Name Your Price: 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

This stunning 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom limousine with coachwork by Brewster is said to be a recently discovered example that was apparently stored in relatively intact condition. Photos show that not much has changed aside from the heavy coating of dust on the outside, and the seller claims not to know what it is worth – hence the lofty listing price which they claim is just for kicks. The Phantom looks like it was loved before it was stored, so check it out here on eBay and let us know what you think it may be worth. 

The seller claims the Phantom runs and drives well, despite being laid up for some period of time. Since photos exist of the car going into storage, I tend to think this isn’t some Indiana Jones-grade discovery but rather a car that was well known ahead of time and simply got lost in the shuffle of a larger collection. The doors open and shut well and the interior is sound; while it needs some freshening up, there’s no reason (apparently) why this aristocrat-friendly commuter can’t be driven as-is.

Valuations for these cars seem all over the place, but that’s also because I’m far from an expert in pricing vintage Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. There are certain models that demand a high price no matter what condition they’re in, and others that seem to get met with the “Yes, it’s nice, but it’s not valuable” response. As per the seller’s claim that they don’t know what it’s worth – well, as noted, I can relate to this sentiment but it’s also clear they are in the business of rescuing and re-selling old cars, so they should at least be able to call someone.

The listing shows a title from Ohio and a very, very old-school Montana license plate stored in a piece of luggage. Personally, I just want the plate, but there’s more to here to love than just some vintage garage art. Bumpers were removed but are included, which could be indicative of a previous owner that sought to keep them unmarked while the Rolls was in storage. Either way, rust-free examples don’t pop up often and in mostly complete, running condition. While I despise the seller’s guessing game approach to value, what do you think it’s worth?

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Comments

  1. Dovi65

    A beautiful automobile.One I’d LOVE to own [or rather, have OWN me!] Sad that she wasn’t stored away more thoughtfully. How well off was the owner that such a machine could simply get “lost in the shuffle”?? [I wonder where I left my ’31 Roller …]

    6+
  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    For that I’d even build a 3d bay on the garage. Absolutely love it though I know I’ll never be able to afford something like that without going into hock up to my ears.

    4+
    • Dovi65

      Right there with you; I’d happily turn my house into a garage, and move into the existing garage to own this beauty. Alas, no matter how far south of the $250k asking, I could never provide her the proper care. I’d think a RR agency [they’re not ‘dealers’ ..that’s too pedestrian!] would like to have this parked in their show floor.
      A C-J-D dealer in my area has a 60s Plymouth GTX on their sales floor. Nice piece of eye-candy

      2+
  3. StuB

    207AJS is a Rolls-Royce Phantom II with a Huntington limousine body by Brewster of New York. Delivered on 11/11/1931 to H. McSweeny of Atlantic City, NJ. One of only 125 left hand drive chassis built in England for the American market after the Springfield, MA factory stopped production. A rare car but the limousine body lowers the value well below their asking price, especially with unknown mechanical condition.

    3+
  4. nessy

    You kind of teased us with the title, “Name Your Price” when the seller already “Named His Price” at 250 thousand dollars…. For all of us Rolls Royce guys here, we already know this is not a 250k car. Not this model.

    11+
    • Dovi65

      I’m curious, as I’m sure others not ‘in the know’ are .. what is the value of this car?

      3+
      • nessy

        Sure. It’s a closed car sedan to start with. Brewster coachwork was common on this car which will affect the value to those who know. You can tell the sellers/flippers really don’t have a clue on the value so they are asking possible buyers to tell them what this car is worth. If this model was fully restored the right way, it would not be a 250k car. A very similar example in better condition, running and driving sold at auction a few years ago for 87k. 250k will buy you an open Rolls Royce of this era with more desirable coachwork while others will top 500k. It’s tricky as so many older Rolls Royce/Bentley cars are available with prices that range hundreds of thousands off, where to the untrained eye, look very much alike. However, they are very different cars. This car would be a good buy at 60k. Trust me on this one.

        17+
      • A.J.

        The way it sits it is probably a 50-60k car. You can buy a very nice running driving and better looking closed LHD Phantom 1 for under 100k.

        2+
    • A.J.

      Thank you for point out this was a PII. That makes the price slightly less insane. I was looking at the wheels and thinking they were not Buffalo and should have figured PII.

      1+
  5. Dovi65

    Nessy .. thank you for enlightening me [and others]. I’ve always admired the Rolls Royce/Bentley cars of the coach-built era.
    Back in the early 90s I worked for a new car dealership that somehow acquired a down-on-her-luck 1950s RHD Rolls Royce. It was stored in a leaky, drafty, former produce barn that served as their parts ‘warehouse’ It seemed to be from an estate sale, not loved in many years. The paint was a bit moldy, the interior smelled of mildew, doors didn’t latch closed.. Broke my heart to see such a former glam-queen relegated to the “WTH are we to do with this?” lot of a Volvo dealer. Hopefully she found a good home.
    Near where I am now is a 1976 RHD Bentley that also has been unloved for a long time. Sitting on a independent used car lot for at least 3 years now. She even has the original selling agent’s name on the door sill plates.

    5+
    • Brakeservo

      That 1976 RHD Bentley T is a money pit just waiting to swallow the first sucker who gets too close! Price a complete brake job and then realize you can buy a fairly good used complete ready to go Mercedes car for less! A lot less!

      2+
      • Dovi65

        I can’t even begin to imagine the costs of ‘righting’ a Bentley, or RR that hasn’t been properly loved in a long time. As a over-the-top car nut, I want to save it! She deserves a better retirement. Alas, I fear that she will not be saved, and just continue to deteriorate until … well, you know

        1+
  6. Madmatt

    I think this car would be way cooler than my Chevelle
    or mustang convertible at a car show,as there is a “sea”
    of muscle cars in most shows I’ve gone to,
    and there would not be one of these within 100 mi or more….maybe?!
    what an elegant beauty this is,a super detail job and some fresh love
    would do wonders here! That said, I feel that it is quite a bit over “market”
    value,but must be worth at least $75.000..? in nice drivable condition.?
    A very scarce brand/model?,….Rolls Royces don’t pop up in auto traders very often do they! LOL

    2+
  7. Mister319

    I know a guy who has one that someone made into a pick-up.

    1+
  8. Robert Gallagher

    I bought one just like this four years ago. It was in better condition. It was previously owned by the Ruger family. That is the family that makes Ruger firearms.
    It was built in Springfield Mo. Yes believe it or not, Rolls Royce had a factory in Springfield Mo. USA.
    I payed $60,000 for it. It was a good bargain at the time.

    1+
  9. A.J.

    Bob, I assume you intended to say “Springfield MA” not Springfield MO”.

    1+
  10. graham line

    Springfield, Massachusetts, 1919-1935, with actual production starting in 1921, and roughly 3000 cars built in that time.

    1+
  11. Wrong Way

    Yeah! Barn find, this is exactly what I am trying to say! More cars and write ups like this one is what I like to see!

    2+
  12. Paul B
    1+
  13. charlie

    And Brewster was in Brewster NY and did custom bodies for Buicks and even Model A Fords as well as Rolls-Royce.

    1+
  14. Simon

    Definatley price is dependent on what type of body,and which coach building company built the body.a. sedanica bodied car or a hooper bodied right hand drive car of the same year would be of much higher interest.
    I believe complete rolling frames were shipped to the states where various body styles were fixed.open topped Brewster cars are a premium.

    1+
  15. A.J.

    Simon, I’m not sure I agree with the RHD part but you are correct on the body. LHD is a huge premium in the U.S. THe yellow car you posted is a Playboy which was the replacement body that Brewster used when they had a decent limo body (like the one we are talking about) that they could notsell.

    1+
    • Simon

      AJ,
      I do agree with you on the left hand,right hand drive premium depending on what side of the Atlantic.
      I do believe the early thirties was a real golden age for cars,the styling and craftsmanship was sublime.

      0
  16. Bill McCoskey

    What absolutely floors me is that the seller is an auction company who is asking the public to value the car! They have the ability to discover the value of almost ANYTHING. All it takes is around $250 to $500 for a knowledgeable vintage auto appraiser to take a good look at it.

    But I suppose the auctioneer is too cheap to spend the money, and won’t have the seller invest in a decent appraisal prior to a sale, because they don’t really care if it achieves top dollar. Or they are hoping a fool with more money than brains will pay too much. Great way for an auction company to get a reputation for honesty!

    OR: “Flip it fast to settle the estate”. Because the family members have no interest in such a vehicle, they’d rather have the cash.

    Reminds me of a recent estate where the young family members [all 3 were under 25 years of age] wanted nothing to do with Gramp’s old books. They sent a pickup truck load of rare books to the paper recycling company where they were dumped directly from the truck into a big shredder.

    The kids also knew the value of silver, but not of silver fashioned into fine art. They took a sledgehammer to a large selection of silver serving items & statuary, and smashed them flat, taking it all to a local pawn shop who refused to buy anything, fearing it was all stolen. The man who finally bought the silver items told me he would have paid 10 to 20 times the basic value of the silver, had the pieces not been smashed. He said he saw a pile of smashed bronze statues on their way to a scrap dealer. He said they smashed the statues to remove the plaster inside.

    As for the Phantom II Rolls-Royce; at least they removed the plywood platform and the trunk before putting the car up for sale.

    0
  17. Simon

    Bill,
    There seems little respect these days for the craftsmanship and artistry of the past,we live in the age of high impact plastic and carbon fiber.

    0
  18. A.J.

    Bill, not to be disrespectful to the guys making a living doing the job but the “knowledgeable vintage auto appraiser” for the really rare stuff like this knows no more than the average guy with a browser and google. A P1 or PII Rolls is subject to lots of subtle market influences that a guy competent valuing a Mustang or 57 Chevy is just not going to know. I guess the best thing to do would be to join the RROC and advertise in their newsletter.

    0

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