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Homepage. This page: A vintage Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom 2 captured on film in and around Athens in the 1930s.

Touring Athens in a vintage Rolls-Royce.

A few years ago a batch of photographs landed on the doorstep, which record an English-registered Rolls-Royce Phantom II - GC 2344 - being used on a European tour, specifically in and around Athens. Two of the large format images have been printed onto card in period, while the other slightly tatty pair are on photographic paper.
Information sourced via this site's forum, and also that of the VSCC, confirm that the car in question is a 1929 Phantom II, chassis number 12 XJ, fitted at that time with Thrupp & Maberly Sedanca de Ville coachwork. It's first recorded owner was M.H.Fenn. The car features in "The Rolls-Royce Phantoms" by D.B. Tubbs apparently (page 31). The same reference also confirms that in 1930, the car was sent on an extended promotional tour, visiting ten countries in North Africa and then the Balkan States, covering 6,000 miles in the process. Perhaps these photographs were taken on the same tour, en route from North Africa up to the Balkans?
GC 2344 is also mentioned in "Rolls-Royce the Derby Phantoms" by Lawrence Dalton, where its body is referred to as a Cabriolet de Ville. Rob G advises that in its later life the car was re-bodied as a hearse of all things (not an uncommon conversion). A search online highlights that the car is currently taxed and presumably on the road, colour black, although the manufacturer is listed as ROLLS ROYCE PHANTOM2 rather than Rolls-Royce. A first registration date of 23/11/2003 suggests that the car disappeared for some time from the system, before reclaiming its rightful number once more.
To Greece now - the first of these photographs sees the car parked at the roadside, its driver stood to the rear admiring the view.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size Rolls-Royce images.)
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom seen in Greece on tour
The following photographs confirm the location as Athens. Here the driver is in his rightful position, behind the wheel, while a hatted gent stands close by. Tyres aside, the car is very clean in all these images, so may well have had a quick dusting down prior to the camera being unpacked. What the two characters are discussing close to the wall behind the Phantom is anyone's guess. Peter sent the following details about the building in this picture:
"The building is the Temple of Hephaestus, Athens. It was a museum from 1834 to 1934, before being declared a National Heritage Site, the walls and fences were removed and the roads re-routed. This nicely dates the photo as pre-1934 and is yet another great example of social history."
Parked outside the Acropolis, Parthenon in the background
The stately R-R is next shown parked on a bend, with the Acropolis and the Parthenon building looming in the distance. Each of the images has a signature in the corner, most likely that of the photographer. The shadowy form of the chap with the hat, can be seen next to the car.
Rolls-Royce and the Parthenon
The last of these images recalling the Phantom's Greek tour shows well the elegant lines of this quality machine. In deference to the balmy conditions, the driver has been permitted to remove his hat. In the background, the Lykavittos Mountain can be seen, on top of which is situated the Chapel of St. George. Note how the bonnet panels, the lower valances behind the front wheels and the scuttle all have ventilation louvres set into them.
Rolls-Royce in Athens
Return to Page 17 in the vintage gallery.
In with the photos of the Phantom were two of a sad-looking Rolls-Royce chassis, they can now be found on this page.

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