1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom III wears new skin crafted from original design.
There's only one kind of vehicle that can rival classic racing Ferraris at the auction block, and those are art deco cars: vehicles like classic Bugattis, Hispano-Suizas, Talbots and Voisins that can often fetch several million at auction. This car may not be expected to break any records, but it is a real beauty just the same. What you're looking at is a 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coupe. And while the basics date back to the art deco era, its bodywork is a modern tribute.
The coachwork was crafted recently by Classic Auto Rebuilding Service based on a rendering published by Road & Track in 1935 - the same year that the chassis was built - at the height of the deco movement. The one-of-a-kind shape has won numerous awards, including at Pebble Beach where it won first prize for new American coachwork and a full 100-point score from the Classic Car Club of America. The fastback shape is coated in Night Violet paint with polished steel trim, original Marchal headlights and topped with an original Lalique crystal hood ornament to replace the standard Spirit of Ecstasy found on every Rolls-Royce.
The interior carries the theme with sunburst pattern leather, goose down cushions, English wool carpeting and black walnut burlwood trim. Underneath the skin is the Phantom III chassis with its 7.3-liter V12 engine that produces just 165 horsepower, which only goes to show that, while the design may have peaked (for some) in the 1930s, engine technology has evolved significantly over the intervening years. RM expects the unique Rolls to sell for between $650,000 and $850,000 when it crosses the auction block in a couple of weeks at Pebble Beach.(Photos by Theo Civitello, courtesy of RM Auctions.)