,668 cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
120 bhp at 3,000 rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Offered with Rolls-Royce factory documentation
*Barker body fitted when car was delivered to first owner
*Light and nimble Phantom II
*Beautifully patinated older restoration
*Dual instrumentation


Reputedly the last model that Henry Royce designed himself, the Phantom II was announced in September 1929 with deliveries commencing immediately. Unlike its predecessor, which inherited its underpinnings from the preceding 40/50HP Silver Ghost model, the Phantom II employed an entirely new chassis laid out along the lines of that of the smaller 20HP Rolls-Royce. Built in two wheelbase lengths – 144 inches and 150 inches – this new low-slung frame, with its radiator set well back, enabled coachbuilders to body the car in the modern idiom, creating sleeker designs than the upright ones of the past.


Chassis 115GY carries lovely open tourer coachwork by the famous British coachbuilder Barker and Co. who were famous for this style of open body known as a "barrel sided tourer". When the style was first introduced sometime around 1920 it became an instant success, especially among the Maharajahs of India who ordered it to be fitted to Rolls-Royce chassis. 115GY is believed to be the only period example of this timelessly attractive body on a Phantom II chassis.

Chassis 115 GY was originally ordered by Barkers on 16 May 1930, with the chassis off-test on 16 August. On 21 August 1930, a certain Mr. Holm bought the bare chassis for GBP 1.673,16, paying the balance of the chassis price on 12 December 1930. A so-called Sedancalette body with a weight of approximately 685 kg was fitted — it is thought that this designation may have referred to a Sedanca de Ville. The car was completed at the end of 1930, but in the meantime the unfortunate Mr. Holm had become a victim of the Depression. Unhappily, he had to inform Barkers on 4 July 1931 that he would be unable to complete the purchase of the car with body as ordered.

On 1 November 1931, when Mrs. Stanley McCormick, an American lady of wealth, famous suffragette and single-handed financier of the development of the birth control bill, entered the Barker showroom in South Audley Street, Mayfair, the car had sat in the showroom for nearly a year with no buyer in sight. Mrs. McCormick was anxious to purchase a Rolls-Royce touring car and had little time to wait for delivery. A quick-witted Barker salesman sensed an opportunity for Barker to have its cake and eat it, and provided Mrs. McCormick with a quick solution. The salesman agreed to remove the Sedancalette body from 115 GY and fit a new open touring body which was available in the Barker warehouse in Shepherd's Bush, likely the victim of another cancelled order.

On 3 November, an invoice was raised for the car to be re-bodied, and Mrs. McCormick was able to take delivery of her new automobile in a matter of weeks rather than months. The new body weighed some 200 kg less than the old one, so it was necessary to alter the spring rates. The records state that new springs by Firths were fitted at Barkers on Christmas Day, 25 December 1931. There is nothing in the records which give a clue to how long Mrs. McCormick retained the car except a note that Barker supplied some parts in May 1935. It can be assumed that the car was still with Mrs. McCormick at that date. The rear instruments of American manufacture were obviously fitted in the United States. Perhaps Mrs. McCormick had seen a Cadillac Phaeton with a similar set up. The work is highly professional, especially the speedometer cable and connection to the gearbox, so the work was possibly carried out by a Rolls-Royce agent in Boston where the owner was resident.

115GY remained in the USA until a few years ago. Since then, a substantial amount has been spent refurbishing the car both mechanically and bodily. There has been considerable expenditure on the coachwork, chassis and engine, which have been prepared by a recent owner with international rallying in mind. Today, 115GY is resplendent with its svelte black coachwork, complemented by burgundy leather and deeply varnished wood trim. The lack of side windows lend the car an exceptional lithe grace, enhanced by the mild patina of its older restoration. Due to the lightness of the body, GY115 is an exceptional driver and will bring many happy hours of touring to its new owner.


Chassis 115GY er udstyret med et meget smukt Tourer karosseri af den berømte engelske karosseribygger Barker and Co. Firmaet var kendt for netop denne slags åbne karosseritype, almindeligvis kaldet Barrel Sided Tourer. 115GY menes at være det eneste tidstypiske eksemplar forsynet med et originalt Barrel Sided Tourer karosseri monteret på et Phantom II chassis.

Chassis 115 GY blev oprindeligt bestilt af Barker selv den 16. maj 1930, og chassiset blev testet af Rolls-Royce den 16. august samme år. Det nøgne chassis blev erhvervet af en kunde næsten med det samme, som betalte GBP 1.673,16 for herlighederne den 21. august, og den resterende del den 12. december 1930. Chassiset blev i første omgang udstyret med et såkaldt Sedancalette karosseri. Desværre kom depressionen, og den 4. juli 1931 måtte ejeren informere Barker, at han ikke havde råd til at gennemføre købet af bilen. Den 1. november 1931 solgte Barker bilen til Mrs. Stanley McCormick, en velhavende amerikansk dame, som ville have en åben Rolls-Royce i en fart. Derfor udskiftede Barker selv karosseriet med et de havde på lager, og det er det selvsamme karosseri bilen bærer den dag i dag. Det vides ikke, hvor længe Mrs. McCormick ejede bilen, men der er fakturamateriale, der viser, at bilen var i USA i 1935.

115GY kom tilbage til Europa for ganske få år siden, hvorefter både bilens mekaniske dele og karosseriet blev gennemgået. På grund af karosseriets lette vægt, kører GY115 ualmindeligt godt, og bilen står klar til at give den kommende ejer mange fornøjelige køreoplevelser.

EU Taxes paid
With Danish Registreringsattest
Registered as model year 1932

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  • 24 September 2015, 09:00 - 18:00 CEST
  • 25 September 2015, 09:00 - 18:00 CEST
  • 26 September 2015, 09:00 - 14:00 CEST

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