Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Before and after photos of the incredibly unusual 1925 Jonckheere Rolls-Royce Phantom Aerodynamic Coupe

the Raja of Nanpara Estate had already contained a polished aluminum 40/50HP Silver Ghost when he ordered Rolls-Royce’s latest Phantom. Upon arrival, the owner probably didn’t like the conventional Hooper cabriolet bodywork because it was eventually scrapped and replaced with what you see here.

Almost 10 years old, this rolling chassis was then shipped to Belgium to the shop of Henri Jonckheere and his son Joseph Jonckheere. They were well known throughout Europe for making bodies on both cars and busses. The later of which is still in production today as VDL Jonckheere. The commissioning owner of the car is uncertain due to war damage at the factory, but the design is not. The Jonckheeres created an extravagant body which has just as much impact 75 years after its constuction as it did in 1935. The car was finished in time for the Concours on the French Riviera where it won the ‘Prix de Cannes’ award.

The doors, which are actually oval, required two half-moon pieces of glass that closed towards each other within a complex winding mechanism. Other details included sliding left and right sun vents, a sloping fastback profile and an enormous rear tail fin. It was also one of the few Phantom Is which featured a modified front grill.

Eventually the car made its way stateside and was saved by Max Obie fro $8500 before being scrapped. He restored the car in a brilliant hue of metallic gold and refurbished details like the silk headliner and seats that folded into beds. From here, the car was shown as a sideshow at fairs where anyone with a dollar well spent could have viewed the Coupe. After its freakshow days were numbered, the golden behemoth was stored away for long time.

In the 1980s, the car was resurrected and sold at auction. The description incorrectly listed it as “the 1954 World Motorsport winner in NY” and “Built for Prince of Wales”. With just 5000 miles on the odometer, it was picked up by a Japanese collector for $1,500,000 USD who retained the car for 20 years

Before photo from
Info from


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