Fabulous 1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Sedanca De Ville by James Young, Ltd.

Classic Cars

One of the rarest Rolls-Royce limousines ever built will be auctioned in London this week.

Following the expansion of the Rolls-Royce model range in 1925 that included the Phantom I, after continual updates the Phantom V was introduced to replace the Silver Wraith. Built complete with a powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of carrying seven passengers at 80mph down the motorway, independent coachbuilders were supplied with the Phantom V's chassis, but by the mid-fifties only four specialists remained.

The most prominent of these was James Young Ltd. who offered three versions of the Phantom V: a seven-passenger limousine, a toruing limousine and a Sedanca de Ville. Their interiors were ultra-luxurious, with "furniture" instead of seats trimmed in thick English Connolly hides, exotic veneers using individual pieces of fitted wooden trim, a bar with cocktail requisites, picnic table, jump seats, Wilton wool carpets and lamb's wool overlays. The example being offered was built in 1962 and in the late eighties London-based restorer Hooper Ltd. gave it a full cosmetic update at a cost of $100,000.

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Only nine Phantom V limousines were fitted with its most remarkable feature: the sedanca sliding roof, which neatly stows under the rear part of the roof with a simple turn and pull of a handle; an engineering feat James Young perfected. Hand-painted "faux" cane-work appears on both sides beautifully complementing the coachwork, and the car is finished in burgundy over black lacquer, and a burgundy and beige interior.This is an exceptionally rare automobile, and represents one of the finest, most expensive Rolls-Royce limousines ever built. RM Auctions estimate it will be sold for between £310,000 and £380,000, and for some it will be worth every penny.