The photos which we posted last week of the “Round Door Rolls-Royce” have really struck a chord with our readers, judging by the all of the responses and additional photos that have been sent in. The photo above appears as though it may have been taken when the car won a Prix d’Honneur at the August, 1936, Cannes Concours d’Elegance, in France. The palm trees seen in the photo are what gives one this impression, as Cannes is located in the Côte d’Azur or French Riviera.
Can any of our readers identify the country that issued the license plate and its year (above), we are also looking for someone who can date the front tire with the very distinctive sidewall, as this may tell us a bit more?
The photo (below) is also taken at an unknown location, but it is dated as being from the 1940s. The car appears to still be wearing all of the same equipment as above. Another photo taken at the very same time exists, with a man posing with the car. Both photos are courtesy of the John Weathers.
The the photos (below) show the car at the 1954 Worlds Motor Sports Show at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C. were it was the Grand Prize Winner. The car also seems to still be wearing all of it original equipment here, other than the original wipers and windshield and is still equipped with the very distinctive painted bumpers, with what appear to be small vertical rubber bars mounted to it. The last photo (right below) shows the unique treatment on the rear of the body along with the two sun roof panels it was equipped with.
From the Billboard Cavalcade of Fairs publication (below), can be found an advertisement from the 1957-1958 period offering it for exhibition. At the time it was owned by Max and Cecile Obie of Paramus, N.J. At the top of the ad is a statement that it belonged the Duke of Windsor, but this unlikely as there is no record that we are aware of him ever owning it and is thought to be a bit of “show business”.
The earlier press photo of the car is also captioned as it belonging to the former King. That caption from 1938 lists the car as being worth $40,000 and the ad below states $100,000, both clearly many times what it was worth at the time. It is rumored to have changed hands in the 1950s for $8500.
We have also found that the car at this point in time was painted gold, as readers have mentioned, as a duplicate color postcard photo, as shown in the ad exists and clearly shows it in that color. All of the earlier photos seem to show the hood as being finished possibly in a polished aluminum finish, but all later photos show the hood as being painted. The photo (just above) and this ad (below) are courtesy of Charlie Beesley of the motor life.blog.
You can also take a look back at the earlier photos of this fascinating car here on The Old Motor. If any readers can add more to the story, please let us know.