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1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll – Don’t Forget the Grey Poupon

By Steve Natale: The golden age of the coach built, custom bodied automobile was at its zenith in the mid thirties. Some of the most flamboyant designs came from builders in France, and one of the most significant of those builders was undoubtedly Figoni et Falaschi. The firm designed and built bodies for all types of luxury brands, most notably Bugatti, Delahaye and Talbot Lago among others. The company only produced one body on a Rolls-Royce chassis, this exceptional 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline.

This car was delivered new in May of 1932 to the exiled prince of Nepal, who at the time was residing in England. The car wore a saloon-type body created by the coachbuilder Windovers when the prince took possession. Spending a good deal of time in Paris in the mid thirties, the prince admired the many streamlined and art deco influenced rolling sculptures he saw elegantly floating down the streets of the city. The car was brought to Figoni et Falaschi sometime around 1936 or 1937 when the prince commissioned them to re-body the car with the modern French design.

Rolls Royce Figoni et Falaschi Sedan 2

The result is one of the most striking Rolls-Royce bodies ever produced and the largest body ever fashioned by Figoni et Falaschi. The low-slung Continental chassis combined with the flowing art moderne styling was a sensation when the prince debuted the car at the 1939 Deauville Concours d’Elegance. The styling and interior details of this car are many and captivating. One of the most interesting features of the design reveals itself when both the doors are open and there is no post between them.

After the prince’s ownership, it passed through several owners, including a collector in England who traded one of the most valuable and coveted collector cars on the planet, a Bugatti Royal, in order to acquire this fabulous Rolls-Royce. By the mid-fifties the car was in the United States where it continued to be traded among collectors who recognized its beauty and importance.

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 12

In 1979 a comprehensive restoration was completed and was displayed on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that same year. It returned to Pebble Beach in 1992 and was awarded the Lucius Beebe Memorial Trophy, awarded to the Rolls-Royce considered most in the tradition of Lucius Beebe, who served as a judge in the early years. In 2015 it returned once again to Pebble Beach and captured the Most Elegant Closed Car Trophy, and won Best in Class for Most Elegant British Car at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance.

The next chapter in this amazing car’s history is about to be written when it goes up for bid at this year’s Gooding & Company collector car auction at Pebble Beach this August. Learn more about this 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline here.

Visit with Steve Natale at The Vintage View.

Rolls Royce Figoni et Falaschi Sedan 4

Rolls Royce Figoni et Falaschi Sedan 5

Rolls Royce Figoni et Falaschi Sedan 6

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 2

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 16

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 1

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 7

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 8

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 9

Rolls Royce Figoni et Falaschi Sedan 3

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 11

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 3

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 13

1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll Continental Berline Figoni et Falaschi 10

15 responses to “1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom ll – Don’t Forget the Grey Poupon

  1. These mid-era Rollers just blow me away. Designed after the pre- WWI years, they bridge the gap to modern day opulence.

    The back seating area is a study of the lap of luxury. I wonder though, what the styled wood adornment is between the seat bolsters. it seems elegantly carved for a specific purpose.

  2. As fabulous as it is, there wasn’t much thought given to the driver ingress/egress, not with those two levers directly in the way.

  3. Continental it may be, but there is no room for luggage to support Le Grand Tour. Did the Prince have an entourage follow him.

    Also, not knowing much about RR engines of that era, is this an OHV with dual spark plugs or is it an OHC? Wonderful pix, works of art fit for the object at hand.

    • Mad Dog; I recall reading several stories about the very wealthy in those days. They usually rode the Master and Mistress in the rear of the most elegant Rolls, and the children in a second limousine, followed by a large vehicle for the nannies, maids and various other retainers, followed by a vehicle to carry the luggage. Le Grand tour was actually a production of monumental proportions. But you must admit they knew how to live. This is one of the most beautiful cars ever created, what a treat to see these beautiful pictures.

  4. Figoni et Falaschi were well known for their “swoopy” syling , but some grouchy folks thought it too extreme and referred to them as “Phony and Flashy”. But they really hit a home run on this one, a jewel. Re the lack of center post, I remember looking at a small Lancia back on the 50’s, same feature.

  5. Having driven my Father-in-Law’s Phantom II Continental (32 MX), I have to agree with Mike. Trying to enter or exit on the driver’s side was never easy. On the other hand, I’m not sure I would have the courage to drive this car anyway, because it is just too beautiful! Deserved a Best in Show at Pebble: sheer unadulterated elegance!

  6. Can I be candid? Peter unfortunately not this time, but I thank for all of you insightful comments and identifications in the past.

    Over a year ago in an effort to keep things on a positive note here I posted in “Changes Dealing with Comments and the Comment Box” @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=142531 this change: “At times, we post photos showing an owners vehicle, or a facility, museum or images by one of the many photographers we are fortunate to work with. The rule of thumb here is do not say anything that you would not say about the vehicle, facility or photographer in person with the owner or whoever created it. Just because you don’t like a vehicle, or its color, tires or top is not a reason to leave a negative comment. Be polite because negative comments are waste of your and my time, and will be deleted.”

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