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Homepage. This page: What fate befell this neglected example of pre-war Rolls-Royce?

Rolls-Royce.

How the mighty fall. A once-proud Rolls-Royce, "the best car in the world", reduced to a grubby, tattered rolling chassis, roped onto the flatbed body of a 1950s Commer lorry. Twenty-plus years earlier the chassis, glistening and immaculate, was delivered to one of several coachbuilders, who then fitted a body of the new owner's choosing. Quite which model is shown here I'm not sure. The photographs came in a small batch that also included shots of a vintage Phantom II on a tour of Europe (photos here), however while there are similarities, the car shown below has a spare wheel mounting visible on its offside, close to the steering column, while the aforementioned 1929 Phantom bears no such fitting. The other possibility I thought of was the 20/25, but the six-cylinder engine doesn't match those I've seen in other photographs of 20/25s. All advice welcomed, sadly the car's registration isn't visible.
The first of the two photographs shows the rolling chassis and the Commer in their entirety, while the second focuses on the Rolls-Royce's engine and forward chassis. There is very little evidence of the body that the car once wore, there is a small section of ash framework strapped to the rear (possibly part of the scuttle), and the bulkhead remains in its correct position. The seats may give a clue, they appear to have folding backrests, so is this a clue that the car was fitted with a saloon rather than open body? The caked-on mud evident on the chassis suggests that the car led a hard life, and perhaps wasn't treated as well as a car of this standing deserved. Perhaps it had just been rescued from a scrapyard, or was on its way to one ... a sad sight whichever was the case.
(Please click the thumbnails to view the full-size images.)
Chassis loaded onto a lorry
Next, a detailed close-up of the car's engine and ancillaries. The spare wheel bracket and curved support further down, can be seen. I'm sure someone very au-fait with these cars will recognise the model based on the components visible here. The front wheel centre bears the manufacturer's name, while the front tyre (a re-tread?) bears numerous cracks to its sidewalls, another sign of neglect and of a hard life.
Close-up view of the car's engine
If more information on this tattered relic turns up, I'll update this page.
Return to Page 17 in the vintage gallery.

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