Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

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Lot 214

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Newport Town Car by Brewster

  • Chassis no. 253AJS
  • Engine no. Y45F
  • Body no. 7363

Sold for $220,000

Est. 120 bhp, 7,668 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf springs with live rear axle, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with power assist. Wheelbase: 150 in.

  • Formerly owned by John McMullen; believed to have six owners from new
  • A highly desirable, original U.S.-delivery “AJS” chassis
  • The most handsome formal body style, immaculately restored
  • Numerous awards, including Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Records of the Rolls-Royce Foundation indicate that this original American-delivery Phantom II was originally ordered as a St. Martin town car. However, the body style was changed to the more modern and attractive Newport, with its distinctive angled windshield and “swept cowl,” prior to delivery, as John Webb de Campi’s Rolls-Royce in America notes the current coachwork to be the original body for this chassis.

The Foundation’s records note the earliest known owner of chassis number 253AJS as Mrs. John M. Sturgeon III, ex-wife of New York financier and railroad heir, Edwin Gould II, and mother of his son, banker Edwin Jay Gould. With her husband she resided on the restored Rose Hill Plantation, a historic antebellum estate in Bluffton, South Carolina. Interestingly, the Bentley S1 Continental drophead coupe also offered this weekend was delivered to Edwin Jay Gould at Rose Hill, and thus we have the pleasure of offering two Rolls-Royce products that were delivered to the same family at the same palatial home. While no documentation exists to prove the fact, it is believed that Mrs. Gould or her former husband had indeed been the Phantom II’s original owner.

In 1946, the Phantom II was sold by Mrs. Gould to Elmo L. Joseph, a longtime Chrysler divisional sales manager, whom it accompanied as he moved all over the United States during the next four decades. After finally settling in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Mr. Joseph had the restoration of the car begun, but passed away in 1994 before much work had been completed. Longtime Classic Car Club of America member Richard Sahlin then purchased the car from the estate and sent it to Brian Joseph’s Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan, for a complete restoration.

In a recent conversation with RM Sotheby’s Research & Editorial staff, Brian Joseph noted that the car remained in very solid condition and required no major mechanical work during the restoration, as it ran and shifted well with only minor sorting. The body was stripped and properly refinished in a beautiful, subtle two-tone grey, with complementary broadcloth upholstery. Such wonderful, charming correct original features as a “hidey hole” for an umbrella, under the chauffeur’s seat, were preserved.

The freshly completed car was sold by Mr. Sahlin’s estate in 1999 to the renowned collector John McMullen and spent the next eight years in his wonderful Michigan stable. It was then acquired by Greg Aarssen of Chatham, Ontario, before passing into the hands of its current owner, a longtime Rolls-Royce enthusiast here in Florida. The restoration has been beautifully maintained and is still show-worthy, as evidenced by the class awards it received this past year at the Amelia Island, Hilton Head, and Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, as well as Best of Show at the Lake Mirror Classic.

A superb Phantom II with an excellent restoration and outstanding known history, this car will undoubtedly continue to have a starring role at concours d’elegance for its next proud owners.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more