The Round Door Rolls – 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupe at the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California
Taken from the Heacock Clasic website:
Custom coachbuilding of the 1920s and 1930s was the ultimate form of self-expression for the rich and famous. Whether it was a Waterhouse-bodied Packard, a Figoni & Falaschi-bodied Delahaye or a Murphy-bodied Duesenberg, the affluent could essentially own a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Each of these famous coachbuilders was known for their specialized workmanship and was commissioned to build custom bodies over the years. Conversely, a company more accustomed to clothing buses and trucks with their commercial styling wouldn’t be the typical choice to build the coachwork for a Rolls-Royce, yet Jonckheere Carrossiers of Belgium did just that when they re-bodied a 1925 Phantom I with what could arguably be considered the most ominous Rolls-Royce coachwork ever created.
In May of 1925, Rolls-Royce launched the New Phantom (today noted as the Phantom I) to replace the 40/50 model, which was from then on referred to as the Silver Ghost. With increasing competition from the likes of Hispano-Suiza and Isotta Fraschini, a power boost was the logical upgrade. The New Phantom was, in fact, only the 40/50 chassis with a slightly larger engine. An increase in displacement from 7428cc to 7668cc and the change from side valves to overhead valves were the only major powertrain improvements! The braking system on the other hand was dramatically improved when front wheel brakes were installed. The conversion from side valves to overhead valves also meant a slightly higher bonnet and that would come to influence styling as PI chassis began the trek to various coachbuilders.
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