1925 Rolls Royce New Phantom (Phantom 1) Requiring Completion
For Sale by Tender
Chassis - 37 LC
Engine - YL 15 (Extensively rebuilt including new Monobloc)
Coachwork - Torpedo style boat- tailed tourer – deep V windscreen (Copied from photographs of a Galle Tourer.)
Speedo reading - N/A – (Speedo not yet fitted but reading 0002).
Registration - Not yet UK registered.
Owner - Estate of the late Michael Forrest, Esq.
The Late Michael Forrest (1931-2018) was an exceptional engineer, apprenticed to Rolls Royce at Derby and subsequently joining the RAF. He later obtained a first class honours degree and the vehicle he constructed as part of his project work is understood to be exhibited at a museum in Canada. He taught at Gordonstoun and then moved home to Loughborough, lecturing in Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University. Here, he worked with the well known RR aficionado and expert, the late Professor Ken Brittain, from whom he bought 37LC as a long term project. He joined the RREC in 1981 and produced probably 100 or more detailed and seriously learned articles for the Bulletin beginning in 1989, the last being in 2011, dealing with the restoration.
37 LC was apparently used by its first owner whilst a prince living in Paris, but its later history is not yet ascertained. It was found by Prof. Ken Brittain equipped with scant if any bodywork, and fitted with a diesel engine having apparently been used for towing gliders during the war years. Ken had many Rolls Royce motor cars and 37LC seems to have been acquired by Michael in about 1980/81. It is not known how it came to the UK and has never been UK registered.
The standard of preparation is worthy of the Science Museum. Some contemporaries felt Michael was building an exhibition or museum chassis, but others and family felt he was building a vehicle to use. The restoration has occupied thousands of hours and the body built on the chassis is very attractive, and exotic – based on photographs of coachwork by the original coachbuilder, Galle.
A romantic might describe the general appearance as Art Deco in locomotion. It certainly stimulates the imagination – to be a wealthy Prince in Paris in the Roaring 20’s!
Chassis 37LC was delivered to James Radley (of Alpine Trial fame), Rolls Royce agent in Paris, and purchased by S.A. (Son Altesse = His Highness) Mohamed Sultan Bey, who went on to become King Mohamed V of Morocco in 1932.
Very exotic coachwork was fitted by Galle and correspondence indicates the first owner kept and used it at his Paris residence for several years. Later history is not documented. The car is understood to have been located and identified by the late Professor Brittain and component numbers recorded on the build sheet and cards matched, other than the engine.
The Vehicle at Present
Much meticulous, detailed work has gone into the restoration to date, many component details being recorded in their own folders with detailed drawings, calculations and photographs. The archive of drawings, photographs and other material relating to the restoration is to be sold with the vehicle.
There appear to be no photographs of the original coachwork although some surely exist within the Royal Household. The present stylish 2 seater boat-tail body with blade front wings continuous with running boards and upswept rear wings has been constructed in aluminium along the lines of European style coachwork in the style of Galle, using photographs of their work as reference.
The quality of work is to the highest possible standards, which can be seen in the accompanying photographs. The body is now largely complete. Seat frames are in situ, but there is no trim. Card templates for tonneau and hood have been made, the hood frame is not completed.
The engine is installed, the pistons and conrods still to be fitted and the whole securely bolted together. A jury rig power supply has been used to turn the engine.
Springs have recently been fitted (requiring adjustment).
A large number of components are with the car, still to be fitted including, it is believed, a full set of instrumentation, lights, modern fuel pump, spare mechanical components, all carefully labelled.
Photographs of the vehicle and components were taken when the car was recently inspected. These show exterior, cockpit, engine and underside, all attesting to the superlative standard achieved. Some photographs of the separate components are also included as a representative sample of the whole.
There is a substantial collection of correspondence and many boxes of photographs taken by Mr Forrest as work progressed. This archive accompanies the vehicle.