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1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

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1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

One of 28 original examples built; the last Ascot Tourer body installed on a Rolls-Royce chassis
Desirable late-production styling with elegant curved fenders
Formerly owned by Doran Hinchman and Dr. C.L. Pressler
Fresh concours restoration by marque specialists Vantage Motorworks
A superbly sporting, dramatic Spring??eld Phantom I, with well-known history
40/50 hp, 468 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid
front axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf-spring platform
suspension, and four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 146.5 in.
THE ASCOT TOURER
The catalogued bodies ??tted to the American-built “Spring??eld” Rolls-Royce Phantom I chassis
were noted for lines more gracious, elegant, and – yes – sporting than their British
counterparts. Few were more attractive than the Ascot Tourer, a handsome ??ve-passenger
open model with re??ned styling, including artfully ??owing fenders, a nearly horizontal concave
polished accent along the beltline, and a raked one-piece windshield, which was favored by
socialites and ??lm stars on both coasts. Historian John Webb de Campi’s Rolls-Royce in
America records production of 28 Ascot Tourer bodies, largely by Brewster and all originally
mounted to Phantom I chassis. Many of these were employed as “trials cars,” to be driven by
prospective buyers, as they were considered to show the full potential of what an American
Rolls-Royce could be.
COAL AND CLAREDDA: THE STORY OF S337FM
According to a history assembled for Mr. Smith by Rolls-Royce historian, Rubén Verdés,
chassis number S337FM was originally delivered with a Stratford convertible coupe body to
Doran Hinchman of Logan, West Virginia, on 12 April 1928. Member of a very prominent Logan
family involved in coal and timber production, Mr. Hinchman had excellent taste in
automobiles, re??ected by his eventual trade-in of the Rolls-Royce on a Model J Duesenberg (J-
357) in early 1930. Subsequently the car was sold by Duesenberg Motors to H.F. Deane, then in
May 1934 to Mrs. Edward V. (Clare S.) Quinn of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
For Mrs. Quinn, of Claredda Farms thoroughbred fame, Rolls-Royce of America mounted the
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present Ascot Tourer body, noted as “new” (i.e., not re-used from an earlier chassis). A later
model with rounded fenders, it is believed that this body was the ??nal new Brewster Ascot
body mounted to a Rolls-Royce chassis.
The Phantom I made its way across the United States and was next acquired on 19 May 1952,
by James Ten Broeck Baker of Whittier, California. It next passed in 1956 to William Bagshaw
of Beverly Hills, California, who sold it later that year to Dr. C.L. Pressler, an early and longtime
enthusiast from Avondale, Ohio. The Ascot remained with Dr. Pressler for decades, making
frequent appearances at various shows, concours, and events in the Akron/Canton area. It
later passed through Rick Carroll’s famed Jensen Beach, Florida, collection, before being
acquired in 1983 by Bruce Campbell of Alamo, California, and was added to Orin Smith’s
distinguished collection nearly a quarter of a century later.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith commissioned a full restoration of the Ascot by the noted marque
specialists Vantage Motorworks of Miami. As-acquired, the car was reported to be in very solid
original condition, and aside from cosmetic work over the years did not appear to have ever
been restored. The body was properly stripped and re??nished in pale yellow with buff wings
and a tan interior, a color scheme chosen to match the Phantom I Henley Roadster that the
Smiths loved, retaining as much of the original inner woodwork and outer sheet metal as
possible.
The large Bausch & Lomb drum headlights, large rolled aluminum bumpers, and vertical
radiator shutters are all correct for a Spring??eld Phantom I of this generation, and they are
presented here with oversized matching Pilot Ray driving lights, introduced in 1927, with a
“Barker” dipper mechanism for nighttime driving. The car is also ??tted with a correct three-light
tail lamp cluster, with the brake, tail, and reverse lamps mounted over the license plate frame,
and an Auster windscreen. Interior trim is largely proper, although the wooden dashboard
appears to be of later construction than the rest of the woodwork. The paintwork is deep and
rich, with a consistent shine, with only minor wear noted around the edges of the bonnet, and
masking lines visible along the bonnet hinge.
Accompanying the car is a copy of its restoration book, including historic photographs, as well
as a proper set of road tools and an incredible full leather tool roll.
Boasting excellent long-term known ownership history, a quality fresh restoration by marque
specialists, and one of the most desirable factory body styles, this Phantom I would be a
delight for both show and tour.

 
 
1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I
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